JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Message from JSU's Academic Computing and Network Support Staff

JACKSONVILLE -- September 26, 2001 -- As most of you are aware, we have been feeling the effects of the latest Internet virus - Nimda. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you open attachments entitled readme.exe! We would like to stress that it is imperative that our users use extreme caution when it comes to opening attachments received in their e-mail programs. Virus infection within our network can hinder the productivity of employees and students.

We have sent the following text out before and would like to send this to you again as a reminder of basic things you can do, to do your part in protecting our network and data from computer viruses.

One of the most basic and effective options is to install virus-scanning software and keep it updated. JSU currently offers Norton Antivirus for installation on your JSU computer for a one-time fee of $6 per machine.

To keep the software current, our staff regularly updates the server with the latest antivirus definitions - making this an effective way to identify and remove e-mail viruses. This software also detects and removes viruses brought to your computer via any method (not just e-mail). If you are interested in having this software installed on your JSU computer, please contact Academic Computing and Network Support at extension 5381 for more information.

Another option deals with how to treat e-mail attachments. A very good prevention measure is not opening unexpected e-mail attachments, even if you know the sender. Most of the viruses are sent out to addresses contained in e-mail software address books. Because of this, the sender is often someone you know and has put your address in his or her address book. Because it comes from a friend or colleague does not make the attachment safe. Although we do have software that scans e-mails for viruses, it is possible that some occurrences of a newly released virus can enter our network because the virus software is not updated to catch it, i.e. the NIMDA Worm. Common sense is our only defense in this case. Possibly, the best prevention rule of thumb is - if you didn't expect it and don't need it, DELETE IT! Most e-mail attachment viruses cannot infect you computer unless you open them. In a very high percentage of cases, simply deleting these e-mail messages will not infect your computer.

While all of the options we have presented are not 100% effective, we feel that they will help prevent the spread of computer viruses across the JSU network. Prevention is of great importance due to the residual effects of downtime and possible data loss on computers that become infected. We appreciate you doing your part in preventing the spread of computer viruses at JSU.


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