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October 1, 2004
Volume 42, No. 3

features

Spokesperson: UI employee speaks out, cycles for cancer cure
"It was 50 years ago today..." In the time of soda fourntains and polio, Iowa nabbed Willard Boyd
Campus employees try to balance politics, civility

news and briefs

News Briefs
Promotion and tenure information available online
Committee solicits input regarding general counsel
Salaries indicated as a major factor in faculty resignations
ITS: Campus computer security still a big concern
Poet wins Capote award
UI Press to bring out two works of winning fiction

September Longevity Awards

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Bulletin Board
Calendar
Deaths

Offices and Awards

Ph.D. Thesis Defenses

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TIAA Cref Unit Values

Learning and Development Courses

The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

ITS: Campus computer security still a big concern


 

With the fall semester under way, Information Technology Services (ITS) is sharing some “rules of the road” with the campus community regarding computer security.

Although the University-licensed desktop software Symantec Anti-Virus is now configured to automatically update itself for new virus protection every day, ITS offers additional protections including user awareness, stricter border controls, and new computer support tools.

“Some of the measures may seem inconvenient, but together they form a multiple-layer scheme that balances protection with usability to keep our information, our computer systems, and our identities safe,” says Jane Drews, IT security officer.

“User awareness” means never opening a file that’s attached to an e-mail unless you know the sender and are expecting the attachment; never clicking on any links in an unsolicited commercial e-mail; never believing official-looking e-mails from banks or other companies that say you must enter or confirm account or other personal information using a link sent in the message; always keeping the programs on your desktop up-to-date; and always knowing who provides support for your computer and how to reach him or her.

“Stricter border controls” refers to the fact that suspicious file attachments are automatically being stripped from e-mail messages coming in to the University. For example, file attachments with names that indicate they are “executable” are considered suspicious and are being removed to reduce the chance of new viruses and worms entering campus e-mail accounts. Additionally, programs are being developed to automatically discard e-mail rated at a “very high” probability of being spam. Users will have the option to choose the amount of spam they are comfortable receiving.

“New computer support tools” signifies that Windows desktop computers can be subscribed to the campus System Management Service by their department’s computer support personnel, so critical software updates can be distributed to their computer in an organized, efficient, and timely manner. Also, important configuration changes, such as turning on the Windows “firewall” (i.e., network protection program) or a Windows “pop-up blocker,” can be applied for you.

Some viruses, worms, and “bots” (a.k.a. robot attack programs) will spread to computers through the Internet without user interaction. ITS will continue to develop more protections to help keep campus computers and information safe.

 

Published by University Relations Publications. Copyright the University of Iowa 2003. All rights reserved.
   

 

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