Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works by looking for patterns of known worms and viruses in files you download and in programs that are running on your computer. Since bad actors are always creating new worms and viruses, your virus protection software needs to be regularly updated to recognize the latest threats.
Anti-Virus Software Installation
Regardless of where you obtain your antivirus software, make certain it is configured for daily updates and active monitoring. New viruses, malware, and spyware threats are identified everyday, and your protective software is only as strong as your most recent update. Whether you are using a PC or Mac, there are a vast array of options to choose from. OIT recommends the following for each system:
- Windows PCs include robust, pre-installed anti-virus software called Windows Defender.
- As a supplement to Mac OS's built-in security, we offer ESET anti-virus. You also should follow Apple's Mac OS Security best practices. For those interested in an additional layer of security, there are free and paid options available on the App Store.
- Free antivirus software is available on the internet which will provide you coverage, but may show some ads/banners as well. For those looking to acquire free antivirus for personal devices, the following are available.
- Keep anti-virus software up to date. This will ensure your computer is protected against newly-created malware, viruses, worms, and spyware.
- Run regularly scheduled scans with your anti-virus software. This is a simple step to protect your computer, but it is easy to forget. Configure your anti-virus to run at scheduled intervals. Once a week is preferred.
- Avoid downloading software from the internet. Whether using a Mac or PC, download software only from the corresponding App Store.
- Do not click links in emails. Hackers are constantly coming up with creative ways to install viruses on your computer. Be mindful of what you click in emails. Check out Identifying Malicious Emails to see some common characteristics of phishing emails.
- Use Strong, Unique Passwords. Always use separate passwords for each service, especially work and bank accounts. If you use the same password for everything, a bad actor could use a password stolen from one provider to log into your other accounts in seconds.