Protect Your Computer

Before your computer is brought to CIS we recommend all students run the following programs. This is important because many viruses related to spyware and adware will be eliminated when these programs have been run.
If a student brings their computer to us and we find these programs have not been run, we will not accept the computer until they have done so.

Spybot Search & destroy:       http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:    http://www.malwarebytes.org/
Super Anti-Spyware:               www.superantispyware.com

 

To download programs not related to virus protection, see: Program Download Area

IMPORTANT:  Anti-virus software should be updated regularly and frequently! If possible, update your virus definitions daily. It only takes a few moments of your time, and it can save you a lot of headaches.
If you do not know how to update your software, please contact CIS and we will be happy to assist you.

 



How to Protect Your Computer:

There are a few steps you can take that will ensure your computer doesn't become victim to a virus or spyware.

 1. Install a good anti-virus program and make sure it is updated regularly. (See Virus Protection Programs)

2. Run Windows Updates to make sure you have the latest security vulnerability fixes. (See Patches and Updates For Windows)

3. Install an anti-spyware program to clean up any adware and malware. (See Spyware Removal Programs)


Virus Protection Programs

FREE Anti-Virus programs. There is no excuse not to have one installed on your computer.

AVG Anti-Virus Program free software and updates for use on personal computers. If you do not have anti-virus software installed, please take the time to download and install.

McAfee Anti-Virus Program provided free to students via the http://software.tamu.edu website.
Login with NetID and Password, order it and they will email it to you for FREE.
           
           TIP ** When running virus scans start your computer in SAFE MODE (Press F8 after powering up computer). **

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Virus Removal Information

Virus Removal Tools
Symantec Virus Removal Tools A searchable list of viruses and the tools to remove them.
McAfee Virus Removal Tools                
Stinger Removal Tool Detects and removes the Sasser worm and many different variants of other recent viruses.           

Virus Information Library Symantec - Latest virus threats and advisories

Virus Glossary Common terms and definitions

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Spyware Removal Programs


What is Spyware?
Spyware is Advertising Supported software (Adware). It is a way for shareware authors to make money from a product, other than by selling it to the users. There are several large media companies that pay to place banner ads about their products on a website or when a link is clicked on. While this may be a great concept, the downside is that the advertising companies also install additional tracking software on your system, which reports to them about your internet usage.

Signs your computer is infected with spyware:

  • You see pop-up ads all the time.
  • Your settings have changed and you can't change them back to the way they were.
  • Your Web browser contains additional components that you didn't download.
  • Your computer seems sluggish.
  • You have extra icons in your Start bar.
  • New toolbars appear in your web browser.
  • When you type in a web address you get redirected to a different site.
  • You get bombarded with junk email.
  • Legitimate software on your computer stops working.
  • Your internet connection stops working.

If you notice a sudden increase in the number of times a certain program crashes, or if your computer is slower than normal at performing routine tasks, you may have spyware or other unwanted software on your machine.

Be Wary Of Fake Anti-Spyware Software
You may stumble upon some other antispyware applications but be weary of them, some of them will actually infect your computer instead of clean it. Other ways to combat spyware are to use internet browsers such as Firefox, which can be downloaded at mozilla.org, or by using the Google toolbar for Internet Explorer. The best way to avoid spyware is to steer clear of known spyware applications such as:
180 Search Assistant, BonziBuddy, Hotbar, RealVNC, CoolWebSearch, Go!Zilla, Gator, IMesh, IE Plugin, Shop At Home, Zazaa,
WildTangent, Zlob.

How Can I protect My Computer From Spyware?
Follow these basic steps to ensure you keep your machine clean.

To Minimize The Possibility Of Spyware Infection:

  • Download software from trusted sources only. No software distributed by Texas A&M Galveston CIS is advertising-supported
  • Read license agreements for software, carefully looking for references to other third-party software that will also be installed
  • Keep your system up to date with security patches.
  • As some spyware interferes specifically with Internet Explorer and leaves other web browsers alone, you can use an alternative web browser such as Firefox (Firefox can be downloaded from the Mozilla website)
  • Don't click on links in pop-up ads or spam emails
  • Distinguish between genuine search results and paid advertisements or sponsored links in search engines - Google, for example, makes it clear which is which
  • Don't click links on any sites you visit by accident (Type of sites which register a name very similar to a popular site)

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Recommended Software

You should scan your PC with all of the below anti-spyware / malware programs. Once the program is installed, turn off your System Restore (Right Click "My Computer", System Restore Tab and restart the PC in Safe Mode (Press F8 after power up).

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: Visit www.malwarebytes.org

Super Anti-Spyware:  Visit www.superantispyware.com

Ad-Aware: Visit http://www.lavasoft.com/ for a FREE version of the program.
Note: This version is for use by students, faculty and staff on personally owned computers NOT university computers.

SpyBot: Visit http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html  for a FREE version of the program
                
TIP ** When running spyware scans start your computer in SAFE MODE (Press F8 after powering up computer). **

The most important thing is that you have anti-spyware software installed and ensure that it is automatically updated. However, remember that no anti-spyware program currently detects all spyware, so you need to remain vigilant. The following information should be of use in spotting and/ or preventing future spyware infection.

 Service Packs For Windows

 Running Windows Updates
Running windows update or setting up your computer to download updates automatically can help protect your computer from any Microsoft Windows Vulnerabilities.

 To Run Windows Update Manually (Windows XP and Vista):

Start > All Programs > Windows Update

 To Set Up Automatic Updates (Windows XP and Vista):

Start > Right Click on "My Computer" > Select and click on "Properties" > Click on the "Automatic Updates" Tab

You have 3 Options:

                             1. Automatic (Recommended) - updates will be downloaded and installed everyday

                             2. Download Updates but let me choose when to install them

                             3. Notify me of available updates but don't download or automatically install them

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Service Packs For Windows


Running Windows Updates
Running windows update or setting up your computer to download updates automatically can help protect your computer from any Microsoft Windows Vulnerabilities.

 To Run Windows Update Manually (Windows XP and Vista):

Start > All Programs > Windows Update

 To Set Up Automatic Updates (Windows XP and Vista):

Start > Right Click on "My Computer" > Select and click on "Properties" > Click on the "Automatic Updates" Tab

You have 3 Options:

1. Automatic (Recommended) - updates will be downloaded and installed everyday

2. Download Updates but let me choose when to install them

3. Notify me of available updates but don't download or automatically install them


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