University of Hartford Computer Security Series - Part IV


Computer security in the news
We've all heard the news stories about corporations and universities experiencing data breaches which expose personal data to hackers which could ultimately be used to commit identity theft and fraud. This and future articles will describe how you can help to make computers and data at University of Hartford more secure.


Your computer must have up-to-date antivirus software running on it
Antivirus software can help greatly in the detection and prevention of malicious software running on your computer. Most new computers, as well as all University of Hartford "Hawk PCs" (those configured and delivered by ITS) have antivirus software on them. However, it is important to ensure that the software is up-to-date and is running correctly. Toward that end, the university provides Symantec's Managed AntiVirus Corporate Edition software for all university-owned computers on campus, as well as to all students who connect to the university network. A condition of operating a computer on the university's network is that it must be running up-to-date antivirus software -- yours or ours. Once installed on a PC, the university's antivirus server will automatically "push" virus definition updates to the machine as they become available, any time the computer is on and connected to the university network, keeping the computer's virus definitions as up-to-date as possible. (Note that this does not work for Macintoshes, however. Macs "check in" with Symantec from time to time and download definitions directly from Symantec as needed.)


Verifying that your UofH antivirus software is up to date
If your computer is running the university-provided antivirus software, you can verify that it is working correctly as described here:

On a PC, simply double-click the shield icon on your system tray:

When the Symantec AntiVirus window appears:

  1. Verify that under General Information, the Parent server field reads either "SCRATCHY" (if you are using a university-owned computer), or "STUDENTAV" (if you are a student).
  2. Verify that your Virus Definition File is not more than 10 days old.

If your software does not have a Parent server defined, you must keep your software up to date by clicking the LiveUpdate... button from time to time. If your computer is managed by a university Parent server, yet the Virus Definition File is out of date, contact the Computer Support Line at x5999 for assistance. It is possible that a firewall setting on your machine, or other communication problem, is preventing your computer from downloading the latest definitions.

On a Macintosh, click the AntiVirus icon on the system tray, choose Norton AntiVirus, and then Open Norton AntiVirus.

When the Norton AntiVirus window appears:

Verify that Virus Definitions Date is not more than 14 days old. If it is, click LiveUpdate. When the LiveUpdate window appears: Update Everything Now.

Macintosh computers do not automatically receive updates. You must run LiveUpdate from time to time, or use the Symantec Scheduler (shown above) to configure your Macintosh to periodically check for updates automatically.


University Symantec AntiVirus Licensing

Faculty/Staff computers
All university-owned computers on campus are qualified to utilize the university's antivirus software. Personal computers not owned by the university are not eligible to use the university license -- you must obtain and maintain your own antivirus software.

Student computers
All students who connect a PC or Macintosh computer to the university network (via ResNet, wireless, dial-up, etc.) are licensed to use the university-provided antivirus software.


How to get UofH-provided antivirus software
If your computer is a PC, you can download and install the antivirus system via the web at the appropriate link shown below:


You will be prompted to enter your university email name and password to access the page. You must be connected directly to the university's network (wired, wireless, or dial-up) to access these web pages. Once logged on, follow all prompts and provide all default answers when prompted.

If your computer is a Macintosh, you can borrow a software installation CD at the Computer Support Center located in CC113.


Where to get help
If you need help with the university's antivirus system, contact the Computer Support Line at x5999.