You probably don’t notice the little ‘shield’ icon (on a Windows PC) or the yellow/black (is it Yin-Yang?) Symantec icon on an Apple Macintosh but that is an anti-virus program which sits on your desktop and does its best to protect your files, OSU computer and the OSU network from computer viruses, Trojan Horses and other malicious software or malware.
Up until fairly recently, we installed a site licensed program called “Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition” which did a reasonably good job of monitoring files and making sure downloads and file transfers were safe. When they got to version 10 of Anti Virus Corporate, they modified the program somewhat and renamed it.
Nowadays, you might notice that we’ve moved on to a more sophisticated protection system called “Symantec EndPoint Protection“.This does the usual anti-virus monitoring but is far more advanced and also acts as anti-spyware software. Additionally it watches network traffic for attempts to bypass either the Microsoft Windows or Apple OS X operating systems through such back doors as a simple web browser.
If you accidentally navigate to a web page that is infected with some form of Trojan, EndPoint will detect its attempt to execute malicious code and block the traffic from that site, as well as tell you what happened. It’s a great tool when it is installed and running on your system and although we can never depend 100% on software to protect us, it certainly adds a good level of security.
If your computer is new, within the past year then it likely has EndPoint installed. If it is older than that, then you may still have Anti-Virus.
As systems are updated or retired, EndPoint will be installed on all the Ed.Acts. funded machines – in fact many were updated over the summer and winter break.
We’ll come back in the future and talk more about Trojans, viruses and other malicious code, especially their potential for causing you a lot of problems. We’ll also look at some common signs that you might have an infected computer, even if your software isn’t telling you (or worse, has been deactivated by some other malicious software!)
Want to install EndPoint on your personal computer? Well you’re in luck – OSU has a site license which allows for this, so all you need is an ONID username/password. Browse to http://oregonstate.edu/is/tss/symantec-information and download your copy. There are versions for Windows (32-bit and 64-bit), as well as Macintosh OS X.
Have you noticed EndPoint protecting you? If so, let us know your experiences in the comments section.