Some malware is very innocent and benign; others are very destructive. Some will slow your system to a crawl, making it obvious something is wrong. Others lay in the shadows, logging your every keystroke, sending a record of everything you type to servers and other compromised machines. Some malware infection happens immediately, others lay in wait for a specific day or trigger to do their dirty work. Still others have the ability to 'mutate,' or change what they do and how they spread. When it comes to the havoc that malicious code or "malware" creates, Yuck! is an understatement!
Scary, isn't it! By simply connecting your computer to the Internet (or campus network), it is targeted by malicious computers. Please be advised, alerted, forewarned and very, very, strongly cautioned, that plugging an unpatched, unprotected system into the network will increase the probability that your computer will be hit with a virus to 100%! In other words, if you connect an unprotected system to the network it WILL get a virus.
Today's Greatest Virus Threat Comes from Unprotected Computers
SPU is not immune to viruses and other malware transmitted via e-mail and the Internet. If you are bringing a computer to the SPU network, it is imperative that you follow the device health steps outlined on the Connecting Personal Devices page.
The Second Greatest Threat: Ignorance
Many of the current malware exploits seek to get past security technology defenses by fooling users: what is commonly referred to as "Social Engineering." The art so social engineering takes advantage of the inherent trust that we hold for each other, and our desires to be helpful and liked. Social engineers take advantage of our openness and curiosity. And that's where they get us, because no matter how good the technology is, a careless user can easily be led to bypass inherent controls; seduced into executing malicious code, if you will.
Simply put: when you are accessing resources via a network:
Through a combination of up-to-date technology and sound user-practice, our defenses to prevent malware are formidable. Exercising good judgment in this regard could potentially save you and the University considerable resources and headache!