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ISSUE 118 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/24/2004

Viruses clog helpdesk

By Michael Williamson
Contributing Writer


Friday, September 24, 2004

The Information and Instructional Technologies (IIT) helpdesk is swamped this year because increased enforcement of networking policies has disconnected numerous students from their access to the campus network and the Internet.

Staff at IIT insist that their disconnection policy remains the same as last year, but do admit they are more vocal about the policy due to the high number of infected machines coming to campus.

You are hearing more about the disconnection policy because the number of infected machines is so high," IIT Director Roberta Lembke said.

So far, over 200 students have found their jacks disconnected because IIT determined their machines to be infected.

Though the reconnection process may seem arduous, especially for computer novices, IIT believes the new procedures will help eliminate the harm numerous computer viruses, worms, and spyware.

Spyware is software downloaded onto a computer, often without the owners knowledge. Spyware often contains viruses or a deluge of pop-up advertisements. These programs pose major problems to the campus-wide network.

IIT reasons that if it can stamp out most of the problems now and require students to download anti-virus software, it will be able to avoid problems in the future.

Students may obtain CDs with anti-virus software from the college at their residence hall front desks or directly from the helpdesk. These CDs contain a wealth of other useful information and programs that will help to safeguard computers from other problems as well.

Never open an attachment from someone you dont know or open attachment that you arent expecting, Lembke advised.

Lembke also emphasized protecting computers from system viruses and spyware.

"We have been recommending that students download and install a spyware protection software program such as Spybot Search and Destroy or Adaware," Lembke said.

Once installed, users need to run a complete scan of their computer for the software to be effective.

Lembke recommended scanning for spyware at least once a month, if not more.

Skip Napier 06 found his computer disconnected due to a virus infection after he plugged his cable into his Ytterboe room.

Its just something that has to be done, Napier said. I dont want to cause others to get disconnected by viruses I accidentally send. Also, in the future, I dont want others to infect me.

Though the virus problem on campus has created many headaches for students and employees of IIT, Lembke stressed the many technological enhancements the department made over the summer, including Moodle and a wireless network.

Lembke also noted the addition of a new computer and video lab in Rolvaag library, an increase in e-mail and web-page quotas and an additional public printing paper allowance.





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