Tips for Avoiding Malware Infections

Below are some recommendations for reducing the risk of malware infections to your PC or Mac.  Many of these were discussed in the recent Staff Development Week presentation on “Immunizing Your Computer in Today’s Online World“. General Keep Patches Up to Date Operating system –AND- applications e.g., Adobe Reader & Flash, QuickTime, Java, etc. Use latest browsers with patches up to date – Currently (1/12/11):  Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 9.0.1, Safari 5.1.2 – Don’t run Safari on Windows Use Anti-virus  -AND-  Anti-spyware Keep signatures up to date Run scans regularly Macs Too!!  ( has free A/V for Macs under “Free … Continue reading Tips for Avoiding Malware Infections

Holiday Email Greeting Cards Bring Infections as Gifts

During this month of holidays, you can be sure that you’ll be receiving greeting cards from malicious entities.  The Swarthmore community has already been receiving emails, like the one below, containing links to retrieve a holiday greeting card that someone so thoughtfully sent (note the spelling errors): Unfortunately, the sender is someone intent on breaking into your system. Clicking on the links above will download a program that subsequently infects your system allowing remote control and access to your (and the College’s) personal data. As a general rule, NEVER click on attachments that you’re not expecting -or- URL links to … Continue reading Holiday Email Greeting Cards Bring Infections as Gifts

Phishing Examples

Phishing is a common experience for email users these days. Swarthmore email users often receive requests for their network/email passwords, user IDs, and other private data. Some of these emails can be very convincing and appear to be from Swarthmore ITS Staff. However, you should know that ITS will never, ever request your password!? Emails requesting your password or other personal data should simply be deleted upon receipt. Below are some different types of phishing emails received here at Swarthmore: <!–more–> Subject: Dear Email Account Owner From: Admin Help Desk Date: November 28, 2008 6:41:35 AM EST To: … Continue reading Phishing Examples

Avoid IRS Phishing Attempts!

All you need to know is: the IRS does NOT initiate taxpayer communications through email. So, if you receive an unsolicited email from the IRS, it’s not from them!! Discard it. In addition, if you do email the IRS directly and then receive a response, keep in mind that they will – NEVER request detailed personal information through email – NEVER request information like PIN numbers, passwords, credit card numbers or other account information The IRS has a simple but informative web page with additional information about identifying and reporting phishing attempts, fake IRS web sites, etc. You can find … Continue reading Avoid IRS Phishing Attempts!