Digital Citizenship

Your Computer

It is your responsibility to protect your computer. No one else can do it for you. As your browse the Internet you are at risk from a variety of sources including malware, adware, spyware, worms, Trojans and viruses.

  • Malware is a malicious software program or file that is designed to damage or disrupt a system.
  • Adware is a form of Malware normally consisting of 'pop-ups' and other advertisements
  • Spyware is software that secretly gathers information about you while you browse the web
  • A worm is a self-replicating computer program that uses a network to send copies of itself to other computers
  • A virus is a secret piece of code that corrupts or destroys data
  • A Trojan horse is a malicious program that is disguised as legitimate software

If you don't protect your computer, you will get a virus. New viruses are created daily. Viruses are always a threat especially on college campuses where so many students are connected to one network.  No one but you can protect your computer.  New computers are just as much at risk as older machines.

You need to protect your computer by:

  • Installing antivirus software on your computer
  • Setting your antivirus software to automatically update
  • Regularly patching your computer’s operating system by turning on the automatic update feature.
  • Installing anti-spyware software on your computer like Spybot
  • Only downloading software from reliable sources.
  • Never opening an unknown email file attachment.
  • Deleting suspicious emails.

Protect your computer with spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall, and keep them up to date. A spam filter can help reduce the number of phishing emails you get. Anti-virus software scans incoming email messages for troublesome files, and anti-spyware software  looks for programs that have been installed on your computer without your knowledge. Firewalls prevent hackers from entering your computer, which is especially important if you have a high speed internet connection because your computer is always connected to the Internet.

Antivirus software

Antivirus software is a computer program designed to detect and respond to malicious software. Ithaca College recommends that all students, faculty and staff install virus protection on their personal laptops and have it configured to automatically updates.  Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program available to Windows users.  MacScan and ClamXav are good options for the Macs.