February 2012 IT Security and Help Desk Newsletter

February Security Topic - Browsing the Internet Safely

We will be providing a PDF of this article and future articles. These articles are provided the University of Colorado Office of Information Security. Browsing the Internet Safely

Tax Scams and Phishing

We have started to see a few tax scams and phishing attempts this tax season already. H&R Block already have had phishing emails sent out in their name, other reports of fraudulent "refund card" activation phishing emails have been seen as well.  Then there is the typical IRS tax scams and phishing attempts aimed at collecting your personal information. According to the IRS website (www.IRS.gov) "The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or any social media tools to request personal or financial information." If you see an email from a tax preparation service, call the service and verify if it's legitimate.  If you receive anything from the IRS directly, here are a few links to help you out:

Password Protecting Email Attachments

With the start of tax season we have seen an increase of incoming email attachments being password protected.  While password protecting a document is a good attempt at securing a document, it is also important to know that this will most likely prevent the delivery of email to your inbox. The UCCS Spam Filter (Proofpoint) scans every single email attachment before it is delivered to your inbox.  If the document is password protected the Spam Filter cannot scan the document and it will automatically treat that email as if it were a virus and it will not be delivered to your inbox.  Sending password protected documents is a common attack method used by spammers looking to infect and gain access to your computer, so most Spam Filters outside of UCCS will block these as well.  If you have a specific University purpose to receive password protected documents via email, Greg Williams, IT Security Principal will work with you to come up with a better way to receive these files.  Files that are password protected are generally sensitive enough that they shouldn't be sent in an email anyway.  Persons that send password protected files via email may send you the password to the file in another email, such a practice would be like having no password at all.  If you are the person sending password protected files, please note that these files will most likely not be delivered the recipient.   But, please remember again that if they are sensitive enough to require a password, they probably shouldn't be sent in an email anyway, and please do not send the password in a separate email to the recipient.

For more information about managing your Spam Filter please click here.

Exchange Scheduling Assistant

Are you tired of multiple emails or phone calls back and forth to try and setup a meeting with someone on campus?  Exchange provides a great tool called the Scheduling Assistant that will allow you to easily schedule a meeting with anyone on campus.

For a "How To" video on using the Scheduling Assistant please click here.

Departmental Exchange Trainings

Is your department looking to better utilize the functionality of Exchange?  Would you like a training customized to the specific needs of your department?  IT is happy to work with you to customize a training for your department.  We can do hands on training in a lab or just demonstrations right in your office.  If you are interested in setting up a training for your department please call or email Chris Wiggins at ext 3826 or cwiggins@uccs.edu

Keeping Campus Safe - The Numbers

Incoming spam and malicious emails kept out of your inbox in the past 30 days: 5,155,771

Viruses and malware removed or quarantined automatically in the past month: 370 incidents

Software Update Notes

Microsoft February Updates - Please make sure you save your work before you head home tonight (2/14). The updates may cause your computer to reboot.

Mac February Updates - Be sure to update your Mac, click on the Apple icon in the top left corner and click on Software Update... be sure to install all updates.

Latest Firefox version: 10.0 and 3.6.26

Latest Google Chrome Version: 17.0.963.4