November 17, 2012
Information Technology Services

Avoid Viruses by Keeping Work, Home Computers Updated

SLU has been the target of several virus attacks and phishing attempts in the past few weeks, and a virus has been detected on some SLU machines.

The easiest ways for the viruses to infiltrate is through applications and operating systems that are not up-to-date with security patches and system updates. The Federal Trade Commission provides additional information and helpful videos about viruses and how to protect computers from Malware.

When a computer becomes infected or e-mail account hacked, there is the possibility that access to applications, bank accounts, social media accounts, and  personal identity are compromised.

Security patches and application updates are pushed out to all ITS managed computers. It is essential that everyone at SLU make sure they are running the updates and restarting their computers on a weekly basis to ensure the patches are being applied.

It is equally as important for the SLU community to make sure their home computers and laptops are up-to-date with updated anti-virus software, security patches and application updates. ITS provides free anti-virus software on the Software Downloads page, as well as steps for installing the software.

As a continued reminder, fraudsters who send out viruses and phishing attempts have become skilled enough to send e-mails from addresses or appear as legitimate businesses. Customers must be wary of e-mails with unexpected, unrelated messages, links, or attachments from any address.

The best thing customers can do if they unexpectedly receive an e-mail with a link or PDF attachment not referenced in the message from a familiar person or business that doesn't normally send links or attachments is to call the sender and confirm whether or not the e-mail is legitimate. Any e-mails from unfamiliar people or businesses asking for passwords, personal information or payments should be considered a phishing attempt and deleted. Additionally, be aware that fraudsters may try to obtain personal information or money by posing as a job opportunity.

Report suspicious e-mails to the Information Security Team at

More information about how to avoid phishing scams can be found on the ITS website. For more information specifically about job scams, visit the Career Services website.

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