Security: Protecting Yourself Against Viruses and Malware
Updated: 24 July 2020 01:16 PM
Malware is Malicious Software
The best defence against cyber attacks starts with you – the students, staff and faculty of OCAD U.
Malware is software - usually delivered in the form of an attachment like a Microsoft word, PDF file or a link to a malicious site - which may attempt to gather sensitive information, damage your computer or display unwanted advertisements. Credential theft via phishing and a particular kind of malware known as ransomware are the most common threats we face. Ransomware can lock you out from ALL of the files on your computer and demand that you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to get them back. Malware comes in many forms, and can target Windows, macOS, mobile devices and IoT (Internet of Things) eg. smart TVs, smart speakers or any device that connects to the internet.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
For any service that supports it, you should enable two-factor authentication (sometimes shortened to 2FA or MFA - Multi Factor Authentication). Two-Factor Authentication requires services to send push notifications to a mobile device when you sign into services with a new browser.
"two-factor authentication is a simple feature that asks for more than just your password. It requires both "something you know" (like a password) and "something you have" (like your phone)." - Lifehacker
Install Anti-malware Software
We have frequently recommended that users run some sort of Antimalware software. One example is Malwarebytes:
Protect your browser:
Install Anti-virus Software
OCAD U Owned Desktops & Laptops
Using Anti-virus provides an additional layer of protection your machine from getting infected if you download malware accidentally.
Anti-virus software should be considered a last line of defense, and will not protect against poor computer security practices, this is because an anti-virus can only protect against known viruses, poor passwords, visiting unsecured sites and scam emails will not be detected by an Anti-virus. Mac computers should also have an Anti-virus installed, as they are vulnerable to virus infection as well.
How to Get Help