Virus Protection, Spyware and Adware

Image displaying a lock within a shield and light rays shooting towards you

Information Security is Everyone's Concern
You are the key to successful information security. An unprotected computer can be infected with a virus, worm, or Trojan in less than five minutes after being placed on a network. IT Security awareness means understanding the various threats that exist in one's environment and taking reasonable steps to guard against them.

Studies show that most breaches of computer security are the result of something a computer user did or failed to do. This training site will provide you with valuable information about best practices, policies, and procedures for ensuring secure information systems at Florida SouthWestern State College, so you can enjoy a safe computing environment.

Be sure to take the time to read all of the materials on this site carefully.

Table of Contents

  1. Virus Protection
  2. Spyware and Adware

Virus Protection

Image showing Endpoint antivirus window

Worms and Trojans are the most common forms of infection and/or compromise. They depend on computer systems that have not been protected with the most current security updates, or patches, released by operating system and security application vendors. Neglected applications and operating systems provide easy targets for hackers to take advantage of the computer user for their criminal activity.

Some viruses prey on uninformed computer users by embedding attachments in appealing looking emails hoping to trick the user into activating the virus, worm, or Trojan. Viruses can also be transmitted during file sharing using Instant Messaging services. Users should not open attachments unless they know and trust the sender. Viruses can come from a friend or relative as easily as from a stranger. A common indicator that a virus is attached to an email is the presence of inadequate or misspelled text or short phrases like, "Attention!!!" or "Your file is attached." in the body of the message. Be suspicious of all attachments and shared files, even those from a known or trusted source.

All Florida SouthWestern State College-owned desktop computers and laptops are protected with ESET Endpoint Antivirus software. The software is set to download updates and patches automatically when they are made available from the application vendor. Updates will download when College staff are logged into the Florida SouthWestern State College network or when they are accessing the Internet through another network (e.g., when traveling or working from home).

If you suspect you have a problem, contact the Help Desk at x11202 or 239-489-9202.

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Spyware and Adware

Image showing examples of spy-ware and adware pop-ups

Spyware is software installed on your computer without your knowledge or consent. These programs can collect various types of personal information and interfere with the control of your computer functions. It can also hijack your browser and direct it elsewhere. Spyware, by design, takes advantage of you for commercial gain.

The term adware refers to software that displays advertisements whether or not the computer user has consented. Most adware is also Spyware because it displays advertisements based on the information it has collected about you. Often this results in many popup advertisements while you are visiting web pages on the Internet.

Most Spyware is installed without your knowledge. Spyware can be bundled in shareware or other downloadable software as well as music CDs. Spyware developers also try to trick people into installing their software by emulating a standard Windows dialog box. The resulting popup box will contain a message such as "Would you like to optimize the performance of your computer?" or "Registry Cleaner Recommended" with buttons that say Yes and No. No matter which button the user clicks, the result is the same – the software is downloaded to your computer. Never click on unwanted popups. Shut them down by clicking on the red X in the upper right-hand corner of the box.

To protect your system from Spyware:

  1. Enable the security features in your browser.
  2. Download programs, software, and files only from trusted sites.
  3. Install anti-spyware software, keep it updated, and schedule it to run regularly. There are several applications that are free, which do a terrific job of protecting your computer.

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Article ID: 99502
Fri 2/28/20 11:51 AM
Tue 5/9/23 5:43 PM