Information Technology Services

Cyber Security

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

President Obama continues the efforts on Cyber Security and has released a video explaining the importance of cybersecurity and strategies you can take to protect yourself online. Click here to view.

In addition, you can view Secretary Napolitano webcast on securing America against the threat of cyber attack by clicking here.

ITS would like to present some of the most important aspects of keeping both your work and your personal computers safe and secure.

Antivirus Updates & #8211; An out of date antivirus program is about as useful as a Clark phone directory from 1997. Times change, and so do viruses. Your Clark computer should have McAfee antivirus installed. You can make sure it's up-to-date by right-clicking the V-Shield at the bottom right side of your Windows computer and choosing Update Now. On an Apple computer you would look for VirusScan in the applications folder and launch the program. You can then click the "e-update" icon.

Keep Your Computer up to Date & #8211; Keeping your operating system up to date is just about as important as patching holes in a leaky roof. As new security threats are discovered, Microsoft and Apple work hard to update their software to keep you safe. Windows machines should be restarted at least once a day and left at the logon prompt when you go home to ensure that any updates Clark is pushing out are applied. Apple users should got to their Apple menu and choose Software Update.

Spyware Prevention & #8211; It is important to be aware of spyware. It can cause your computer to run slowly and even stop working. Spyware can be hard to remove and is a very complex issue. The best way to fix spyware is to avoid getting it in the first place. Don't open attachments you are not expecting, especially if it's from an unknown source. Be careful when you download, often what you think you want may come with a lot of stuff you don't want. You can download, install, and run Safer Networking Ltd.'s Spybot Search & Destroy on a Windows computer. This is a freeware program that will help prevent, detect, and remove spyware.

Strong Passwords & #8211; Your Clark Account password is like a key. It unlocks access to your accounts, but also the Clark network. Clark requires a strong password that is at least 8 characters long, contains at least 3 of the 4 following characteristics; uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. This password cannot have words found in the English dictionary, (e.g. one, rose, and it cannot contain part of your name or username). As an added security measure, you cannot reuse one of your last five passwords.

If you have not changed your password in the last year, ITS strongly recommends that you change it as soon as possible. You can do this by going to: https://biscuits.clarku.edu/PasswordChange/.

Physical Security & #8211; Computers, especially laptops, are still very much physical devices that can easily be stolen and result in lots of problems for the University and the end user. As such, you should always take measures to ensure your valuable piece of equipment is kept safe from physical threats such as theft. We recommend that University laptops be anchored with security cables; if you would like to purchase one for a laptop, or other device, please email helpdesk@clarku.edu with the Clark Asset Tag number on the bottom or back of your computer and someone will be in touch with our current solutions.

SPAM & #8211; SPAM is often more of a nuisance than a security threat. However, things like Phishing scams can make their way to your inbox as SPAM. Clark provides a robust and powerful SPAM filter you can use to protect your Clark email account. Please visit http://www.clarku.edu/its/spam for more information.

If you ever have questions or concerns about any aspects of Cyber Security the Help Desk stands ready to assist you. We can be reached at: 508-793-7745 or helpdesk@clarku.edu.