By Lori Bredemeyer, Copy Editor
Many of the recent network difficulties have occurred because students do not keep their Microsoft Windows operating systems updated, said Kay Reeves, director of Technology Support Services.
She said any virus-ridden computer can hinder the whole network.
“We know that one machine that’s been attacked by viruses can take down an entire subnet,” she said. “There’s still quite a few people that have viruses, and we haven’t gotten to them.”
Because one infected computer can impede the function of the entire network, Dr. K.B. Massingill, chief information officer, said everyone on campus needs to be educated.
“This is a community problem,” he said, “and only student community action is going to bring major improvements. It will only get better once students take responsibility for keeping the latest Windows updates installed and the active virus protection installed on their own computers.”
Massingill said students can take several steps to protect their computers:
* Turn the computer off when not in use;
* set the computer to automatically update Windows;
* install virus-protection software and set it to update automatically;
* turn off peer-to-peer file sharing programs.
Another problem Team 55 has encountered recently is with Spyware, a program included in other programs like Weatherbug and Kazaa that can track such things as the Web sites visited most often and who the computer belongs to and where it is located, said Jennifer Rogers, Team 55 office supervisor and graduate student in Christian ministry from Lubbock.
She said Spyware can slow a computer down significantly and suggested installing Adaware, a program designed to search for Spyware.
Reeves said Team 55 is working with faculty and students to remove the Spyware.
“Most people have at least heard that there are computer viruses,” she said, “and they kind of know that you’re supposed to be looking for viruses. But I think there is a large percentage of people that still don’t know anything about Spyware, and that’s another big issue that we need to try to educate people about.”
She also said the network engineers and Team 55 are working to inform students of how to keep their computers safe and keep the network virus-free.
“It’s the education,” she said. “We’ve learned what needs to be done to handle it, we just haven’t gotten the message across well enough yet. But the more students understand it, and the more they believe us, the better it will get.”