Protecting Data Against Computer Viruses
Reports of computer viruses, most notably the MTX virus, have increased
on campus in recent weeks. The MTX virus is distributed via an e-mail attachment
using several different names. It causes considerable damage to Windows
system files and is difficult to remove.
Most computer virus outbreaks are preventable. Information Systems and
Computing (ISC) reminds everyone at Penn to protect their system by following
these simple recommendations:
- Back up your work--Keep backup copies of important papers, research
projects, and other critical documents.
- Exercise caution with e-mail attachments--Do not open e-mail
attachments, even from senders you recognize, unless you are sure about
the contents. Viruses often attach and are sent automatically via a sender's
address book without the sender's knowledge.
- Exercise caution accepting file downloads from strangers in
chat rooms or when using instant messenger programs. These are common ways
of infecting your system and may give anyone on the Internet unrestricted
access to your computer, all keystrokes that you type, and all data files.
- Install current versions of Penn's supported anti-virus software--The
software and configuration instructions are distributed on the PennConnect
CD, available from the Computing Resource Center, or can be downloaded
- Update your virus definitions weekly (Windows) or monthly (Mac)--Anti-virus
software vendors make easy-to-install updated virus definition files available
regularly to combat new viruses. For instructions on updating your software
and for recent virus alerts, go to the virus web site at www.upenn.edu/computing/virus/.
If you have a virus or need help downloading or installing anti-virus
software, the following resources are available:
- Students in College Houses: Contact your information technology
advisor (ITA). See www.rescomp.upenn.edu/.
- Students living off-campus, in Sansom East and West, and in the
Greek houses: Contact First Call (215) 573-4778 or visit the Computing
Resource Center (CRC), M-F from 1-4:30 p.m., at Suite 202 Sansom Place
- Faculty and staff: Contact your local support provider (LSP).
If you do not know who your local support provider is, consult www.upenn.edu/computing/view/support/.
--Information Systems and Computing s
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 14, December 5, 2000
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