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There are many types of malware (short for malicious software) scattered across the internet. These can perform various actions, from pop-up advertisements to locking you out of your computer. Most malware comes packaged with "free" applications from the internet, so be careful what you download. Make sure you download programs from the official source, not a file transfer site. Don't open files that you don't recognize, especially if you don't know the source.

Some of the types of malware:

Adware: Short for advertising-supported software, this malware commonly displays advertisements for the sponsor's content. This can include controlling what ads you see on websites. Adware is often bundled with spyware.

Ransomware: This nasty piece of malware accesses your computer and prevents access to it until you pay a sum on money to the creator. This can include encrypting your hard drive, preventing you from accessing it through other means. Paying the attacker is no guarantee of getting access to your files.

Rootkit: Designed to slip in unnoticed, rootkits are designed to allow access to your machine without your knowledge. This is a stepping stone to installing further malware, stealing information, or similar malicious activities. Rootkits are hard to detect, usually by the trace of what they've already done.

Spyware: Another one that's designed to be hidden, spyware gathers data about the user such as account information, login credentials, or even keyboard input. These are often bundled with adware.

Trojan: Like the famed Trojan Horse, this malware looks like a normal file or program. It can be an avenue for further malware, or unauthorized remote access. These are often disguised as normal downloads, such as music or games.

Virus: A virus copies itself and spreads into other programs. They infect "clean" programs, and are easily transmitted. Because they infect other programs, they have a wide variety of effects.

If you believe your computer is infected, go to another computer and change all your passwords. Various pieces of malware can track data submitted to websites or the keys you press. Once your passwords are secure, run trusted security software on the infected machine. Visit our Downloads page for trusted programs including Malwarebytes, Ad Aware Free, and Symantec Anti-Virus.

If you are uncertain, contact the UAS IT Helpdesk for assistance and recommendations.

Enabling Pop-ups in Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari

To allow pop-ups for specific websites please follow these steps:

In the examples for UAS Courses below, you'll want to add "https://online.uas.alaska.edu" and "https://classes.alaska.edu".

Internet Explorer

  1. Open Internet Explorer and click Internet Options on the Tools menu,
  2. Click the Privacy tab, if the Pop-Up blocker is turned on,
  3. Click settings and enter the website address you'd like allow pop-ups on.
  4. Click close and then OK.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome prevents pop-ups from automatically appearing and cluttering your screen. Whenever the browser blocks pop-ups for a site, an icon appears on the top-right in the address bar. Click the icon, check 'Always allow pop-ups from <website address>'. To see blocked pop-ups for a site, follow the steps listed below.

  1. Type the following in to the address bar in Chrome: chrome://settings/contentExceptions#popups
  2. Add the website address, then click done.

Firefox

  1. Open Firefox and Type the following into the address bar: about:preferences#content
  2. Click Exceptions
  3. Enter the website address you wish to allow
  4. Click 'Save Changes'

Safari

Safari only allows you to have the pop-up blocker turned on or off.

  1. Open up your Safari Web browser,
  2. Go to the Safari menu and choose Preferences,
  3. Then security and uncheck the box next to 'Block pop-up windows',
  4. Click the red button to close the preferences window.

Step 1: Try to remain calm; quickly disconnect from the internet if possible. When booting up your computer again, turn on safe mode:

  • To initiate Safe Mode on Windows 7/8/10 hold "F8" during the start up of your computer.
  • To initiate Safe Mode on Mac hold "Shift" during the startup of your computer until the apple logo appears.

Step 2: Delete your browser cache.

Step 3: Uninstall malicious programs.

  • For information on different types of problematic programs, see Preventing and Removing Malware above.
  • For instructions on uninstalling programs, see How to Uninstall Programs below.

Step 4: Change your passwords from a computer that has not been compromised. If you use the same passwords for any other sites, it is a good idea to change them now as a safety precaution. To change your UA Password, sign into ELMO (elmo.uas.alaska.edu).

Step 5: Contact the UAS Helpdesk to alert them of any malicious emails or websites to prevent the phishing attempt from further circulation.

Step 6: Scan your computer for viruses. If you are in need of antivirus software the university offers the program Symantec Antivirus that can be downloaded on our Software page. If your security program asks you to quarantine a program, it is a good idea to give it permission to do so. By quarantining the issue, your security programs should be able to isolate problems and help prevent further corruption of your computers files.

Step 7: Protect yourself from future phishing, now that you've learned what these attempts look like. Be more wary before opening emails. If you get an email that looks like it is from the university, take a moment to examine it more closely. When in doubt, call to ensure its authenticity.

Don't Panic! Office 2010 has autosave turned on by default to run every 10 minutes. It is likely you can recover (at least) that version of your document.

Try these methods in this order and don't hesitate to call us at 796-6400 for assistance.

1. Restart Word to look for the recovered document

    1. End all Word related processes:
      1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Esc to open the Task Manager dialog box.
      2. On the Processes tab, click any instance of Winword.exe or Microsoft Word, and then click End Process. Repeat this step until you have quit all instances of Winword.exe and Word.
      3. Note If this is your first time using Task Manager in Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, click More details to see all processes.
      4. Close the Windows Task Manager dialog box.
    2. Restart Word and then see if the missing file is displayed in the Document Recovery task pane.  By default, Word searches for AutoRecover files each time it starts.
    3. Double click the AutoRecover files one by one. If you find the lost Word file, save it immediately

2. Search for AutoRecover files (2010)

If the Recovery pane does not open, manually search for AutoRecover files (.asd files). To do this, follow these step, as appropriate for the version of Word that you are running. 

    1. On the File menu, click Recent.
    2. Click Recover Unsaved Documents.
    3. If you find the Word document that you are looking for, double-click it to open it.
    4. Save it immediately.

3: Search for Word backup files

    1. Start Word 2010.
    2. Click the File menu, and then click Open.
    3. Locate the folder in which you last saved the missing file.
    4. In the Files of type list (All Word documents), click All Files. The backup file usually has the name "Backup of" followed by the name of the missing file.
    5. Click the backup file, and then click Open.

If you have other versions of Office all instructions can be found here: 

Reference: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/316951

Older versions of Firefox experienced issues viewing PDF files. As such, a fix was put in place using the PDF Viewer Add-on. This was functional for Firefox version 19-35, though the browser itself was capable of viewing PDFs. In Firefox version 39, this add-on no longer functions, and prevents users from viewing PDFs at all, displaying a blank screen. To remedy this, the add-on must be disabled.

  • From the menu button in the upper right corner, select Add-ons.
  • Click Extensions from the left menu bar.
  • Navigate to PDF Viewer 1.0.277.1, by Mozilla Labs. The version number may be different, dependent on updates.
  • Click the Disable button to the right.

Once disabled, Firefox should revert to opening PDFs internally.  

Java is a fundamental piece of software needed for Blackboard Collaborate. Versions vary based on the operating system of your computer and the version of browser. The primary application in use by Blackboard Collaborate is an independent Launcher, which should not require Java to be installed on the computer. However, older versions of Blackboard Collaborate have required Java in the past, and it may be necessary to troubleshoot these older versions.

To update Java security settings to enable Webmeetings, go to the Java Control Panel (Start > Control Panel > Java for Windows users and Apple icon > System Preferences > Java icon for Mac users).  From the Java Control Panel, click Security tab > add the following to the Exception Site Listhttps://elive.uas.alaska.edu https://*.uas.alaska.edu  https://online.uas.alaska.edu

Google Hangouts is web-based software that can be used to hold video calls, phone calls, and you can even instant message other users. Because everyone in the UA system has a Google Email, everyone has access to use Google Hangouts!

Google Hangouts also has an app available for Android, iOS, and Chrome systems.

In Chrome, you can get an extension for Hangouts so that when you receive a message it will pop up on your computer. Check the Chrome store to get the extension.

To uninstall programs on Windows, launch Start Menu  and open the Control Panel. Click on "Uninstall a program which can be found under the "Programs" section. From there, find the program you wish to uninstall and click on it. You should see an option to uninstall it. That will bring up the programs uninstall menu which will prompt you to keep clicking next until the program is completely out of your system. Look for recently installed software and software that has names you are not familiar with. For easy searching, sort by most recently installed.

To uninstall programs on Mac OSX, simply drag and drop the program into the Trash bin. This should delete that program from your machine. You are going to want to search the applications folder for unfamiliar software.

Clearing your cache and cookies is a good practice for browser maintenance. Whenever you visit a website, it stores data about the webpage and login information. This means it will can use the local copy to run a little faster next time, or store your credentials to log in automatically next time. By clearing your cache and cookies, it prevents you from viewing older versions of a page, protects your personal information, and helps certain applications run more efficiently. 

Select your browser from the list, or scroll down for instructions. 

Internet Explorer

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
  2. Uncheck the top Preserve Favorite Website Data box.
  3. Check the boxes next to Temporary Internet Files and Cookies. (Check the other boxes at your own discretion.)
  4. Click Delete.
  5. Close all browser windows.
  6. Re-launch Internet Explorer.

Firefox

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete.
  2. Select Time Range: Everything.
  3. Ensure under Details that Cookies and Cache are checked. (You may need to click the down arrow beside Details.)
  4. Click Clear Now.
  5. After the process completes, close the browser
  6. Re-launch Firefox.

Google Chrome

  1. Once your browser is open, press Ctrl+Shift+Delete. (Mac users: Command+Shift+Delete)
  2. Ensure that Cookies and other site and plugin data is selected.
  3. Click Clear browsing data.
  4. After the process completes, close the browser
  5. Re-launch Chrome.

Safari

On a Mac:

  1. Go to the menu labeled "Safari"
  2. Select the sub-menu "Preferences ..."
  3. Press the Remove All Website Data button
  4. Press the Remove Now button

On a PC:

  1. Click on the Gear icon next to the address bar
  2. Choose Reset Safari
  3. Check the boxes next to Empty the cache and Remove all cookies (Check the other boxes at your discretion)
  4. Click Reset

Tips

It is a good idea to clear your browser's cookies on a regular basis.

You can disable or restrict cookies through the sections above. This is recommended for security reasons, but will render some sites inoperable. It is possible to only allow cookies for sites that you specify.

It is a good time to clear your browser's cache while you are clearing the cookies. The cache stores information, images, and web pages on your computer for quick and easy access. Hackers can obtain crippling financial information from your cache if you're not careful.

 

Can't find the answer?

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Contact the Helpdesk

(Helpdesk)
907-796-6400

(Toll Free)
877-465-6400

(General Information)
907-796-6452

uas.helpdesk@alaska.edu

 

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