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E-mail and data security

E-mail viruses and failure of key components (e.g. your hard disc) can lead to loss of important files from your computer. The following tips are well worth being aware of and you may need to alter your computer's setup and/or way of working in order to protect yourself against data loss.


Contact ithelp@bioch.ox.ac.uk for more details

1  Viruses from E-mails


Email Preview
Be wary of Outlook Express's preview ability. Executable viruses (see below) can be run on your computer if you preview the e-mail in Outlook Express.

Attachments
E-mail viruses originate from "executable" attachments with extensions as follows:
Executable files: *.exe
Script files: *.vbs, *.wsh

Be wary of "Hidden" file extensions- your computer may be set up to hide the .xxx extension on program and other filenames thus making an attachment appear as *.txt when the name is actually *.txt.vbs which could potentially be an e-mail virus.

Embedded Code
HTML code in body of text can cause harm, however latest Outlook Express updates deal with this.


2  General Virus Protection

Departmental policy states that Windows PCs connected to the departmental network will have anti-virus software running. The preferred package is Sophos Anti-Virus, which IT support can install for you. Once installed, the program should keep itself up-to-date without any user intervention. If Sophos generates any error messages regarding virus infection or failure to update, please contact IT Support on 13308. Sophos is also highly recommended for Apple Macintosh computers.


3  Securing Your Data


Backing up and Archiving
Archives are permanent copies
Backups are transient copies

HFS provides BACKUPS

Make use of the network file server, H: drive on most PCs
This is backed up on a nightly basis using HFS

Points to remember
Do not rely on floppy discs for precious data - they fail.
Do not rely on your PC's hard disc as your sole copy.
Do not store files on the PCs in the teaching room.

Important files that are constantly worked on should be saved with different names to prevent errors and corruption propagating though the backup files.

Archive Facility in Biochemistry
IT Support can provide a limited archive facility in the form of files burnt on to a CDROM, this service is available via the normal IT job request route. The user is responsible for the safe keeping of the CDROM thereafter.



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Page Last Updated: 03/10/2014 by John Elder
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