Last day for computer help from organization

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PC LAN technician Nestor Rivera installs and scans anti-virus software Wednesday in Moody.  Daniel Arguelles

PC LAN technician Nestor Rivera installs and scans anti-virus software Wednesday in Moody. Daniel Arguelles

AITP offers free software for Cyber Security Awareness Month.

By Cory Hill

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

In observance of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, this college’s chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals is wrapping up its installation of free anti-virus software 9 a.m.-2 p.m. today outside Room 710 of Moody Learning Center.

Students and faculty can bring in their laptop or flash-drive to download the software called CCleaner, which takes half a gigabyte of storage and a minimum of an hour to run a complete scan.

Nursing sophomore Melanie White turned in her laptop for the free anti-virus scan.

“My laptop was acting real slow, freezing in the middle of papers, and when you’re in school that is your whole life,” she said.

Maintenance and repair costs can add up significantly. “One place said it could repair my computer for around $150 to $200,” White said.

Barbara Rosado, substance abuse counseling sophomore, found out about the free scanning and downloading via the college’s email newsletter to students. “I think its amazing,” Rosado said. “Where else can you turn in your computer and pick it up after class for free?”

Malware is short for malicious software that attaches itself to computers and harms the machine. There are numerous sub-types of malware. Two popular types are the Trojan-ware and ransom-ware viruses. Trojan viruses are designed to present themselves as something they are not and gain access by the user unknowingly granting permission.

A ransom-ware virus takes hold and will bombard the user with messages of infection claiming by buying certain anti-virus software the problem will be fixed. Then when the software is purchased, the virus removes itself because the virus and anti-virus software are one in the same.

PC LAN technician Nestor Rivera supervised downloads of the anti-virus software and gave tips to those having their computers scanned.

He advises everyone to be wary with anything advertised as free on the Internet. Rivera said anyone can purchase a computer with Internet surfing capabilities fairly inexpensively.

“Trust no one,” Rivera said. “If you have a machine that is responsible for what you do for a living, handles important things, or is what you use for class, don’t use it for anything else.”

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