Information Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk charges $125 to clean viruses, adware, spyware, and peer-to-peer (P2P) software from student-owned computers. Visit UNK P2P policy pages for additional information about P2P applications. Students will have access to spyware and antivirus removal tools through their Blackboard account. The tools are free to all students and can be used before the student feels the need to contact the Helpdesk for assistance. If the cleaning is unsuccessful the student will be notified and a reinstallation of the operating system will be recommended to the student in order to get the computer connected to the campus network. Reinstallation of the operating system will be $100. This process will restore a computer to its original state and remove any viruses, adware and spyware that may be installed. In addition all other software programs will be removed due to the reformatting of the computer’s hard drive and reinstall of the operating system. Operating system media must be provided, by the student, for the computer. When the Helpdesk returns the computer after the reinstallation of the operating system, the student will need to reinstall any application software, such as Microsoft Office, as well as antivirus software and antispyware software. Backing up files is the responsibility of the student.
Here, in question and answer format, is information about the policy and ITS intent.
Q. What is the policy?
A. Beginning with the Fall 2007 semester, ITS began charging students for examination and clean-up services performed on computers contaminated with viruses, spyware and other software that poses risks to users of the UNK campus network. Charges are $125 for examination and clean-up service and $100 for operating system reinstall. The ITS Helpdesk will continue to provide free assistance to connect to the UNK network, both wired and wireless. The Helpdesk will perform a series of tests on computers that have trouble connecting to the UNK network. If the tests determine that the problem is due to viruses, adware or spyware, the student will be contacted and advised of the charges for the clean-up service before any clean-up work begins. If the student agrees to the clean-up charges then the student will be required to come into the Helpdesk and sign an agreement for the clean-up of the computer.
Q Why does the Help Desk charge for these services?
A. Viruses, adware and spyware cause serious problems on computers and the infected computers compromise the integrity of the campus network that supports the entire University community. Although many students are aware of the risks of viruses, adware, spyware, and peer-to-peer (P2P) programs, they may not take the necessary steps to prevent computers from becoming infected. The Helpdesk provides online resources for students to help themselves. We hope that this will encourage students to take responsibility for the care and maintenance of their computer and avoid the clean-up charge and the inconvenience of leaving the computer at the Helpdesk overnight.
Q. Who does the work and how long does it take?
A. Mainly professional staff and some experienced students clean computers. The time varies depending on the problems found. Most computers take from three to five hours, and some take considerably longer.
Q. How can students prevent their computers from becoming infected with viruses and clogged with spyware?
A. Computers will become infected with viruses when anti-virus software is not installed or anti-virus software is not kept up-to-date. After anti-spyware and anti-adware tools are installed, updates must be downloaded regularly and scans must be run on a regular basis to protect the computer. Spyware and adware are applications that are installed on your machine without your permission, particularly when downloading files to your computer. Spyware and adware are often installed by Trojan programs, some freeware and shareware application programs (like file-sharing programs), or as "driveby installations" from various websites. Spyware and adware invade your privacy and interfere with your work by transmitting information to their creators, opening unwanted pop-up windows, and noticeably slowing your computer's performance. Visit UNK's P2P policy pages for more information about P2P applications.
Q. Will the ITS Helpdesk remove P2P applications when they remove spyware or viruses?
A. No. The ITS Helpdesk will not remove P2P applications unless the application is blocking the computer from connecting to the UNK network. However, P2P applications will be removed when the computer’s hard drive is reformatted and the operating system is reinstalled. Backing up any files is the responsibility of the student. Students need to be aware of the risks associated with downloading and sharing copyrighted files,including music, movies and software. Students at colleges and universities across the U.S. have been named in lawsuits and forced to settle out of court for thousands of dollars for distributing copyrighted music files over p2p networks. We strongly encourage students to NOT utilize P2P applications for sharing of copyrighted files.
Office of Information Technology Services, 114 Otto Olsen Bldg, (308) 865-8950
ITS HOME | POLICIES | ABOUT ITS