Keeping Intruders Out of Your Computer
Computer viruses and worms can cause you to lose information and access to your computer. E-mail containing a virus program may even look like it comes from someone you know, such as a close friend or a co-worker. By knowing the facts and using the tools available, you can help prevent viruses and worms.
Computer Viruses and Worms
What Is a Computer Virus or Worm?
Viruses and worms are mini computer programs that may arrive innocently in an e-mail attachment but can be destructive to your computer. Viruses may hide in a computer's program or system files and then wait to do their damage at a particular date or time. Computer viruses often look like something they are not, such as a picture, a screen saver or even a Web link.
Worms are software components that are capable of infecting a computer and then using that computer to infect another computer via the Internet. The cycle is repeated, and the population of worm-infected computers grows rapidly. Worms differ from viruses because of their ability to continue growing under their own power and to spread very quickly without assistance from another program.
If you are WGSD staff member, you have access to anti-virus software, which helps protect against worms and viruses.
WGSD Internet Safety / Security Tips* Use great care when "surfing the web." Don't give out your primary e-mail address unless you absolutely have to. When filling out web forms, look out for check boxes where you might be agreeing that you want e-mail solicitations from that site or related ones. Be careful in using your e-mail address in chat rooms, bulletin boards, ect.
* The magic word is: DELETE! Delete unwanted e-mail. If you do not recognize the sender of the e-mail you should likely delete the message, especially if the subject line contains something you do not want or are unfamiliar with. You should also be wary of any email that contains an attachment, especially if you are unfamiliar with the sender. Do not execute attachments from unknown persons. Do not execute attachments, even from known users, unless you are expecting one or have verified there should be one.
* Please don't forward/resend chain letters or hoaxes. Addresses are frequently collected from these letters and added into spammers' data bases. If a message looks pretty weird ("new virus will surely blow up your computer! Warn everyone you know!" or "Cute little girl kidnapped by dog pack!"), try to confirm its contents before passing it along to thirty friends. You can always check to see if something is real or a hoax by going to various websites that monitor the veracity of such e-mail. A couple of those sites arehttp://www.snopes.com OR http://www.urbanlegends.com
* DO NOT try to unsubscribe. Many times there will be a link at the bottom of an unwanted e-mail that tells you to 'click here to unsubscribe.' This is often an attempt by the spammer to validate your e-mail address. If you actually use the link, it will likely tell the spammer that your address if valid and they can send more spam to you.
* Please be aware that if you are receiving email that is embarrassing or obscene that it most likely doesn't reflect on you or your computer usage. Some people are afraid that they will "get in trouble" for simply receiving such email. There is so much of this type of e-mail being sent out world wide that everyone in the district has received or will receive e-mail of this type at some time. Just follow the guidelines contained in this e-mail and know that we are doing our best to block all of this type of e-mail.
* Use floppy disks, CDs, and flash drives with caution. Those that are used on multiple computers can be a virus risk.
* Back up your data regularly. In the event that a virus does infect your computer, this will prevent losing information.