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Frequently Asked Questions on Secure Computing

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Q. What were all those strange email messages I received recently? Some looked like they were from people I knew but made no sense, and others told me I had a virus even though I didn't. Then we get messages about updating our computers. What was going on?

A. Unfortunately, many of us on campus were painfully aware of the viruses infecting computers around the world during the first weeks of the fall term. Most received virus-sent emails and some had their own computers infected. The Networking and Distributed Services staff (NDS) made the removal of the viruses their top priority, and worked diligently with other technology staff members to clear up the problem.
Those who send emails containing viruses count on our natural curiosity to aid in their efforts to infect computers. Most viruses sent by email will not impact your computer unless the attachment is opened, so always use caution with attachments that you were not expecting. More on viruses can be found in the Norton Antivirus document at
Because new viruses require new virus protection, the Security Task Unit sent out a university-wide email a few weeks ago asking that everybody install Symantec AntiVirus and run Windows Update.  If you have not already done so, please install these essential updates on all of the computers in your offices as soon as possible.  Please note that this applies to Microsoft Windows PC's only.

If you have questions or concerns about computer security, please contact the Help Desk at x4357 or the Security Task Unit at

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