Computer viruses implant instructions in other programs or storage devices and can attack, scramble, or erase computer data. The danger of computer viruses lies in their ability to replicate themselves and spread from system to system. Few computing systems are immune to infection.
The following activities are among the most common ways of getting computer viruses. Minimizing the frequency of these activities will reduce your risk of getting a computer virus:
- Freely sharing computer program and system disks, or downloading files and software through file-sharing applications such as BitTorrent, eDonkey, and KaZaA
- Clicking links in instant messages (IM) that have no context or have only general text (even from someone you think that you know)
- Downloading executable software from public access bulletin boards or websites
- Using your personal disk space with public computers that are used by more than one person
- Opening email attachments from people you don't know or without first scanning them for viruses
- Opening any email attachment that ends in .exe, .vbs, or .lnk
- Continually running your machine without the appropriate patches
Signs of a Virus Infection
If your computer begins to act strangely, or if it stops being able to do things it has always done in the past, it may be infected with a virus.
Symptoms such as longer-than-normal program load times, unpredictable program behavior, inexplicable changes in file sizes, inability to boot, strange graphics appearing on your screen, or unusual sound may indicate that a virus is on your system.
However, it is important to distinguish between virus symptoms and those that come from corrupted system files, which can look very similar. Rule out more standard causes before suspecting a virus.
How to Avoid Computer Viruses
The following are some recommendations for safe computing:
- The most important thing you can do to keep your computer safe is to install virus detection software and keep the virus patterns up to date. Antivirus programs perform two general functions: scanning for and removing viruses in files on disks, and monitoring the operation of your computer for virus-like activity (either known actions of specific viruses or general suspicious activity). Most antivirus packages contain routines that can perform each kind of task.
- Keep your operating system current with the latest patches and updates. The writers or viruses and worms often exploit bugs and security holes in operating systems and other computer software. Software manufacturers frequently release patches for such holes.
- Backup your files. Viruses are one more very good reason to back up your files. UAB employees can use UABFILE to store their data. UABFILE is kept in a secure location and backed up regularly.
- NOTE: If you back up a file that is already infected with a virus, you can re-infect your system by restoring files from backup copies. Check your backup files with virus scanning software before using them.
- Obtain public-domain software from reputable sources. Check newly downloaded software thoroughly using reputable virus detection software for any signs of infection before running the install programs (.exe, etc). This can also help protect you from Trojan horse programs.
- Quarantine infected systems. If you discover that a system is infected with a virus, immediately isolate it from other systems and report the incident. In other words, disconnect the system from any network and do not allow any of the machine's files to be moved to another system. Once the system has been disinfected you can copy or move the files.
- If you use a desktop version of MS Outlook, minimize use of the preview & reading pane options.
The UAB Electronic Phonebook is indeed "user centric." Advantages of this approach include:
- Users are free to change their own passwords, preferred e-mail server, and some other information.
- UAB Electronic Phonebook listings come directly from official Human Resources (ORACLE) and Student (BANNER) databases, and are updated daily. As "official" records, they serve as the basis for present and future services which will make use of the same user name (also referred to as BlazerID) and password. As e-mail administrator, you should encourage users to know about this service, select their own BlazerID, and keep up with their own password.
You can go to the UAB directory (https://www.uab.edu/directory) and see the Student/Employee information and where they are located. You will have to authenticate to the Directory to be able to see their BlazerID.
In Outlook 2010:
1. In Outlook 2010, select the Folder Ribbon.
2. Then select the Recover Deleted Items button.
3. Select the item and select Recover Selected Items.
In Outlook 2007:
1. In Outlook 2007, in the folder from which you deleted the Item, or in the Deleted Items folder, select Recover Deleted Items on the Tools menu.
2. Select the item and select Recover Selected Items.
1. Login to OWA, and right-click on the Deleted Items folder.
2. Then select Recover Deleted Items.
3. Select the item and select Recover Selected Items.
Please remember, you can only recover items that were deleted in the past 30 days.
All network and computer services around UAB currently accept or require a BlazerID for login. The goal is to ultimately have your BlazerID serve as the sole identifier that allows you to securely access all of UAB's online information services and portals.
To learn more about or claim a BlazerID, go to http://www.uab.edu/blazerid.
Below is a chart showing the propagation cycle of obtaining a BlazerID.
Windows Mail with IMAP while adding another account.
- Open Windows mail by selecting the Start button, clicking All Programs, and then selecting Windows mail.
- Select the Accounts ribbon.
- Select Email +.
- Go to Step 2 in the First installation steps.
Windows Mail first installation
- Open Windows Live Mail
- You will see the Add your email accountsscreen.
- Type your firstname.lastname@example.org in the Email Address field.
- Type your BlazerID Password.
- Type your Display name (This name will show up when a recipient receives your email).
- Select the checkbox for Manually configure server settings.
- Select IMAP, and add the server settings below.
Mail account information you need to add:
- Incoming Server: mail.ad.uab.edu , Check require a SSL connection, port 993
- Outgoing server: relay.ad.uab.edu, Check require a SSL connection, port 587
- Requires Authentication is checked, and make sure you add your BlazerID to the Logon Username.
Mozilla Thunderbird first installation
- Open Mozilla Thunderbird.
- Add your First and Last name.
- Select and type in your email@example.com in the Email Address field.
- Select and type your Password.
- Select Next and enter in your Incoming and Outgoing servers, select IMAP for Incoming.
- Incoming mail server: Mail.ad.uab.edu. Port 993, SSL: SSL, and NTLM
- Outgoing mail server: Relay.ad.uab.edu, Port 587, SSL: StartTTLS, and NTLM
If you use Mozilla Thunderbird, please use the Manual configuration option. We have found that Mozilla uses the wrong settings when it automatically searches for the settings.
How do I clean my mailbox to save space? Or, do I need to ask for more mailbox space?
Since the Central Exchange accounts have a certain email quota for Students and Faculty/Staff, here are the best steps to help save space in your mailbox.
Remember: all of the folders in your mailbox, other than Personal folder files (PST) or Personal Archives, count on your overall space in your mailbox.
- Delete your Deleted Items. You can right-click the folder and click “Empty Deleted Items” or open the folder and shift+delete your email to permanently delete the email.
- Delete the Sent Items in your mailbox. You’re sent items like your Deleted items can house a good bit of emails that can be deleted.
- Use Mailbox Cleanup. This is built into Outlook 2010 only. You can access this by doing the following:
- Select File inside your Outlook.
- Select Cleanup Tools. You can view the mailbox space before selecting the Cleanup Tools button.
- You can choose:
- Empty Deleted Items.
- Mailbox Cleanup. Mailbox Cleanup allows you to use advanced tools to cleanup large emails and older items by the options you previously set. It also allows you to delete items that are in conflict with others.
- Archive. Archive your items to a personal folder file (*.PST).
To help you determine how much space you have and how to increase your space, you can go to http://www.uab.edu/itbilling and request more space for your mailbox.