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Office of Information Security

Office of Information Security

Frequently Asked Questions


Why should I use anti-virus software?

Antivirus software protects your computer from viruses. Viruses self replicate and easily spread to other computers in the network.

All CSU computers run McAfee antivirus software. The software automatically updates itself on a daily basis, easing the burden on the user.

It is important for home users to make sure they have current antivirus software.



Why should I backup my files?

Back up your files for your own protection. If backed up, your important files can be recovered if they are accidentally deleted, become corrupted, or are lost in a system crash.

CSU backs up all files stored on file servers (H: drive, P: drive, etc.). Users are responsible for backing up files stored on their C: drives.

Users may backup to floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, etc.



How do I know if my computer is compromised?

If you notice any of the following, your computer may be compromised:

  • Your computer is running slower than usual.
  • You receive lots of pop up windows.
  • There are new toolbars in the browser.
  • Your browser settings have changed (i.e. different home page).

Users who suspect that their CSU computer is compromised should submit a eQuest request.



Why should I apply critical updates?

Applying critical updates, or patching, on a regular basis protects your computer from new vulnerabilities that are discovered every day. CSU computers are protected. Home users may activate the Automatic Update feature as follows:

  1. Go to Control Panel.

  2. Double click on Automatic Updates.

  3. Select “Automatic” then click OK. Your computer will now update itself when new patches become available.



Why shouldn't I open suspicious e-mail attachments?

Never open suspicious attachments because they may contain malicious programs like viruses, Trojan horses or worms.

Only open attachments if you are expecting them and know the sender.




Why is a firewall and why should I enable it?

A Firewall is a device that inspects traffic between the Internet and a private computer system. Suspicious packets or traffic are dropped by the firewall and are prevented from entering or leaving the network. Activate the Firewall to make your computer less vulnerable to attacks from viruses, Trojan horses and worms.

Note: CSU has already enabled the windows firewall on university-owned computers.
For the home user:

  1. go to Control Panel.

  2. go to Security Center or directly to Windows Firewall.

  3. Click the “on” button to enable the firewall.



Why is disabling the Guest account a good idea?

Disable the Guest account so that unauthorized users don't have easy access to your computer.

Note: As shown in the screen shot above CSU has already disabled the Guest Account on university-owned computers.

For home users:

  1. Go to Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Select Administrative Tools then Computer Management.

  3. Select Local Users and Groups then Users.

  4. Click on Guest and then check the checkbox Account is Disabled.



Why should I be cautious of downloading from the Internet?

You should be cautious of Internet downloads because these downloads may contain malicious programs like spyware, viruses or Trojan horses that can infect your computer without your permission or knowledge.

Only download from trusted sources.



How can I protect my identity on the Internet?

Protect your identity on the Internet in the following ways:

  1. Never put personal information such as pictures of yourself, where you live, go to school, or hang out, on your personal website. Predators can use this information to steal your identity or physically harm you.

  2. Never put personal information such as credit card or social security numbers on other websites unless you see the lock in the lower right corner.

  3. Never respond to e-mail messages attempting to "phish" for your information. Legitimate companies will never ask you to verify your information this way!



What is the best way to manage my passwords?

Good Password Policies:

  • Passwords should be at least 6-8 characters. The more lengthy the password is, the more difficult it will be for a hacker to guess.

  • Passwords should be alphanumeric, i.e. a combination of letters and numbers.

  • Passwords should Include special characters, like punctuation marks, in between the alphanumeric characters.

  • Passwords should never be common words found in the dictionary.

  • Password should be changed frequently. CSU requires student password changes every 60 days and faculty/staff changes every 45 days.

Password “Don'ts”

  • Never use the same password for more than one account.

  • Never tell anyone your password, not even security or systems personnel.

  • Never send passwords through e-mail.

  • Never write your password down where someone might discover it.

  • Never throw a written password in the trash. A dumpster diver may discover it.



Why is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software such as Morpheus and Kazaa dangerous?

You shouldn't use Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software because:

  • Downloaded files could contain viruses, worms, or Trojan horses that can wreak havoc on your computer and the network.

  • Sharing copyrighted materials is illegal and copyright owners are going after offenders.

  • Downloading files uses a large amount of bandwidth and can cause network slowdowns and outages.



What data is considered "sensitive"?

Sensitive data is any information that through loss, theft, unauthorized access, or modification could adversely affect the confidentiality and privacy of the individuals.

Examples of sensitive data include social security numbers, student records, credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, bank account numbers, etc.



Why should I shut down my computer when I'm not using it?

Shutting down your computer is an important step in safeguarding against unauthorized access. Not even an expert hacker can hack a powered down computer!

In addition, shutting down closes programs properly and keeps you from losing data.



What is Spam and what should I do with it?

Spam is unexpected and unwanted "junk" e-mail.

The best thing to do with spam is just delete it. Many spam e-mail messages are carriers of malicious software like Trojan horses, viruses, or worms.

Never reply to spam e-mail. A reply lets the sender know that your e-mail address is valid.