A computer virus is a computer program that may attack a computer in various ways: duplicates itself, damages data files, damages program files, and damage the whole system. Some viruses might simply be a joke, but they bring unpleasant experience to a computer user. A virus attaches itself to another program (usually an .exe file, although there are many others). When that program is executed, it begins to perform malicious functions to the computer.
In addition to computer viruses, there are "worms." A worm is a computer program that is similar to a virus, because it can cause a lot of damage to computers. However, a worm can make copies of itself and spread entirely on its own. By doing this, it uses up network resources and affects computer systems.
A computer could possibly be infected by viruses and worms through downloading files and programs from the network, using virus affected floppy or zip disks, or even installing new computer programs. We can protect our computers by installing anti-virus programs, write-protecting the boot disk, write-protecting important data disks.
Sometimes, however, people hear about a "virus" or a "worm" in virus hoaxes - typically an e-mail message that gives warning for a "virus" that doesn't exist at all. Computer resources will be wasted and unnecessary worry will occur if people spread these virus hoaxes.
Students must run an antivirus program to protect their computers before they can connect to the Internet.
A wide variety of products are permitted for use on our network. Users should seek support of their anti-virus software from the vendor. The following products will be permitted, and more information about those products can be found at the vendor's web site:
For Microsoft Windows:
For Macintosh OS X:
Note: Trial versions of these products are often included with new computers. These versions often expire after 30-90 days, and therefore are NOT acceptable for use at Muskingum. If you wish to use one of these products, they must be registered and subscribed to before full access to the campus network is granted.
If there are questions, concerns, or special accommodations regarding this policy, please contact CNS at 740-826-8050 for more information, or visit the CNS ResNet site.
Spyware programs on your computer may be tracking what you do on your computer and on the network. They may also be the cause of the pop-up ads you are seeing on your computer and additional junk e-mail that you receive as well as extremely slow behavior of your computer.
Ad-Aware is an application that can detect and remove many of these programs. Ad-Aware is not a pop-up blocker, so having Ad-Aware on your computer will not stop pop-ups that appear as you surf the net. However, it has the ability to remove the programs that generate those pop-ups even when you're not surfing the web. It also removes the applications that can cause your Internet access to go to inappropriate sites, changes your homepage, installs unwanted search toolbars, and also reduce/resolve many types of system crashes.
Microsoft Windows Defender is another product with extremely high detection rates and also offers a real-time protection service that stops spyware before it infects your system and can be scheduled to run protective scans periodically. It is highly recommended by CNS.
Several alternative spyware products are available and offer suitable protection, however, only the following are approved by CNS as being safe and effective:
More Anti-Virus Information
Online Virus and Malware Glossary (Securelist.com)