IT Services

Security

Keep up to date with the latest security alerts and take sensible precautions to keep your computers and other devices running safely and efficiently.

Fraud emails

Beware of fraud emails! If you receive an unsolicited email asking you to confirm your personal details, open an attachment or login to a website, don't respond.

By replying to the message or logging in to the hacker's site, you will be giving them access to your accounts. Falling for a trick like this can lead to a huge amount of disruption. Your email account might be hijacked to send large volumes of spam, or your login details used to get access to more sensitive data. Opening an email attachment with malware can put your computer out of action.

  • Stop and think
    The best defence is to think before you do anything. Does it seem right to you?
  • Be suspicious
    Don't reply to an email if you don't know who the sender is.
  • Don't click the link
    If you think the email might be from a genuine source, such as your bank, open a web browser and type the address of their site yourself rather than following a link that could be redirected.
  • Don't open attachments
    They may not be what they seem. If you don't know what it is and who it's from, don't open it.

Keeping your own Windows PC secure

Security software

If you have your own Windows PC, you must have security software. Windows 10 has a built-in program called Windows Defender which provides a basic level of protection, but you should also consider investing in a program which will give you better security.

If you use an earlier version of Windows, you will need to install a security program. At the very least, you should install one of the free services:

Avast logo

Avast! (free antivirus) blocks viruses and spyware.

AVG logo

AVG Antivirus (free edition) gives good protection against viruses and malware.

MSE logo

Microsoft Security Essentials offers a basic level of protection against viruses and other malicious software.

Keep up to date

Use the built-in Action Center on Windows to keep your PC up to date.

  • From the Control Panel, choose System and Security and then Action Center

The Action Center page shows the current status of your PC and alerts you to any tasks which need to be completed.

screenshot of the Action Center in Windows 7

Keeping your Mac secure

An increasing number of threats are affecting Apple computers and Mac users can also unwittingly pass infections on to colleagues and friends. See the Apple security page for advice on staying safe.

If you have a personally-owned Mac, you should also consider a professional antivirus product - there are several free services available, including software provided by Avast, Sophos and AVG.


Staff and cluster room PCs

We manage the security of staff desktops and student PCs centrally. Staff do not need to update office PCs that are managed by IT Services. See also:


Threats

Programs and files that might be harmful to your computer are collectively known as malware and include:

  • viruses and worms - computer programs that multiply by making copies of themselves
  • spyware - software that monitors activity on your computer and may be used to collect personal information
  • document malware - files such as Excel documents or PDF files which contain a malicious script that can give access to to your computer
  • trojan horses - or simply "trojans", these are programs that are advertised as one thing, for example a screensaver or a slide show, but once installed, perform unwelcome operations

See also

Information security
Policies and guidance on how information is managed at Sussex

Housekeeping
Information on how to keep your PC well-maintained

Passwords
Our guide to choosing and using passwords

Computing accounts
Frequently asked questions about computing accounts at Sussex

My ITS account
Login to change your password and set email options

Updated on 29 September 2017