AntiVirus, AntiSpyware and General Maintenance
We recommend that all students use an AntiVirus program on their personal computers and update it regularly. You can purchase any brand and install it yourself or we have included the names of some free programs that can be downloaded. You are welcome to call or email anytime with questions or issues and we do encourage you to use an antivurus product and keep it current!
Free Anti-Virus Programs:
- Security Essentials
La Grande area computer repair shops:
- Look in the phone book under Computers-Service and Repair
- Stop by the IT Department in Ackerman 209 for a posted list
SpyWare and Adware
Spyware and Adware are applications that get installed on a computer from various web sites and programs that are downloaded and installed. Some applications are useful and have little effect on a computer. But the vast number of these installed applications can bring a computer to its knees, crawling along ever so slowly.
There are several software packages you may purchase to scan and clean your computer, but we recommend the use of two free applications. These are Ad-Aware from Lavasoft and SpyBot Search and Destroy. Lavasoft also offers a version of Ad-Aware for purchase that has more functionality and the web site listed below shows the features available in each version.
Download and install each application. Each time you open the application you will need to perform an update, similar to anti-virus programs. Run one application then run the next one. We use both applications since they are designed to catch different signatures and types of mal-ware. Each application will create a quarantine file of the files it removes in case it clobbers a valid program. In several years of use I have never had to use the quarantine files.
SpyBot Search & Destroy:
For an expanded explanation of what these types of applications are and where they come from see:
Computers will slow down over time and use. Here are two applications on Windows that will help keep your computer operating better. These utilities should be ran when you start noticing your system is slowing down, booting slower, or you are experiencing some problems.
Disk Cleanup will delete temporary files and empty the recycle bin. Do not check to remove the Microsoft Office setup files. If you do you will have to have the original Office disks when updating the program. To access Disk Cleanup follow these commands from the start menu:
Disk Defragmenter reorganizes your files and straightens out the file structure on your hard drive. To access Disk Defragmenter follow these commands from the start menu:
How to avoid getting a computer virus
- Be careful when surfing. You can get malicious programs and scripts from a website and not know it. If you ever get a window asking if you want to allow an automatic install, say “No” unless you know the site requesting the install. Also, please don’t surf to any adult content sites.
- Don’t click on browser pop-up windows that announce you are infected with a virus! This is a new trick, called scare-ware, which is caused by infected remote websites. Just because some random website says you have a virus, or don’t have protection, it’s not true. Usually, clicking on these links will actually infect your system.
- Be careful with disks or thumbdrives that other people gave you. The disk or thumbdrive could be infected with a virus, make sure that it has been scanned before you use it.
- If someone sends you an attachment or a link in e-mail or instant message, don’t open it. Even if it appears to come from someone you know, a random link or attachment may contain a virus. If someone you know sends you a link or an attachment, check with them first to see if they meant to send it to you. Many email and messaging services are susceptible to spoofing. This allows malicious emails to appear to be from trusted sources.
- Be careful about using MS Outlook. Outlook is more susceptible to worms than other e-mail programs. EOU strongly recommends the use of web based email tools, such as Google Apps.
- Do not download software from just any old website. If it is a reputable site that you trust, you are probably safe. The threat is not only from software; be careful when downloading documents, worksheets or other files. Viruses can be attached to various word processing, database, spreadsheet and other data files.
- Consider switching to a different web browser. Web browsers other than Internet Explorer (such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome) are considered to have better security; some people also see them as more flexible and extensible browsers.
- Stay away from file-sharing sites. They are very dangerous, and often illegally distribute files.
- Your computer will automatically download updates to help you stay secure. EOU computers have Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware software programs installed in them. These programs self-update one or more times per day to ensure you’re protected.