Safe Computing

A variety of threats to a wide range of computing devices from client computers to mobile devices (smart phones, iPads, etc.) to servers are increasing in both number and complexity. Viruses are no longer alone, but have been joined by worms, trojans, adware, and spyware, as well as the growing nuisance of spam. Personal responsibility for protecting your computer and files has increased along with these threats. Please review the following information (and the threat specific pages linked in the left menu) to learn safe computing practices and how to remove these threats.

Virus Protection and Prevention

Get anti-virus software and get tips on avoiding viruses in the first place. Viruses and worms can be spread via web pages, downloads, email, attachments, USB drives, network shares, and instant messaging. To reduce the potentially devastating impact of viruses, Hampshire College requires the installation of active and up-to-date anti-virus software on all student, faculty, and staff computers that use the College's network.


Unsolicited commercial email, commonly referred to as "spam," has been a big problem for many users. From having to wade through dozens of junk messages to receiving emails with embarrassing content, spam is a headache.

Popup Ads and Windows

Few things can slow down Internet surfing more than pop-up ad pages. These days, browsers have settings that block pop-up ads. These settings tend to be turned on by default, but if you suspect that they're not, try combing the Preferences (Mac) or Options (Windows).


Every year Hampshire employees and students fall for phishing scams, compromising our systems and security. Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails appearing to come from a legitimate source in an attempt to obtain personal information. These scammers "phish" to see how much info they can "catch". Find out how to avoid these common schemes.