College of Engineering |


Adware, Spyware & Viruses


Every computer can be vulnerable to viruses, and protecting your computer requires constant attention. Every computer with Internet access should have antivirus software installed. Computers which connect frequently to the network or are always on the network are at the greatest risk for infection. DECS staff is very experienced in cleaning an infected computer and helping prevent infections. Keep in mind that sometimes the scope of the infection may require a complete reinstall.

Michigan State University Data Breach

On Friday, November 18, 2016, MSU released a statement regarding a data breach. MSU has confirmed that 449 records of individuals were accessed by an unauthorized user and these records contained name and Social Security numbers. The particular database in question contained a total of approximately 400,000 records. MSU is taking every precaution possible and offering ID protection services to all 400,000 people. The database in question did not include passwords, financial, academic, contact, or health information.

FriendFinder Networks Inc.

In November 2016, it was reported that FriendFinder Networks Inc. had a data breach where over 400 million usernames and passwords were compromised. As of November 15, 2016, we are unable to search through the database. In the future, you can check to see if your account was compromised at the following websites:

If you believe that your account has been compromised, you can take the following steps:

Passwords & Safe Practices


Passwords provide restricted access to computer systems, email, and other electronic resources. Do NOT share your password with anyone. Sharing your password with another user could result in the loss of your engineering account. When you have accounts to multiple resources be safe and avoid using the same password for every computer/email account that you might have -- make them different!

Malicious Software

Malicious software is any software that brings intentional harm to a computer system. Malicious software can  take part in a wide variety of forms which could steal protected data, delete documents, or add unwanted software.

Safe Computing Practices at Home

Beware of Social Engineering

Social Engineering is an attack vector that relies on your interaction and often involves tricking you into breaking security procedures. Cyber attackers discovered that the easiest way to get your information is to simply ask for it. Common sense is the best defense against a social engineering attack. If the message seems odd, suspicious, or even too good to be true, then it is probably a social engineering attack. Examples of social engineering include: