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Spring Cleaning: Make your computer safer in two easy steps
April 28, 2017
Jess Archer
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spring cleaning cartoon
Image: Phil Johnson

Mark your calendars for the Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) Spring Cleaning event: May 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Center Coffeehouse (W20, 3rd floor). Find out how to shred your old hard drives, secure and clean up your digital life, and recycle hardware!

MIT faculty, students, and staff can download Sophos anti-virus software and CrashPlan backup software at no cost from the software grid, a service provided by IS&T. Both programs run in the background and require no maintenance after initial installation and setup.

Back up your hard drive with CrashPlan

CrashPlan safely stores a backup of your personal files. Your data is encrypted at MIT before being sent to CrashPlan’s cloud servers. It also automatically updates your backup with every edit you make.

If your computer is unexpectedly wiped, lost, or damaged, you can download CrashPlan’s copy of your documents to a new computer. You can also restore files from a previous backup to recover files that are now inaccessible. This feature is especially helpful in the event of a ransomware attack.

To ensure that all the files you wish to preserve are included in the backup, consult CrashPlan’s “Changing The File Selection” page. IS&T’s Knowledge Base (KB) also has a helpful CrashPlan FAQ.

Stop, block, and remove viruses with Sophos

Sophos is a digital threat screening and cleaning program based on a state-of-the-art big data analytics system. It scans files on your computer for viruses, malware, and ransomware, including new variants. Sophos not only blocks suspicious downloads, but warns you of existing threats.

Sophos won’t send you frequent notifications or reminders; it only prompts you to take action when a threat is found. With one click, you can clean up all the viruses it’s detected.

Two programs, one safer computer

CrashPlan and Sophos both increase your digital security with minimal effort. At the Spring Cleaning event on May 1, IS&T staff will be on hand to verify whether you have CrashPlan and Sophos on your laptop and assist with installation if needed.

If you’re unable to attend, you can contact the IS&T Service Desk for help with the software, including installation on computers you use at work or at home.