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All users and units have the responsibility to report any discovered unauthorized access attempts or other improper usage of Georgia Southwestern State University computers, networks, or other information processing equipment. If a user observes, or has reported (other than as in 7.1 above), a security or abuse problem with any university computer or network facility, including violations of this policy, the user should contact IIT immediately at 931-2074 or by email:

-- from the GSW Computer and Network Acceptable Use Policy, section 7.2

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Information Security Concerns

In order to minimize the risks associated with using a computer attached to the campus network, and hence to the Internet, there are several "best practices" a campus computer user must employ.

The first risk to consider is that of availability of your personal password. All activities on your computer are governed by having the logon password, so it is important that this password not be available to anyone but you. Do not place it on a sticky note and put it on the monitor or under the keyboard or any other easily accessible place.

Do not post your instructions for accessing BANNER or your email where they are easily viewed by anyone visiting your workspace.

When it is time to change your password, please choose one that does not reflect any personal association nor that is on the common password list that hackers use to gain unauthorized access to a computer. The best password is one that uses a combination of characters and numbers which have a special meaning for you. You may need to write this password down but protect this information as you would your social security number.

A second major threat to the security of a personal computer is the prevalence of viruses. The Technical Support personnel from IIT will make every effort to keep you informed concerning the current viruses and threats posed via email, etc. However, you need to be aware that when the virus protection software finds a problem, you must take appropriate action to respond to that threat. If you notice that your virus software is not updating itself regularly as it should, please inform Technical Support immediately.

Third, there is great danger to your computer and to GSW's network and hosts from indiscriminant downloading of items from the Internet. Usually "free" means it has a hidden cost - either you have to give personal information or it runs on your computer and feeds information back to its source. Often many such programs install a "back door" which makes your computer accessible to other machines on the Internet without your even being aware of it. Some even log your keystrokes (and hence your passwords) and send this information to some unknown-to-you person. When your computer is installed by IIT's Technical Support staff, every effort is made to secure it with virus protection and to protect it from automatic installation of silent intrusive software. Thus changing its original configuration can compromise the security of that pc and the security of the network and the hosts you rely on to perform your day-to-day work.

In the event that you feel that your password has become known to others, please contact the OIIT helpdesk for assistance in changing it. In the event something from the Internet installs itself on your computer, please call so it may be removed. In the event you have reason to believe your computer or server has been compromised, please report it to the IIT helpdesk or email

Please be aware that no machine on the Internet is anonymous. There are laws which govern the use of copyrighted information and they apply to any available on the Internet also. To download copyrighted information (music, movies, games) is the same as stealing them from a store. The companies holding those licenses are now prosecuting cases resulting in large fines and the possibility of imprisonment.

All computers attached to the GSW network and their users are subject to the federal, state, and USG policies, laws and sanctions. Nothing on your computer is private and any information stored can be obtained through invoking the Georgia Open Records Act. The "best practice" is to use your work computer only for work-related materials.

If you have any question or concerns relating to information security, email or call the IIT Helpdesk and they will be routed to the appropriate responder. To report abuses of accepted computing and networking practices (such as unsolicited commercial email, ftp sites offering unauthorized copyrighted material, etc.) by GSW related individuals, programs or equipment, or to report computer or networking security concerns or incidents that involve GSW related individuals, programs or equipment:

If you need to talk to a live person: GSW OIIT Help Desk at 229-931-2074.

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