Internet Guardian

Internet Guardian is a service that helps protect students, faculty and staff against phishing attempts and malicious software on web sites. The service identifies and tracks malicious software and phishing links, protecting you, the user, by blocking malicious web sites or phishing attempts when accessing the site or clicking on the link.

Provide responses to end-users’ Frequently Asked Questions for the Internet Guardian service.

All users of Minnesota State’s internet resources.

Internet Guardian End-User Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know I am protected by Internet Guardian?

The protection is implemented at the network layer so the service is mostly transparent to you, the end-user, and your workstation or device. If you are browsing web sites, or click on a link that takes you to a site that does not contain malicious software, Internet Guardian will allow access to the site and you will proceed normally. However, if a web site is identified as malicious, or a link is determined to be a phishing attempt, an Internet Guardian screen will appear indicating the web site or link cannot be accessed.

This protects you, and your workstation from infection. The protection page looks like this:

Internet Guardian Protection page

How will Internet Guardian benefit our campus?

Internet Guardian protects everyone on campus by helping to prevent phishing attempts or access (intentional or unintentional) to web sites that contain malicious software. This greatly reduces the number of devices that may become infected with viruses, botnets, etc. Campus IT staff will spend less time cleaning up infected workstations and more time supporting academics and business on campus. Important: As a reminder, this service is not perfect. Internet Guardian acts like an additional safety net in protecting you and our information assets. Everyone still needs to be alert and diligent in their safe computing practices.

Will Internet Guardian impact my internet experience?

The only time you will see a difference is when clicking on a phishing link or attempting to access a web site with malicious software. When that occurs, the Internet Guardian protection page will be displayed. Access will be blocked, protecting you, and your workstation from infection.

What should I do when I encounter the Internet Guardian protection page?

First, you should verify that the site you were trying to access is correct by looking closely at the site named in the browser bar. Sometimes a misspelled word or string of characters in the site name takes you to a web site you may not have intended to visit. Second, close browser or tab and avoid going to that site. Third, continue browsing as normal.

What should I do if I think the block page is in error?

If you have a business or academic need to access a blocked site, you may submit an inquiry by clicking on the “contact your network administrator” link, which can be found on the protection page. If you have an urgent need, contact the MSUM IT Helpdesk.

If I get the Internet Guardian protection page, does that mean I was infected with malware?

No, just the opposite. You were prevented from accessing the malware site before you could be infected. If you still have concerns, call the MSUM IT Helpdesk.

What happens if a user, or group of users, needs to access a blocked site?

The user or group of users with a legitimate academic or business need can request access to a blocked site by contacting the MSUM IT Helpdesk. The request will then be evaluated by campus IT staff and the system office security team to determine the potential risk and impact to your institution.

Why am I getting a certificate error page instead of the Internet Guardian Protection page?

Computers that are not managed by your campus or Minnesota State may get a certificate error page instead of the Internet Guardian Protection page if the blocked site uses HTTPS. If this happens, you are still protected. This only indicates Internet Guardian was unable to display the standard Protection page screen.

What if I have further questions about Internet Guardian?

Questions about Internet Guardian can be submitted to MSUM IT Helpdesk.