Install and run anti-virus software

Install and run anti-virus software

This is an essential security practice.

By simply connecting to the internet, you are opening your computer to malware, or malicious software that runs without your consent. Viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware are examples of malware.

Some types of malware are harmless, but others may collect your personal information. The biggest threat is that malware can obtain your personal information and sent it to another person without your knowing. Your computer could also be hijacked remotely and used to send spam or attack other computers. Thus, it is necessary for you to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of malware. Follow the guidelines below to get started.


Faculty and staff are required to run anti-virus software on any computers either owned by the University or used to process University information as part of their job responsibilities. This requirement can be automated through the University's computer management service.

  • Windows users: Activate and use Windows Defender.
  • macOS users: Install and use anti-virus software.
  • Configure your computer's anti-virus software to automatically and regularly scan your computer for threats.
  • Regularly update your anti-virus software.
  • Use the University's computer management service to manage anti-virus scanning and other security-related processes.

General guidelines

The University recommends that students, faculty, and staff use Windows Defender on Windows Computers and install anti-virus software such as avast on macOS systems.

  • Mobile-ready anti-virus software is available for some smartphones and tablets.
  • Configure your anti-virus software to routinely and automatically scan your system and quarantine or remove detected malware.
  • Configure your anti-virus software to routinely and automatically update itself.

Follow these best practices to avoid malware:

  • Do not download software with which you are unfamiliar.
  • Do not install software unless you can verify that it is legitimate.
  • Do not open email attachments that you weren't expecting or that came from people or companies that you don't know.
  • Do not click on links in pop-up windows.
  • Use anti-virus software to detect and remove malware from your computer.

External resources

Malware (Federal Trade Commission)
Explains how to avoid, detect, get rid of, and report malware.

What is a computer virus? (Microsoft)
Basic ways to avoid opening your computer to malicious software.

What are computer viruses, and where can I find more information? (Indiana University Knowledge Base)
Defines what a virus is, different types of viruses, and how they infect your computer and spread to others.