In Addition to Antivirus Software

Last Updated: 05/19/2016


Antivirus software is reactive; safe computing is proactive protection.

This means that your computer will have protection after a new virus or worm begins making its way across the Internet. The safe computing practices below can help you stay protected before the latest virus or worm appears.

  • Be suspicious of attachments and unexpected email messages
  • Use antivirus software to scan anything that you receive in your email
  • True company-based emails never send attachments
  • Make sure the link actually goes to the site you're interested in & not a spoofed one!
  • Be careful about clicking on embedded web links in email
  • Be cautious about web sites you visit
  • Enable your computer's firewall (a feature included with Windows XP Professional software)
  • Don't enter sensitive information on a site you don't trust
  • Make sure online transactions are actually secure (look for the lock on the bottom right of your browser window)
  • Don't just click on a link, copy it into your web browser and open it that way - that even includes OIT links in the emails we send!
  • Don't click on pop-ups or ads
  • Be wary of emails asking for personal or financial information
  • Use VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • Keep your operating system and antivirus software up to date
  • Don't let your browser be "helpful" by allowing auto fill-out of forms
  • Use common sense. If it sounds weird or too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Be wary of unsolicited technical advice
  • Remember, email messages shouldn't be considered secure. Because email can be forwarded to anyone, consider the messages you send public information
  • Always remember to log-off when connecting to secure web sites such as CULink or Desire2Learn. If you do not, the next user of the computer may have access to your data
  • Public computers may not always be securely configured and pose a threat to your privacy by storing your password or web cookies. Think twice about going to a secure site if you can not verify the security of the computer