Though Georgia Tech Information Security works diligently to protect end users on our network from various attacks it does not mean your machine is 100% protected from infection. The more layers of security that YOU provide for your machine the more you protect it from compromise and infection.
Georgia Tech's Information Security team is dedicated to protecting Georgia Tech users and resources from potential attacks. This information will provide users with the resources necessary to secure themselves and their computers and help provide a safe computing environment.
Change Your Password Frequently
Just as you are required to change your Georgia Tech password every 120 days, a good security practice to get in to is to change the login password on your machine(s) frequently as well.
To better protect your machine, data and personal information, it is best that you get in to the habit of changing your machine's login password in order to ensure the security of your device. If your password were not changed on a regular basis, your familiarity with your password would eventually lead to it's compromise.
Once another person(s) has acquired your password, they can use your machine. They can even use your your machine as a host or a bridge to attack other machines. If they use your machine to attack other machines, it will look like YOU attacked that machine and the authorities will come looking for YOU!
OIT recommends Microsoft Security Essentials for their virus protection for Windows machines (If you are running Windows 8, you do not need to install any virus scan software, Security Essentials is pre-installed).
You can download the software free of charge from here.
If you are using a Mac, OIT recommends Sophos. You can download it free of charge from here.
"Malware" is short for malicious software. It is a software that can include viruses, worms, Trojans, Spyware and Ad-ware. You can infect your machine in a number of ways by:
- Clicking on false links, particularly within an email.
- Frequenting "Adult Oriented" websites.
- Using "peer-to-peer" programs for file sharing of copyrighted music and videos.
- Clicking on "Click here to protect your computer" type popups.
- Outdated Virus/Malware utilities.
To help protect your machine, make sure you have a current, up to date Virus/Malware protection software on you computer such as Microsoft Security Essentials. You can also provide an added layer of security by downloading a third party Malware detection/removal utility. For more information on that, please feel free to stop by our office or give us a call at 404-894-7173.
Make sure your local firewall is turned on and working
In computing terms, a firewall is a program that prevents unauthorized access in to your machine without blocking the input/output of legitimate traffic. In a sense, think of it as a gate to get in to a parking lot. If you are allowed to park in that parking structure, the gate will lift to let you in. If you are not allowed to park there then it will not let you in. A firewall works the same way. It's sole purpose is to allow the free flow of "good" data packets to and from your machine while keeping out the "bad". Most operating systems have built in firewalls that requier little to no configuration on your part. If you are not aware of how to turn this feature on for your machine you can visit our FAQ page, stop by our office located on the 2nd floor of the Clough Commons Center, or call us at 404-894-7173.
I got an email saying "I need to click here to keep my account from being deleted!". What should I do to keep it from being deleted?
The email you received is not a legitimate email from OIT and is a Phishing message designed to capture your login credentials if you click on the link and fill out the information they are requesting. The link, which is not a legitimate Georgia Tech site, will most likely compromise your account or infect the machine you are on if you click on it. Please delete the email immediately!
If you did click on the link and/or filled out ANY personal information please contact us IMMEDIATELY!
OIT WILL NEVER, EVER, EVER SEND YOU AN EMAIL WITH A LINK REQUESTING THAT YOU TYPE IN YOUR PERSONAL ACCOUNT INFORMATION!!!