The click. PEA IT cybersecurity team

You’ve probably heard of malware, but may or may not be aware that ransomware has become one of the biggest cybersecurity threats in the world. The majority of malware included in phishing email and exploit kits is currently ransomware. FBI estimates put ransomware on pace to be a $1 billion dollar per year source of income for cybercriminals.

One way to stay safe is to THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK!

Cybersecurity Best Practices:

  • NEVER share your network credentials. ITS (or any reputable company) would never ask for your login credentials in an email. Emails of this nature are generally phishing scams trying to steal your identity.
  • Use security passcode on smartphones/tablets
  • Always be suspicious of any email that asks you to open an attachment, click on a hyperlink or forward the e-mail to others.
  • Do not download unfamiliar software off the internet
  • Maintain OS/Windows update and antivirus software
  • Always logout of a public/lab computer
  • Always logout or lock your computer before walking away from your desk (Windows: Windows key+L locks computer / Mac OS10.X: command+shift+q logs out of Mac).
    To set your Windows computer screen saver to go to the logon screen, go to Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Change Screen Saver and check On resume, display logon screen. You may also want to adjust the Wait time in that same window > OK.

For additional information, check out resources and guides on from the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

Virus Protection for Personally Owned Computers

Phillips Exeter Academy requires that current antivirus software be installed on any computer that connects to the network, including personally owned computers that connect either remotely or directly. The purchase, installation, and updating of antivirus software on personally owned computers is the owner's responsibility.


Antivirus Software
Norton by Symantec
McAfee Total Protection
AVG Antivirus Protection
Avast (free for PC & Mac)
Sophos (free 30 day trial for PC & Mac)

Virus Hoaxes

Virus hoax email proliferates across the mail servers of the web. If you suspect a message may be a virus or a hoax, do not open the message or its attachment. Delete it or check the Symantec Security Center site.  You may also want to contact IT Customer Support Services. To prevent the spread of viruses, please do not forward your message to anyone else.

Spyware/Adware Information

Spyware gathers personal information about you and tracks web sites you visit. Adware also tracks web sites you visit for targeted marketing practices. You may receive this type of malicious content unintentionally by visiting web sites, downloading email, or receiving instant messages.

Malware can harm your computer by degrading its performance, and in some cases can impact the performance of the network. If you are on the Internet, the chances are good that there is spyware or malware lurking on your computer!

The tools and links on this page are recommended. These are self-supporting tools. IT can only assist you in locating these tools. You should learn how to run and maintain these programs yourself to keep your machine and your network connection at its peak!


Cleaning Tools
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Windows 
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac

The more you know...

Ramsomware can happen
How to eliminate the adware that's plaguing your Mac
KnowBe4 Security Awareness Training Blog
US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team)

Contact IT Customer Support Services at or 603-777-3693.