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Cyber Security Basics

What are some of the things I should do to make my personal computer more secure?

The four core computer security practices are:

  1. Ensure you have anti-virus and anti-spam programs and keep them enabled and up-to-date. As a student, these are provided to you at no cost on Ursa’s "My Account" tab.
  2. Ensure that your computer’s built-in firewall is enabled and up-to-date.
  3. Enable auto-updates for your computer’s operating system.
  4. When you receive notifications regarding updates available for installed, reputable programs, review them and apply as needed.

How do computers get a virus?

There are many ways to get infected with malicious software (also called malware) on a computer. Some of the more common ways include:

  • Obtaining free copyrighted music, movies, games, software, etc. This is known as peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, or pirating. Not only does it carry the risk of ending up with malware, it may also carry with it legal implications. Refer to the University Regulations (Article 9) for more information.
  • Visiting questionable websites.
  • Clicking on attachments or links in email.
  • Clicking on false ads claiming to have identified malware on your PC.

What does UNC do to help protect my computer from malicious software?

In addition to providing awareness training opportunities, the University uses several technologies to assist in protecting campus computers from malicious programs. The computing network is also monitored for computers which may have fallen victim to an infection. If a computer on campus is found to likely be infected with malicious software, the owner must take appropriate actions to clean the computer promptly, or the computer may be temporarily blocked from accessing the computing network. In cases where the malware carries with it severe consequences, a computer may be immediately removed from the network at the University’s discretion. Network access is granted upon the University’s confirmation that the infection no longer exists.

Is this all that I need to know about using the University’s computing network?

No, these are just a few of the major topics you should be familiar with. However, it is the University’s expectation that students read and adhere to all policies, regulations, guidelines, etc. regarding computing at the University. Here are links to some of the policies, regulations, and guidelines: