Don't Download Unknown or Unsolicited Programs or Files

What's the risk of downloading programs and files?

They can harbor behind-the-scenes computer viruses and spyware, or open a "back door" giving others access to your computer without your knowledge.

(Back to Cyber Security Basics page)

To help protect your computer and data:

  • Only download files and plugins from trusted sources.
  • Don't download plugins to view pictures, videos, music and other content online without verifying their legitimacy. These often contain malware.
  • Don't download unknown software or files. Be especially cautious about free software offered online or via email.
  • Don't click on links or ads for software in email, popups, instant messages/texts, or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Don't open unsolicited attachments. If in doubt, contact the sender and ask if the attachment is legitimate.
  • Don't use untrusted portable media, such as a stranger's flash drive. If the flash drive is infected, it will infect your computer.
  • Never deactivate your computer's antivirus or other protective software. Set them to update frequently and automatically.


Contact the ITS Support Center if you would like your computer configured to meet these requirements. If you have questions, contact the Support Center or your ITS Divisional Liaison.

Rev. Jan 2014