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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an IP address?

It is a group of four sets of numbers, separated by full stops, that uniquely identifies every computer connected to the internet. (It is similar to how your telephone number identifies your telephone line.)

How do I know if my browser is secure?

A secure site has a locked padlock icon and the URL should begin with https:// and not http:// (the 's' stands for Secure Socket Layer). Remember, only enter sensitive data if the browser is secure.

What is Patch Tuesday?

On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases patches for their software. You can set them to automatically install using Microsoft Update.

How can I prevent email spam?

When you post your primary email address onto websites, spammers have access to it. One of the best ways to deal with spam is to set up disposable email accounts. The spam will go to a disposable account and when it gets filled with junk mail, just delete that account. There are also tools that will block it and send it straight to your junk mail folder.
 

What is a denial of service attack?

This is an attack that attempts to prevent users from accessing a system, usually by flooding it with requests until it becomes unusable.
 

Do I need a router?

No. The entire campus has access to wireless internet. You also have the ability to access wired internet in the residence halls by using an ethernet cable.

How do I know if my private information has been stolen?

It is impossible to tell until you see activity in your bank accounts. However, if you suspect that you're a victim of identity theft, report it and change your usernames and passphrases.

What are cookies and are they bad?

A cookie is a small amount of information, stored on your computer, that is created by some websites you visit. When you visit these websites again, the cookie allows the site to remember your settings, your details if you have entered them before, and many other useful things. Cookies are generally not harmful. However, it is possible to accumulate quite a number of them, which can affect your computer's performance. They can also reveal private information about you and may make it easier for intruders to learn a lot about you quickly.

How do I recognize phishing attacks?

Watch for misspelled words and bad grammar. A legitimate company, bank, etc would be sure to proof read and fix these errors. Also, beware of links to other websites in suspicious emails. Phishing emails usually present a threat, which causes the recipient to fall for the scam (example: "your account will be permanently blocked if you don't submit your information now").

What is a Trojan Horse? Is it harmful?

A Trojan Horse is disguised as useful software, but will actually cause damage to your computer. Some Trojan Horses are simply annoying (change your desktop), while others are malicious and cause serious damage (delete files).

What do I do if I think my computer has been compromised?

Contact the Help Desk. They will assist you in diagnosing the problem and restore your computer to better health and performance.

What is metadata?

Metadata is data that describes other data. This includes, file creation date and time, contributor's name, type of camera used, model of smartphone, etc.

Why would my Internet access be disabled?

Common reasons for a computer at Ohio University to lose internet access privileges include:

  • Virus-like behavior
  • Spam-like or spyware-caused behavior
  • P2P file sharing
  • Violation of our Computer and Network Use policy