Washington and Lee University
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What is a firewall (security)? (link)

A firewall is an appliance or software package that can be configured to help protect computer resources from external threats. Most computer operating systems have one (Windows and Mac) as well as other products like McAfee and Symantec.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 2:13:48 PM - Was this helpful?
What is phishing (security)? (link)

Phishing is an attempt to steal personal information via email. Never respond to emails asking you to confirm your username and password, credit card number, bank account number, etc. See the ITS web page http://www.wlu.edu/x49702.xml#phish for more information. Report all phishing emails to Digitar by forwarding them to report_spam@spam.digitar.com  Students use a separate spam filtering too within their Outlook Live accounts; see details.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:17:11 PM - Was this helpful?
What is a virus (security)? (link)

A computer virus is a software program that can reproduce itself, and often causes damage to other programs or files.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 2:14:15 PM - Was this helpful?
What is a trojan (security)? (link)

A trojan or trojan horse is non-self-replicating software/malware that appears to be or do one thing, but actually does something different - usually allowing unauthorized use or access to your computer.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:19:26 PM - Was this helpful?
What is malware (security)? (link)

Malware is short for malicious software - software designed to infiltrate or damage your computer. Malware often arrives as a trojan and may also be spyware.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:21:26 PM - Was this helpful?
What is spyware (security)? (link)

Spyware (a form of malware) is generally software used to gather your personal information without your knowledge.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:26:54 PM - Was this helpful?
What is encryption (security)? (link)

Encryption refers to the conversion of data (e.g., plain text) to make it unreadable to anyone except to authorized people who have the appropriate encryption key. Encryption provides security and privacy, and can be in many forms and uses.


There is encryption software and hardware to encrypt data at rest (e.g., file/folder encryption) and data in motion (e.g., web traffic using SSL) or in any combination. It is very easy and cheap to encrypt files or a whole folder full of files, and both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems include encryption software.


Here are some good resources on encryption: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-encryption.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encryption If you have any questions, please enter a Help Request.

Score: 85.0 - Updated: 6/7/2012 3:07:32 PM - Was this helpful?
How can I tell if my computer has a virus (security)? (link)

There are many possible indications of a computer virus. Here is a helpful link from Microsoft to help determine if your computer has a virus.

Score: 80.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 2:14:40 PM - Was this helpful?
What is confidential data (security)? (link)

The University Confidentiality Policy covers "any personally-identifiable student and parent records, financial records (including social security and credit card numbers), and health records; contracts; research data; alumni and donor records; personnel records other than an individual's own personnel records; University financial data; computer passwords, University proprietary information/data; and any other information for which access, use, or disclosure is not authorized by: 1) federal, state, or local law; or 2) University policy or operations." If you have any questions, contact the ISP Coordinator or the Information Security Officer.

Score: 80.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:24:45 PM - Was this helpful?
Where can I find information about IT security? (link)

More information is available at the ITS Information Security SharePoint site; the University Information Security Program (ISP) site; as well as the ITS site.

Score: 80.0 - Updated: 8/8/2013 1:53:38 PM - Was this helpful?
How can I tell if an email is a hoax (security)? (link)

You can search at http://www.snopes.com/  Snope.com or http://www.hoax-slayer.com/ Hoax-Slayer.com. 

W&L will never ask you to click a link in an email to verify/update/confirm/etc your account.

If you are still unsure, please contact the help desk at 458-HELP (4357).

Score: 80.0 - Updated: 7/15/2013 3:53:36 PM - Was this helpful?
How do I encrypt a file (security)? (link)

Encryption refers to the conversion of data (e.g., plain text) to make it unreadable to anyone except to authorized people who have the appropriate encryption key.  

Please read the instructions carefully, and make sure you have a backup and recovery plan! 

Here are some Windows encryption resources:




Here are some Mac OS X encryption resources:





There are also many other software and hardware choices for encyption.


If you have any questions, please enter a Help Request.




Score: 80.0 - Updated: 6/7/2012 3:07:24 PM - Was this helpful?
How can I avoid identity theft (security)? (link)

This resource from the Federal Trade commission explains identity theft, and what to do if your identity is stolen.

Score: 77.5 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:26:20 PM - Was this helpful?
How can I tell if an email is a phishing scam (security)? (link)

Look at examples of e-mail received by W&L community members, and see if you can tell the difference between legitimate e-mail and "phishing" attempts in this interactive quiz: http://www.wlu.edu/x31191.xml


Phishing is the fraudulent use of e-mail to extract confidential information. Often such messages appear to come from legitimate sources such as your bank, or W&L, and ask for information such as account information and passwords. Information Technology Services will never ask you to divulge your W&L password.


Beware of any e-mail purporting to be from Information Technology Services asking for your W&L password. Any such e-mail is “phishing”: an attempt to steal personal information. ITS staff will never ask you for your password, via email, phone, or any other means. Remember, your password is your secret.


Never respond to e-mails asking for your W&L password or other personal information, such as bank account or social security numbers. Instead, please follow the procedures to report it to our spam filtering vendor, and then delete the email.


Please protect yourself:


    * If you disclosed your W&L password in response to a phishing email, change your password immediately at http://password.wlu.edu

    * Never disclose your password to anyone.

* Your W&L password should not be used for any service outside the University.

Score: 77.5 - Updated: 7/15/2013 3:55:46 PM - Was this helpful?
What is the Information Security Program (ISP) at W&L? (link)

The ISP and the ISP Committee were organized at the direction of the Provost in 2003 to comply with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and to implement the “Safeguards Rule” issued by the Federal Trade Commission. The ISP Committee is chaired by the ISP Coordinator and the Committee has responsibility, in advising the Provost, for the ISP. The original program scope was intentionally broader than necessary for simple legal compliance, and requires all departments to have written procedures documenting the safeguards used to protect the University’s information assets.

Score: 76.0 - Updated: 6/4/2012 1:24:10 PM - Was this helpful?
Is email secure? (link)

It all depends on what you’re trying to protect against. So, the simplest answer is 'no'! Email is not secure, unless you have taken extra steps to encrypt the message or the attachments (or both). Therefore, do not put confidential information (i.e., SSN, credit card number, etc.) in any email, unless you know it is encrypted. Briefly, access to your email account is secured by your username and password, so make sure you have a strong password. Email can be secured from network “snooping” by accessing it from a web page using Secure Socket Layers (SSL) – indicated by the “S” in HTTPS. If you access your email from your phone, then security depends on that device. These are just some of the variables/examples, and for more information please contact the Information Security Officer.

Score: 70.0 - Updated: 7/15/2013 3:50:44 PM - Was this helpful?
How do I get Microsoft Security Essentials for my Windows 7 operating system? (link)

You can download Microsoft Security Essentials at the following site: 


Please uninstall any other antivirus software you might have before installing.

Score: 4.3 - Updated: 10/1/2010 2:29:31 PM - Was this helpful?
Excel formatting of phone/social security columns does not merge to Word - is there a fix? (link)

Word 2007 and Word 2010

  1. Start Word, and then open a new blank document.
  2. Go to Word Options
    • In Word 2007, click the Office Button, and then click Word Options.
    • In Word 2010, click File, and then click Options.
  3. On the Advanced tab, go to the General section.
  4. Click to select the Confirm file format conversion on open check box, and then click OK.
  5. On the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge, and then select Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard.
  6. In the Mail Merge task pane, select the type of document that you want to work on, and then click Next.
  7. Under Select starting document, select the starting document that you want to use, and then click Next.
  8. Under Select recipients, click Use an existing list, and then click Browse.
  9. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate the folder that contains the Excel workbook that you want to use as your data source, select the workbook, and then click Open.
  10. In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, click to select the Show all check box. Click MS Excel Worksheets via DDE (*.xls), and then click OK.
  11. In the Microsoft Excel dialog box, under Named or cell range, select the cell range or worksheet that contains the data that you want to use, and then click OK.
    NOTE: Your data now appears in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box with the same formatting that appears in the Excel worksheet.
Score: 2.7 - Updated: 7/28/2011 3:12:21 PM - Was this helpful?
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