Do I need to bring a computer to Bethany Lutheran College?
Should I purchase a desktop or notebook computer?
Is wireless access available?
I want to bring a Windows PC to campus. What kind should I bring?
I want to bring a Macintosh to campus. What kind should I bring?
I want to bring a Linux system to campus. What distribution should I bring?
What software should I purchase for my computer?
How can I best protect myself from phishing scams?
"Phishing" refers to an increasingly common type of on-line fraud. Scammers will send e-mails purporting to be from a financial institution; a bank, for example, or another on-line business, such as eBay. The e-mail usually claims some sort of account problem, and urgently requests you to send in personal information to correct the error, whether via a return e-mail address or through a provided hyperlink. However, once the scammers have personal information in hand, they clean out bank accounts as quickly as possible.
- NEVER, under any circumstances, put personal information (social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc.) in an e-mail.
- Beware any e-mails that ask you to act immediately. Phishers often try to create a sense of false urgency, in order to get a potential victim to act before he/she thinks things through.
- Never follow a link in a suspicious e-mail, since it will often redirect you to a fraudulent site.
- If you do online banking, always carefully check the address. Phishers often create fake websites to ensnare personal information. For instance, a phishing ring might spoof the legitimate mibank.com site as m1bank.com (note the subtle change of the letter I to the digit 1). Also, when doing online banking, make sure that it is a secure site (an "https" address instead of "http", and your browser should display a small padlock icon in one of the lower corners).
- Phishing activity often increases in times of national tragedy (after Hurricane Katrina, for instance). Be wary of any e-mails asking for charitable donations.
To test your phishing savvy, try taking this quiz.
How can I best protect myself from viruses?
Having up-to-date antivirus software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials, configured to do regular system scans (daily or weekly), is the best protection against viruses.
That said, powerful and quick-spreading viruses and worms like Blaster, Sober, and SoBig are comparatively rare. More commonly, viruses trick the user into installing it on his or her system. This kind of virus is known as a "Trojan Horse" due to its deceptive tactics. Fortunately, Trojans are often delivered via the same techniques:
- an attachment in a fraudulent spam e-mail
- masquerading as a useful, free program
- files available on peer-to-peer networks
- pornographic websites
A few simple precautions can protect you from Trojan viruses. Never open an attachment in an unsolicited e-mail, and never open a spam e-mail with an attachment. Only download a program from an unknown website if you are certain that it is safe.
How can I best protect myself from malware?
We recommend using the most recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome and being sure to keep it updated. Using previous versions of any of these browsers increases your security risk considerably. Old versions of Internet Explorer are particularly dangerous. Also avoid using peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Many install unwanted ad-producing spyware upon your computer as a means of raising revenue. Also take extreme care when installing browser extensions or toolbars; many carry hidden spyware packages.
My computer came with antivirus software. Will I have to replace it with Microsoft Security Essesntials?
Possibly. Many new computers are packaged with limited 30 or 60-day trial editions of antivirus software. Once the trial period expires, the antivirus software can no longer download updates, and soon becomes useless. Should your computer have a limited trial edition of antivirus software, it would be prudent to replace it with Microsoft Security Essentials.
Will I need to purchase antivirus software?
No. Bethany recommends students use the free Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program for Windows computers. Typically, Mac computers do not need an antivirus software. If you are a Mac owner and would still prefer to have antivirus software, we recommend Norton, Avast!, or Sophos.
Does my computer need antivirus software?
Yes. You are required to have current antivirus software installed on your computer in order to be able to connect to the network. We use different methods to ensure the safety of our network which may include verifying the software installed on your own computer.
My computer is broken. Will IT Services fix it? How much will it cost?
My computer is running slowly and I see many pop-up ads. What can I do to stop this?
Can I bring a smartphone to campus?
Does Bethany provide a smartphone for students?
What kind of smartphone should I get?
The advantages of an iPhone are its light weight, excellent screen, and vast library of available applications. Additionally, an iPhone will work with Bethany Gmail. The disadvantages of an iPhone are the inability to remove its battery, lack of expandable storage, and single screen size – no smaller or larger screens are available.
There is a vast array of different Android smartphones, with a variety of different options – removable batteries, expandable storage, physical keyboards, and screen sizes ranging from three inches to six inches and larger. Additionally, an Android phone will work seamlessly with Bethany Gmail, since Google develops both Gmail and Android. The disadvantage of an Android smartphone is that it may take some research to find a model that you like and is supported by your wireless carrier.
Generally, we have had the best results with the Samsung Galaxy S line of phones, the HTC One, and the Motorola Droid phones.
What carrier should I get?
Do I need to worry about viruses on my smartphone?
Generally, so long as you obtain apps from the iTunes Store or the Google Play store (and avoided pornographic and pirated apps), you shouldn’t have to worry about viruses on your smartphone.
Can I bring a tablet to campus?
Does Bethany provide a tablet for students?
What size of tablet should I get?
What kind of tablet should I get?
An iPad or an iPad Mini offers several advantages. Both the screen quality and the battery life are good, and the iPad has access to a vast library of tablet apps via the iTunes Store. Additionally, with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case, an iPad can act as a laptop substitute. The chief disadvantage of the iPad is its cost – an iPad or an iPad Mini can cost substantially more than a comparable Android tablet.
Android tablets come in a wide variety of sizes, with 7 inch and 10 inch screens being the most common. Android tablets are usually cheaper than a comparable iPad, and often have a slot for a microSD card, allowing you to store more data than an iPad. As with the iPad, an Android tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard or a keyboard case can sometimes act as a laptop substitute. The disadvantage of the Android tablets is that there are so many models and sizes that it can take some research to find one that meets your needs.
Generally, we have had the best results with the Samsung Galaxy line of tablets, the ASUS Transformer tablets, and the Google Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.
Do I need to worry about viruses on my tablet?
For Android, it is easier to get a virus, but it also takes some work. Most Android viruses come from sketchy apps in the Google Play store (pornographic apps are often malware vectors, as are third-party knock-offs of popular apps) or from third-party app stores on the Internet.
Generally, so long as you obtain apps from the iTunes Store or the Google Play store (and avoid pornographic and pirated apps), you shouldn’t have to worry about viruses on your tablet.