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Protecting Your PC

To keep your computer protected and to help keep our network clean, all student-owned computers should have the following applied to their computers. It is critical that anti-virus software and operating system updates be done before arriving on campus and plugging into the Housing ResNet network.

  1. Anti-Virus Software. All student-owned computers must have current anti-virus software loaded on their computer. In addition, it should be updated and run frequently. If you do not have any AV software, please see our recommendations for free antivirus software.
  2. Operating System Updates. Make sure you have all the latest critical security updates installed for your Operating System.
  3. Firewalls. If running Windows, make sure your Windows Firewall is enabled. (Start, Settings, Control Panel, Windows Firewall)
  4. Windows Firewall

  5. Disable or Uninstall Peer-to-Peer File Sharing Software. Do not share or serve out files with any Peer-to-Peer software (ex: uTorrent) or allow other users to download files from your computer.
  6. The RIAA, MPAA, and other industry groups actively search the Internet for persons who are making files available for sharing. If they discover a computer located on campus that is doing this, the campus will receive an infringement notice. If infringement notices are received that are traced back to your computer:

    • You will lose campus wide network privileges for seven to forty five days, depending on the violation.
    • Before access can be restored, you will need to bring your device to one of the Computer Service Centers for a review of the device’s set-up.
    • For second or more offenses, you will also be required to meet with a member of the Dean of Students Office before your network access will be restored. Copyright infringement can result in further non-academic discipline as well.
    • For more details, please see Copyright Infringement Information.
    • Also see and

    Students must be aware of the legal action they also can face for copyright infringement. Numerous students across the nation have been sued, found guilty of infringement, and been forced to pay damages exceeding $100,000. Numerous other students have been offered settlement opportunities for their infringement in the range of $3,000 to $4,000. Copyright infringement is a serious issue to the recording industry and also to the University. Copyright infringement can be a costly issue to you.

    Here is what can happen if the Federal Bureau of Investigation (yes, the FBI) comes knocking at your door for illegal downloads:

    • In general, anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement may be ordered to pay either actual damages or "statutory" damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed. For "willful" infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, in its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys' fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505.
    • Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense.

    Students are encouraged to use legal commercial file download sites including:

    Please note that there are some other Internet sites that charge a monthly or yearly access fee to access their site to share or download files that will result in you violating copyright laws if you download or upload files to the site. When selecting sites, you should carefully review their “terms of service” to make sure that the site abides by copyright law.

  7. Spyware removal. To remove Spyware programs and pop-up windows, install and run spyware removal software. We recommend Adaware SE and Spybot's Search & Destroy
    Peer-to-Peer applications like Kazaa and BitTorrent, as well as other software like BonziBuddy, WeatherBug, Webshot, etc. can cause harm to your computer by installing spyware or viruses. This can slow your computer down by taking up system resources. Learn what you can do about spyware.
  8. Defragmenting your Hard Drive. Is your computer not running as fast as it did at first? One way to help get some speed back is to defragment your hard drive.
    Windows has its own defragmenter that does a decent job. It can be found in the start menu under "Accessories" and "System Tools". A good pre-defrag tip is to empty your Internet cache before you run a defragmenter. Those files are constantly being updated and deleted anyway, and there is no reason to waste time defragging them.
    It's also wise to empty your cache before you do a virus scan and use Ad-Aware to scan for spyware. Associated folders become filled with thousands of tiny files, and it wastes a lot of time to scan those.
  9. To empty your cache:

    • Open Internet Explorer.
    • Go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
    • Click 'Delete Files' and then click OK.
    • Wait several seconds as files are deleted, and then click OK again.
    Temporary Internet Files