DISCLAIMER: Information provided on this page has been tested in multiple scenarios with various hardware. However, no solution is perfect for all situations and all computers. Please make sure that you keep a current backup of your PC and data prior to making any modifications. Additionally, Richard Bland College Information Technology Services assumes no responsibility for individual's home computer systems. Should you encounter a problem with your home computer, consult your manufacturer for support.
First steps to a secure PC:
Make sure that your PC is running the latest virus scanning files. For your RBC PC, click here for step-by-step instructions on updating your "dats"!:
Current dat files are accessible from on campus: Dat Files
Make sure that your PC (home or RBC) has the latest Microsoft Critical updates installed.
Click here: http://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.asp
Not sure if your PC is "safe"? Stinger is an excellent application to check your PC. Click here and follow the instructions to download and run Stinger:
Most of you have received phishing emails requesting personal or account information. These emails are great pretenders, claiming to be from SouthTrust, SunTrust, Washington Mutual, Citibank or some other official institution. Never give out personal information- most financial institutions have information posted on their websites regarding fraudulent emails like these so be sure to check them out.
Protect you personal and financial information by making sure you stay informed. Phishing attacks use 'spoofed' e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince up to 5% of recipients to respond to them.
A link to the Anti-Phishing Working Group:
(This website includes info on phishing attacks and you can see examples of phishing emails.)
A link to a Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection:
Spyware and Adware!
Protect your computer from Spyware and Adware! These programs are sometimes installed along with free programs such as music sharing, screen savers, and other similar applications. Additionally, spyware can end up on your computer if you accidentally click the wrong button on a pop-up. The applications can track your internet movements, steal your passwords, inundate your PC with pop up ads and web browser bars. They also rob your PC of performance capability and will eventually grind your PC to a screeching halt!
Of course, it is always better to PREVENT the installation of these programs than it is to recover from it! Make sure you install all Microsoft Critical updates and patches (see link above). Be very careful and selective when downloading programs.There are many applications that have proven helpful in detecting and removing Spyware. Here are just a few:
Spy Sweeper: http://www.webroot.com
Security VIDEO from VITA -Virginia Information Technology Agency
For a humorous but accurate and useful primer on computer security for the average user, view:
The DUHS of Security
Make sure that you are familiar with all policies and procedures!
Richard Bland College Acceptable Computer Use Policy : http://www.rbc.edu/PDFS/acceptablecomputerusepolicy.pdf
Richard Bland College Employee Computer Use Policy: http://www.rbc.edu/PDFS/empusepolicy.pdf
Richard Bland College Email Policy: http://www.rbc.edu/PDFS/emailpolicy.pdf
revised: May 18, 2009
Return to Top