Internet hoaxes are rumors you receive by e-mail, usually accompanied by the suggestion that you forward copies of this information to "Everyone you know".
Sometimes computer viruses are distributed this way; in other cases, this behavior constitutes a nuisance by creating large amounts of junk e-mail.
You should be suspicious of any message that encourages you to "notify everyone you know", *EVEN* when you know the person who sent you the message. Your friends may not know as much about Internet hoaxes as you do.
List of known hoaxes can be found at:
In some cases when using a VPN over a network connection with a Windows XP computer, the VPN Session will disconnect after a period of inactivity (typically 10 to 20 minutes). This problem is caused by the Windows Service Pack 2 Firewall settings.
To fix the problem, the Windows Firewall needs to have the Cisco VPN Client program specified as an Exception:
Click on the START tab, and select:
Control Panel -> Windows Firewall
The following screen will be displayed. Click On (recommended) if not already on.
Click the Exceptions Tab which will bring up the following screen:
Click Add Programs which will bring up the following screen:
Click Browse and set the directory to look in to C:\Program Files\Cisco Systems\VPN Client.
Highlight the cvpnd program (single click), and then click Open .
Click OK as necessary.
At this stage the cvpnd program should have an entry as above. Click on OK to finish.
These settings for the Windows Firewall will stop the VPN session being terminated after 10 to 20 minutes of inactivity.
You need to update the forwarding email account for your UAB email address.
- go to www.uab.edu/blazerid
- click on the Change E-mail Preferences in the left-hand navigation
- enter your BlazerID & password, if not already logged in
- under the section, Real host-based mailbox, follow the link that says "Click here to forward to a different mailbox."
- enter your forwarding email account in the box and click Submit
Because your BlazerID password is used to open the door to many services and features on the UAB network, it is vital that it be strong enough to resist guessing by casual means. Someone breaking into your UAB records can be the first step toward identity theft which is being well-publicized now. To be sure you have a strong password, make sure it follows these rules:
"Strange network problems" can be caused by DUPLICATE IP ADDRESSES. If the workstation can send traffic off its segment to another subnet in our 138.26 class B address range but can not get to a location off campus, it is very possible that the workstation IP address has been incorrectly set to use the campus gateway (18.104.22.168) instead of its own address. Problems within your building network that affect only one or two machines can be caused by duplicate addresses, also.
One way to check for duplicate IP addresses is to look in the arp cache of the machine having problems. In Win 95/98 or NT, at the DOS prompt type the command "arp -a". For entry of 22.214.171.124 you should see a MAC address starting like 00-00-a2....
You can report the MAC address you find to UserServices, and we will help you track down the "offending" machine.
Drive Wiping Procedures
When erasing sensitive data, you should always make sure that the data cannot be recovered. To securely wipe a disk drive, you can use an application called Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN). This software should be used any time a computer is decommissioned or repurposed.
Follow the steps below:
- Download DBAN at: http://dban.sourceforge.net/
- Use DBAN to create a bootable DBAN CD, and then boot your computer using this CD.
- At the "boot:" prompt, press Enter to start DBAN in interactive mode.
- Press "M" (Method). On the "Wipe Method" screen, use the arrow keys to navigate to DoD 5220.22-M, and press the Spacebar to save your selection and return to the Disks and Partitions menu.
- If only one disk is present in your computer, select the topmost option that appears in the Disks and Partitions menu and then press the Spacebar. The selection box will display "[wipe]" to indicate what will be securely erased.
- If you see "[****]" it means that the section of the disk you selected will also be wiped.
- If you see "[----]" it means that you have already selected a section of the disk for wiping. You should uncheck your selection and instead wipe the entire disk.
- Press the F10 key to begin the secure erase process. As soon as you press F10, data erasure will begin.
The "Statistics" box in the top right-hand corner of the screen will display an estimate of the time remaining on the disk wiping process.
The first step in keeping your password secure is to create a good one. After you've created a strong password, continue with the suggestions below to keep it safe:
- Never share your password with anyone.
This includes family, friends, significant others, computer support people, and bosses. If you need someone to read your email, you can have that person do so without using your password by using the delegates feature in MS Outlook.
- Never save your password when prompted by your web browser or any other programs.
You can turn this option off in Internet Explorer (Tools -> Internet Options -> Content -> AutoComplete) & Mozilla (Tools -> Options -> Security).
- Change your password regularly.
To change your BlazerID's password, click here.
- Make your password easy to remember, but hard to guess.
Use a lyric to a favorite song, for example:
"How much is that doggie in the window":
For more security, add a capital letter & convert an 'i' to a '1':
- Never send your password via email - even if the request looks official.
Any request to send your password via email is most likely a phishing attempt.
What it is
Spyware is the Internet jargon for any data collection program that secretly gathers information about you and relays it to advertisers and other interested parties. Adware usually displays banners or unwanted pop-up windows, but often includes spyware as well.
You can unknowingly install spyware when you install new software, most commonly freeware or shareware (e.g. LimeWire, BearShare, Kazaa, iMesh). Many of these programs are intended to track your Internet browsing habit, such as frequented sites and favorite downloads, and then provide advertising companies with marketing data.
Some spyware programs such as Gator, CommonName, and MarketScore, can adversely affect your computer's performance.
How to Remove It
Unfortunately, you cannot fully remove most spyware and adware programs by using the uninstall option in the Windows Add or Remove Programs control panel. To completely remove spyware from your computer, you must use a program designed for spyware & adware.
Anti-virus software is configured to scan for viruses, spyware, adware, and many other items. If you have questions about your Anti-Virus settings, contact AskIT 205-996-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Avoid it It
Avoid applications that are known to carry spyware & adware. Spybot - Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware have identified the following as applications that may contain spyware or adware:
|AppleJuice||eDonkey2000||KaZaA & KaZaA Lite||OverNet|
These additional steps also help avoid spyware & adware:
- Avoid advertisements
- Avoid clicking links in instant messaging software
- Frequently scan your computer with spyware detection software (included w/most anti-virus suites)
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.