There are plenty of great anti-virus software packages in the market. They check for known viruses by scanning your computer periodically. Most of them also check for viruses on incoming email.
An anti-virus program identifies viruses according to its virus signature file and takes appropriate actions to handle infected files based on user’s preference. Obviously, if the virus signature file is outdated, the anti-virus program may be totally ignorant of new viruses. As new viruses and variants of existing viruses appear every day, it is important to update the virus signature file and scan engine regularly by setting the scheduler of the anti-virus program.
CityU Campus PCs are already protected by McAfee VirusScan Enterprise Edition and updates will be pushed automatically through McAfee ePO agent.
Almost as often as new viruses are discovered, new software bugs or vulnerabilities are discovered in operating systems (for example, Windows), tools or applications (for example, web browser and email software) and other third party tools. Given that zero-day attack is not uncommon, keeping your computer patched against known vulnerabilities is essential. Unpatched vulnerabilities may be exploited by hackers to gain control of your computer.
Staying up to date can be difficult and therefore, some vendors (for example, Microsoft) have provided users with utilities to check for updates and notify them automatically. Other vendors allow users to join an email mailing list so that they can be notified of any new updates. If a vendor doesn’t offer any of these solutions, users may need to periodically visit the product’s support website to check for available new patches or updates.
For CityU Campus PCs, Microsoft critical updates will be pushed through Microsoft's WSUS automatically.
A simple password can be cracked in seconds while a complex password may take days or weeks to break. If you change your password regularly, you will make it harder for someone to use your password without your knowledge. All accounts in Windows must be modified to have a secure password.
A good password should contain
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Best practice for handling passwords
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that creates a protective barrier between your computer and potentially harmful content on the Internet. It helps you guard your computer against hackers and many computer viruses and worms. You are strongly recommended to install a firewall and turn it on before connecting to the network.
Windows includes the Internet Connection Firewall, which you can turn on by following these instructions:
The firewalls of CityU domain PCs are enabled automatically and controlled by Group Policy.
Don't run any unnecessary files sharing and network services on your computer. Every additional service you run offers opportunities for hackers to find security hole there. Followings are the services that you should disable as far as possible.
The 'File and Printer Sharing' service may allow hackers to access your files. You can disable it by following these instructions:
- Open Control Panels
- Click Network and Internet
- Click View network status and tasks
- Click Change adapter settings on the left side of the screen
- Right-click Local Area Connection and select Properties.
In the middle of the properties window, you will see the list of networking components used by this connection.
- If File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks is listed, uncheck the item and click OK. This change goes into effect immediately.
The 'Remote Registry' service allows hackers to modify your registry remotely. You can disable it by following these instructions:
The 'Internet Information Services (IIS)' and 'FTP' services, which you can remove by following these instructions:
The 'Remote Desktop' and 'Remote Assistance' services, which you can disable by following these instructions:
Email is indispensable to daily life. However, it is also the best channel to spread viruses and trap careless users. There are numerous topics to attract users to open malicious attachments or click on enclosed links. For example, after a holiday trip, you may expect greeting emails from your friends with attached photos for sharing. Research results show that computer users usually think warning messages are irritating and attempt to get rid of them immediately, resulting in thoughtlessly "OK" clicks.
As a responsible service provider, the CSC has deployed various tools to keep the incoming email clean and safe. However, users still need to take cautious steps to avoid opening emails from unknown senders. If an email is not from someone you know, you are recommended to simply delete it without reading it. If the email appears to be from someone you know, you should read the message carefully before opening any attached files or click on the links enclosed. Consider whether the person you know would really have written that message or forwarded you the attached file. If in doubt, contact that person you know to confirm before taking further action.
Free software, music, screensavers, file-sharing programs and even anti-virus programs often contain spyware. These spyware programs slow down your computer, cause pop-ups to appear and are generally undesirable. It is best not to download any program from unknown sites.
The Internet has become more turbulent and methods of attack could never be exhausted. Even if you follow all the above recommendations, your hard disk could simply fail due to normal wear and tear, making your data unable to recover. Therefore, it is important to backup your files periodically so that you can restore them when necessary. At the very minimum, you should backup your most important files by copying them to a flash drive, external hard drive, or a CD/DVD disk.
Data is a valuable asset that you may have spent countless hours to create. Obviously, it is worthwhile to make backups whenever possible. It only takes a little time and money to set up automatic full system backups that give you peace of mind and protection from data disasters. With full system backup, you can restore your data with just a few clicks. Backup software can help you to automate the process of making automatic full or incremental backups, and to restore just one deleted file or the entire drive. A good backup program will even allow you to store multiple versions of a file, so you can go back in time and restore a file to the way it was a day, a week or a month ago.
Detailed guidelines on backing up PC can be found at http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc/deptweb/support/guidelines/guideline_on_backing_up_pc.pdf
Please visit http://www.microsoft.com/protect/default.mspx for more information about firstname.lastname@example.org