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IT Service Desk Home

Playing Safe on the WSU Network


Good Computing Practices

Anti-Virus Software

Use of anti-virus software is a requirement for anyone using email or the internet on the campus network.

It's important to install the software, update the signature tables on a regular basis, and scan your computer regularly.

If you need assistance with the use of Anti-virus software, please contact the Service Desk at (801) 626-7777.

The University no longer has a site license to download on personal computers. For information on Antivirus software for Macintosh Machines click here.

Personal Firewall

A personal firewall is software that can be installed on your computer which can limit the ability of other computers to attach to your computer.  This prevents data from being read from your computer and prevents other computers from loading applications (generally viruses, Trojans, and other exploits) to your computer without your knowledge.

Firewall Software can be purchased at the WSU bookstore or any other store that carries computer software.

Free versions are also available at sites such as or check out Make sure to set up your firewall to allow all of sites.  Otherwise, you may have difficulties accessing courses and other information.

Mac OS users can use the built in firewall in System Preferences, Sharing.

The Importance of Good Passwords

Your Wildcat Account and password are keys to a lot of information about you; it is very important that you select a secure password and that you don't share your password with anyone.  A secure password has the following characteristics:

  • Minimum of eight characters (the longer the better), that are a mix of upper/lower case letters and numbers.
  • Don't use a proper name or any word found in the dictionary.
  • Don't use a birth date, social security number, or any other easily guessed number
  • Change your password regularly - at least every 6 months.

Logging Out of Applications

When you are finished working in the eWeber portal or in your Wildcat Mail account be sure to exit the application using the Log Out or Exit icon.


Exiting an application by clicking the X in the upper right hand corner of the application screen is not sufficient.  By using the Exit or Log Out  icon you can be sure that your secure server connection is terminated.

In general if your are required to enter a username and password for access to a service you should look for a specific Log Out or Exit link when you are finished working.

Backing Up Your Data

Don't find out about the need to backup files the hard way! If you are working on a document that is important be sure to maintain multiple copies of the document -- at least one on removable media (CD, floppy, zip disk, or thumb drive).

For extra insurance you can even email the document to yourself (just be cognizant of your space allocation limit).

Other Safe Computing Tips

  1. Turn off or suspend PC's when they are not in use.
  2. Use high quality software.  Don't pirate.  Many pirated or WaReZ sites have Trojan additions that virus software may or may not detect.
  3. Apply security and operating system patches as they become available.  Make use of the Windows Update notification service, or Software Update in the Apple Menu.
  4. Be aware of 'spyware' installed as you download software such as IRC chat clients, and freeware software.  Again, high quality software from reputable sites helps prevent problems.
  5. Do not let others use your PC.  Keep physical control of your machine and add screen passwords.
  6. Do not share writable media such as floppies and writable CDs between your PC and others.
  7. Don't open unknown email attachments.
  8. Don't use Microsoft Outlook -- that alone will protect you from the vast majority of email viruses.  Web based email browsers at sites like and are safer than Outlook based email clients.

IT Service Desk, Computing Support Services
Weber State University, Ogden, Utah 84408
(801) 626-7777