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Securing Your Computer

It’s easy to be secure. Dartmouth Computing would like to share with you the following ideas on how to be secure online and keep your computer safe.

Take Care When You Surf: The Web is Full of Phish

Today, as we depend on our cell phones and computers to communicate and conduct business, the bad guys are setting up shop in cyberspace to steal our information….and our money. Criminal gangs are operating all over the world, and at the speed of light, can empty your bank account or charge up your credit card, by simply stealing your personal info from your computer.

What to Watch for on Websites

  • IGNORE pop ups, especially those saying you won a prize, or that your computer is infected and needs a security scan. Do NOT click any part of the pop up window. Force Quit or End Task for that pop up. If you have any question on this, call the IT Service Center at 6-2999 immediately.
  • If you receive a message that you must enable pop ups to book a flight, click on your browser's 'temporarily allow pop ups' to proceed, and then only enter data within the airline's system. 
  • Do not install software that you didn't request. Some sites will attempt to download programs to your computer in order for you to proceed surfing their website. Unless you know this website and expect to download software, do not proceed with the download. You could end up with malicious programs that will steal your personal information or delete your files.
  • If your personal firewall flashes a warning on your screen, heed the warning! Do not bypass the block being proposed by your personal firewall. If you think it's preventing legitimate activity, contact the IT Service Center at 6-2999 for assistance.

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Take Your Laptop with You When You Go

Dartmouth is a friendly campus, but a laptop left alone while you make a trip to the food line or the bathroom may be too tempting for others.

  • Last year 22 laptops were stolen on campus. Make sure yours won’t go missing this year.

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Keep Your Password Private

With your password in hand, anyone can pretend to be you in cyberspace and access:

  • Your e-mail
  • Your bank account
  • Your Facebook and other personal accounts 

They can purchase items and post comments or images in your name. Many things in life are worth sharing. Your password isn’t one of them.

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Only Download What You Buy

Downloading or sharing music (or videos) without paying for it sets you up for legal trouble.

In 2008, 750 Dartmouth students received a copyright violation notice. These can result in settlement fees (average: $3000) or lawsuits for thousands per item.

Be smart and download only those items you’ve actually paid for.

If you think your computer has been infected or otherwise compromised, please contact your department IT support office, the IT Service (Help) Desk, or e-mail or call 646-2999 and follow the voice mail directions.

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Last Updated: 8/23/10