Students who connect to the BCIT network using a personal notebook computer are responsible for ensuring their computer does not negatively affect the network while connected. Viruses on a personal computer can negatively affect both the user’s system AND network performance. They can also infect other computers on the network. See the Responsible Use of Information Techology [PDF] policy for more details.
What does this mean?
You must take steps before connecting to clean up and protect your operating system and your anti-virus software.
What will happen if I do nothing?
The network is monitored constantly. If IT Services determines that your system is the source of a problem, you will be denied access to the network until your system has been cleaned up.
How to protect and update your computer
There are 5 steps that you need to take:
1. Update your operating system.
- By updating your notebook’s operating system, known security vulnerabilities (aka “holes”) that may be exploited to harm your computer are patched. As new vulnerabilities continue to be discovered, it is essential to regularly update your operating system. Most modern operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X) include built-in features that help you download and install updates released by the developer.
2. Run firewall software
- When configured properly, a “firewall” is a software application that implements an extra layer of protection for your computer; preventing potentially harmful network data from infiltrating your system. Software firewalls may be purchased as a separate product, or found as a built-in feature of certain operating systems. (such as Microsoft Windows 7).
- Useful articles published by Microsoft include:
3. Update your anti-virus software
- Anti-virus software helps detect and eliminate malicious files (such as viruses) that have entered your system. Since the list of known viruses grows daily, it is important that your virus scan engine’s virus definitions are up-to-date. Most commercial anti-virus software can automatically update their catalogues through a service
- There are numerous Anti-virus software packages available for purchase or free download, including:
- Visit the corresponding website from the list above to see the features of each package.
4. Remove spyware
- Spyware and other unwanted software refers to software that performs certain tasks on your computer, typically without your consent. This may include giving you advertising or collecting personal information about you. Download, install then run this software regularly to ensure that your computer’s performance is not adversely affected.
- Some anti-virus software also includes anti-spyware components but standalone products can also be used. Two popular products are:
- Both of these products are available for download from the links listed above.
5. Disable peer-to-peer file sharing clients
- Peer-to-Peer file sharing clients such as Kazaa, Morpheus, or Bit Torrent can be used to directly or indirectly proliferate unlicensed software, spyware, viruses, and other malicious files. In many cases, the data traffic generated by these file sharing clients can cause harm to individual computers and severe slowdown in overall network performance. In accordance to BCIT’s Policy 3501 [PDF], IT Services forbids the use of such applications when a user’s computer is connected to the BCIT network. Please disable or uninstall all peer-to-peer file sharing clients before accessing the BCIT network.