Why Computer Security is important
Computers and the Internet can provide many benefits. One big downside is that computers and laptops can easily become targets for viruses and malicious software. These intrusive programs may want to steal your personal information, use your computer to attack other systems, or cause damage to your system. There are several ways you can ensure that you and your computer are protected. There is no one security method or technological solution to protect your system. Don't make it easy for hackers, protect yourself and your computer. If your computer or laptop becomes infected, the IT staff can help disinfect and protect your computer.
The following web pages are just some ways you can protect your computer:
- Keep your Windows Firewall turned on
- Keep your Windows operating system up to date with Microsoft Patches and Security Updates
- Use Anti-Virus software, the following software are free to download and install:
- Use Anti-Spyware software, the following software are free to download and install:
- Keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date
- Keep your web browser up to date
- Back up your important files
- Use a security cable for laptops
Frequently Asked Questions
- My computer is not working.
- My web browser is not working.
- My account is not working.
- How do I backup my important files?
Some viruses can cause a computer to freeze or fail to start at boot up. Some common symptoms are:
- Computer displays the "blue screen of death" - a blue screen displaying a cryptic error code and message
- Computer unexpectedly restarts during boot up
- Computer freezes as soon as the desktop is displayed
- Computer reports a system driver is missing or fails to start
- Computer does not recognize your username or password
These symptoms are commonly caused by the following virus-related issues :
- The Windows registry is corrupted.
- The Windows file system is corrupted.
- The Windows driver is corrupted.
To resolve the virus issue you must have your computer repaired by an experienced computer technician.
Some viruses and trojans can cause a web browser to be hijacked or behave erratically. Some common symptoms are:
- Browser fails to start or nothing happens
- Browser starts, but your home page fails to load
- Browser starts, but your home page redirects to a different, unexpected site
- Browser is displaying unexpected pop-ups
- Browser is very slow
To resolve these symptoms you must scan and fix your computer for viruses and trojans. You can also try emptying your temporary Internet files (i.e., clearing your web browser cache).
- If you cannot logon to your OSHKI account (see Accounts) and suspect foul play (i.e, hacked account) contact the Help Desk.
- If you are accessing a public computer ensure that you logout of the system (be it Webmail, Moodle or Centra) and close the browser.
- If you recently purchased a new computer and forgot the system administrator password then you must have your computer serviced by an experienced computer technician (an operating system reinstall will be required).
As a student, it is good practice to purchase a USB memory stick (aka USB flash drive) to backup your important files. If you work directly from your USB memory stick then you should backup the contents of the flash memory to a hard disk drive and vice versa.