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Learning from the Conficker Virus Scare

The Conficker worm scare might just fizzle out without significant damage, but there are lots of malware threats out there. This week we'd like to recap important computer security practices.

Virus and Malware Protection
By far the simplest solution is to set up your computer to detect viruses and other malware before they infect it. Prevention is far easier than removal in most cases. Hampshire IT provides you with utilities that should go a long way towards this goal.

The threats are very real and widespread with computers running Windows. A lot of that is because it's such a widespread installation; in part it's because there have been some significant security lapses over the years. You should have ESET anti-virus  installed on your computer already if it's Hampshire-owned; if for some reason it's not, go to our ESET Download Page.

If you'd like to install antivirus on a personal computer, we recommend the free version of Microsoft Security Essentials. Intructions and a link can be found on our Virus Protection and Prevention Page.

Mac threats are fewer and farther between, but that may not always be the case. Unfortunately, we haven't seen any great real-time protectors for Macs. There is a free home version of Sophos, but unless there are reports of a widespread threat, we don't recommend it; we've seen it slow down computers significantly. 

Keep Your Computer Updated
When vulnerabilities are detected in their operating systems, Apple and Microsoft release system updates to address them. For information on making sure that your computer is set up to retrieve updates, go to our Software Updates and Resources Page.

Stay Alert
Even with the precautions we've mentioned, you still need to stay alert to potential threats. This is especially true when browsing the web or reading email.

If Your Computer is Infected
If you suspect that your Hampshire-owned computer might be infected, please contact the IT help desk immediately. If your personal computer appears to be infected, you can take advantage of our free, awe-inspiring Student Diagnostic Center.


Contact Us

Information Technology
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5419

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600