Information Technology Services - nav image

7.1 Computer Operation

Harvard Enterprise Security Policy:

Policy Excerpt
Computer operators must ensure that the computer environment is secure, patches are up to date and the machines are operated in a way to minimize the chance of a security breach. Computer operators also must ensure that only required applications are enabled on a computer.

HLS Policy:

HLS owned assets come with antivirus preinstalled and configured to automatically install operating system updates. For non HLS assets, operators must have antivirus and automatic updates enabled.

Each member of the HLS community is responsible for “ensure[ing] that only required applications are enabled on a computer”. This means taking precaution when using email, web browsing, and other applications.

Approved Solution:

Symantec Antivirus for HLS owned assets

Operating System Updates set to automatic

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How can I make sure only required applications are running on my computer.
A: As a practice HLS ITS configures computers with a standard set of software. If you need additional software please contact the help desk.

Q: How can I avoid Malware, Viruses, and Trojans?
A: Most malware comes from websites that have been hacked or host pornography. In general if you have not visited a website before a Google search should be performed in order to authenticate the website. Most Malware, Viruses and Trojans come via email. If you don’t know the sender do not click on any links or open any attachments.

Q: How do I know which applications I should have on my computer?
A: You can find a list of HLS ITS supported applications here:
Not every computer has all of these applications. This is a list of applications that HLS ITS installs and supports on HLS owned assets.

Email Scams
Q: How can I tell if an Email message is fraudulent?
A: Many times it is very hard to tell a fake message from a real message.  The first thing to do is look at the email address of the sender.  If the message is claiming to be from an account, ensure that the address has an suffix.  Do you know the person who sent you the message?  If you are in doubt, do not respond to the message, click on any links, or open any attachments in the message.

Q: Should I click links in Email messages?
A: It is best practice to copy and paste the URL from your Email message to the address bar in your Internet browser.

Q: What should I do if I think an Email is a scam?
A: Delete the message.

Phishing Emails
Q: What are phishing emails?
A: Phishing emails are messages requesting information such as your username, password, and/or bank account information.  ITS does not request username and password in emails.

Q: What should I do if I responded to a phishing email with my password?
A: Immediately change your password, then notify the ITS Help Desk at 617-495-0722 for faculty and staff, or 617-495-9576 for students.

Password Protection
Q:   Will ITS ask for your password?
A:   ITS does not request usernames and passwords.

Q: Should I share my password with anyone?
A:  Only you should know your password. It should not be shared with other members of the HLS community, including ITS or family members.

Last modified: November 06, 2008

© 2015 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.