TRAP-COM Campaigns for Safe Computing at Mason

Posted: August 23, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

It may sound like some kind of insect killer, but TRAP-COM is out to catch bugs of another kind—digital worms, viruses and malicious software—before they mangle the George Mason computer network.

Short for Threat Response Action Planning Team–Communications Subcommittee, TRAP-COM was formed a couple of years ago after major virus and worm attacks from infected computers nearly crippled the network. The committee’s mission is to prevent future attacks by educating the George Mason community.

TRAP-COM makes it clear that safe computing is everyone’s responsibility, and the team—Bob Nakles, Cathy Hubbs, Leslie Painter, Kathy Gillette, and Ann Genovese—has developed targeted messages for new and returning resident students and faculty members.

“I believe the messages about safe and secure computing targeted to the Mason community are having a big impact on our ability to provide quick support to resident students, faculty and staff,” says Genovese, DoIT director of client services.

“People are much more aware of what can happen if their systems aren’t protected with current antivirus software and system patches. That’s making life a bit easier for our support analysts and technicians.”

For resident students there is a new hotline (703-993-5111) to reach their local Res Tech, a student appointed to assist fellow students with technology issues. Residents will also be advised about how to download antivirus software, and what to do to combat spyware, unwanted software that performs certain tasks on your computer, usually without your consent.

As a final security measure, all resident students’ computers will be checked for the latest antivirus and security updates before they are allowed onto the Mason network.

An important resource for new computer users at Mason is “Getting Started with Technology,” which is available online. The ITU Support Center, at 703-993-8870, is also available to help with technology issues or questions.

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