Return to the Fayetteville State University Home Page

Information Technology and Telecommunications Services

FSU HomeITTSResidential ServicesSurfing Safe

Surfing Safe

Protecting Your Computer on the Net

Most people are aware of the Internet's benefits, but not everyone is aware of how the Internet can threaten privacy and security. There are steps you can take to protect your computer.


Computer viruses range from the pesky to the very dangerous: Some might only print a message; others might erase your entire hard disk. With an estimated 30,000 known viruses, the chances that your computer will be exposed to one are pretty good.

The best way to protect your computer against viruses is to install an antivirus program and keep it up-to-date.  Students can

Trojan horse programs

Trojans can be spread in the guise of literally ANYTHING people find desirable, such as a free game, movie, song, etc. Victims typically download a Trojans from a WWW or FTP archives, peer-to-peer file exchanges, or by carelessly opening unsolicited email attachments. Trojans usually do their damage silently. The first sign of trouble is often when others tell you that you are attacking them or trying to infect them! Some Trojan Horse programs install what are called Back Doors - these tools allow an intruder to gain remote access to your computer. Common Back Door programs include BackOrifice, Netbus, and SubSeven.

The best way to avoid Trojan Horse programs is to avoid downloading programs from untrusted sources, and to avoid opening unsolicited email attachments. Installation of a firewall can also help protect you.


Spyware (also called adware) is usually free software that secretly collects information about your computing habits and delivers it to the maker of the program. Peer-to-peer (p2p) software such as Kazza, Morpheus, and IMesh all include spyware.

You can scan and remove spyware from your computer using programs like Malwarebytes. Please note, programs that include spyware might stop working after you remove the spyware.

Computing Safety Tips
  • Run Windows update weekly.
  • Password protect your computer
  • Install a firewall – Or make sure your windows firewall is enabled
  • Install virus protection software.
  • Avoid opening unsolicited email attachments.
  • Download programs from a trusted sources only.
  • If you use peer-to-peer software, disable file sharing. Please note that downloading and sharing copyrighted material is illegal and FSU does not provide technical support for p2p software.
A Constituent Institution of The University of North Carolina