Beware of Computer Virus

by Annie Yu

During the last two months or so, the CSC Help Desk service has recorded a marked increase in the number of calls on virus problems and anti-virus related matters. Virus infection on computers has indeed become a big concern in the CityU community.

Many users on campus only heard how vicious computer viruses can be while other unfortunate ones had actually experienced the power of viruses and the damage they had caused on their computers. If precautions are not taken, one can easily become the victim of computer viruses. In order to control the situation, the Computing Services Centre (CSC) has installed protections on the central E-mail servers such that all incoming mail must first be scanned for possible viruses before reaching individual mailboxes. In the event of a virus/worm being identified in an attachment of an incoming mail, the message concerned will be returned to the sender, with the infected attachment being replaced by CSC's notification. Furthermore, so long as your computer is connected to the CityU Campus Network, you will be protected from virus attack because the CSC constantly upgrades the anti-virus software that is provided centrally for each and every machine on the network. To initiate this central protection, you must first of all install the software onto your computer by clicking the "Utilities & Tools" submenu on the Intranet home page followed by "Virus Scan (McAfee)". The software is upgraded regularly to straighten out even the newest strain of viruses.

Although the CSC had done its part, it is entirely up to the users whether they would take computer viruses seriously or not. It is strongly recommended that users should make use of what is already provided and the following is some general guidance on how to avoid being attacked by viruses:

  1. As good user practice, please ensure that the centrally provided anti-virus software is installed and reboot your PC daily to get the latest virus definition and engine. Besides, do not open any file or email attachment from unknown sources and remove any infected file/mail immediately once detected.

  2. Think carefully before un-installing the anti-virus software on your PC. Although activating the anti-virus program on your PC may slow down your computer, if you think about the amount of time that is required to restore your data and the damage inflicted should there be a virus attack, you will find a minor degradation in speed is a lot more tolerable than the potential consequences.

  3. Avoid enabling both file & print services and the sharing of your resources with others on the network on a permanent basis. It has been found that the virus named FunLove.4099 will scan through your shared resources (disk, directory, files, etc.) and attempt to infect them one by one if you happen to have your file & print services enabled.

  4. If your home PC is not protected from virus attack i.e. anti-virus software not installed, refrain from downloading programs from unknown sources and then bringing them back to work. This will minimise the chance of your office PC from getting infected.

As the holiday seasons are drawing near, people tend to send electronic greeting cards, pictures or even executable programs to one another. This offers yet another opportunity for viruses to spread around. Extra cautions must be taken during these high-risk periods. If your computer unfortunately gets infected, please contact our Help Desk at ext. 7658 without delay.