CCAC logo 
Talkin' Tech: Security and Online Safety
Talkin' Tech page provides guidelines for:
Current Threats

Understanding the Threat
Home Protection 
Informational Links

All computers, from the family home computer to those on desktops in the largest corporations in the country can be affected by computer security breaches.   As with any type of crime, the threats to the privacy and integrity of data come from a very small minority. However, while a car thief can steal only one car at a time, a single hacker working from a single computer can generate damage to a large number of computer networks that can wreak havoc on our country's information infrastructure.

Click on any word in red to see more information on that topic!

      CCAC Current Advisory                      

Announcement ( Email account deletion) Hallmark Card Scam 
Your OWA Account to be disabled Fake IRS Email
Subscription Expired Fake Antivirus Software  
Storage Limit Apache Software
Black Board/Web Mail User System Tool
Win 7 Internet Security  2010  Email sent by CCAC  ITS staff
Official Message    Facebook/You-Tube Virus
Email storage limit   UPS PostBox-Manager
Microsoft Customer Care   
Notice From Helpdesk  



Understanding the Threat:
The best defense against malicious threats is educating yourself to recognize and deal with suspicious situations in the classroom, office, home and on mobile devices. Participate in this Online Course, developed by CCAC ITS:


i-SOS Information Security and Online Safety

This course has been designed to arm you with knowledge and skills for protecting our information and technology assets, as well as protecting your own personal technology resources and privacy. The online course includes videos produced by our ITS staff and relate practical knowledge and tips. There are also links to relevant resources and assessments to track your learning.

To access the i-SOS course, go to Call or email the ServiceDesk to obtain the enrollment key for this course.

You should continue to call the CCAC ServiceDesk at 412.237.8700, if you identify suspicious activity or your software or browser is not functioning properly.




Home Protection

The National Cyber Alert System is America's first coordinated national cyber security system for identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing emerging vulnerabilities and threats. All information products are available on a free subscription basis and are delivered via push e-mail. Home users can also access Cyber Security Tips and Cyber Security Alerts from US-CERT affiliates including StaySafe Online.



Recipe for Healthy Computing (both here at work and at home):

  1. Beware of deceptive emails; DO NOT open suspicious emails or attachments.

  2. Develop strong passwords that others cannot guess. Keep these to yourself.  DO NOT share your password with anyone.

  3. Never provide usernames, passwords, or account numbers when solicited by phone or email.

  4. Lock your computer while you are away from your desk (Control-Alt-Delete/Lock computer OR Windows button/L).

  5. Guard sensitive data with utmost care.  DO NOT download confidential information to laptops, mobile devices, or computers outside the CCAC network, as these can be lost or compromised.

  6. Use antivirus software and turn on auto-updating. *

  7. Install operating system updates routinely. *

  8. Install firewall software to increase security. *

  9. Back up your documents on a regular basis to external media, to protect your data from unanticipated failures or attacks.

  10. Please be careful of the websites you access; there are potential risks of infecting your work or home computer. (Also, be cautious of URL’s that are embedded in email messages; instead of clicking on them in the email, you may want to copy the URL and place it in the address line of your browser.)

* ITS maintains these safeguards for all networked college PCs; you should be using these same safeguards with your personal computers or laptops

Follow these precautions at home, especially if you are using a high-speed internet connection (DSL, Cable or FIOS)

 Don't have virus protection at home? Check with your Internet provider, many of them offer free or low cost virus software.  Also check out the following sites for free anti-virus software:


Making sure that your home computer system is password protected is the simplest and most common way to ensure that only those that have permission can enter your computer or certain parts of your computer network.  However, the most powerful network security infrastructures are virtually ineffective if people do not protect their passwords.  Many users choose easily remembered numbers or words as passwords, such as birthdays, phone numbers, or pets' names, and others never change their passwords and are not careful about keeping them secret.  Keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Make passwords as meaningless as possible.  A great technique is to create a phrase that you can remember; eg, my mother was born in 48 in new York; alternate the case and you have a password: MmwBi48iNY

  • Change passwords regularly.

  • *NEVER divulge passwords to anyone, including supervisors or your own staff!

  • The Service Desk will never ask your password either.

See these useful sites or articles for tips on creating and managing passwords:

Managing Your CCAC Passwords

Check your password—is it strong?

Are you password protected?

Common Passwords to Avoid, and Best Practices to Ensuring Password Security

 Informational Links on Viruses:

Computer Virus Timeline
A Short History of Computer Viruses and Attacks
To check the validity of a Rumor

Threat Explorer

Malware Protection Center

Gibson Research CO.




Back to Talkin' Tech topics

Back to ITS Website

CCAC Home page