BY: WESLEY ROBINSON
For students seeing a spike in unwanted email, advertisements, viruses and malware, internet security is an issue that starts at home.
Facebook and Google ads, unsolicited phishing emails and malware are common causes for students having major computer issues and students need to be more skeptical about what they click and who they give their information to said ResNet Coordinator Lisa Moore.
“Think like a thief, that’s way I always surf the net,” said Moore. She said students are too trusting of content on the internet and hackers and thieves take advantage a lack of skepticism.
Moore manages www.smartcomputing.eku.edu, a website that provides information on system updates, bugs, viruses, malware, scams and other IT security issues. She suggests students keep their computers up to date and read up on risks.
If students do have any issues ResNet does try to help students clean up their computers, but are limited to how much they can help non-residential students.
“We won’t turn anyone away, we try to help as much as we can,” Moore said.
While there has been an increase in malware that prevents users from accessing their computers, email remains a primary concern for students internet security. Moore said Eastern has a spam trap for faculty and staff, but student email goes through Microsoft so students have to be more responsible for student email.
Students can filter specific domain names and senders under mail options, which would allow them to manage email from the recent rise in unsolicited email said Jagger Coffey, and IT Consultant with ResNet.
Phishing and spamming has become a multibillion dollar industry and hackers are getting better and making their attempts look legitimate Coffey said.
“Email in this technological age doesn’t work blissfully for anyone without any preventative measures,” Coffey said.
Both Coffey and Moore said Eastern cannot sell student email addresses and any attempts to gather information or solicit for new products has nothing to do with the university.
“Everyone on earth gets phishing emails, it is impossible to hide for them,” Coffey said. “Eastern is not the only target. Any organization whether it be an institution, higher education, private business or industry. Anything attached to a domain name and email address is a target.”
Coffey recommended that students only use MyMail for official EKU business and use common sense when signing up for new products and updates from third party companies.
“If people only used [EKU MyMail] for EK things, we would be OK,” Coffey said. “That’s where you become a target. People don’t think about it and they trust too willingly.”
If there is any question about an email, delete it and if it is important the sender will get back to you, Coffey said.
“We are never going to ask you to change your password through clicking a link,” Coffey said.