Use anti-virus

Anti-Virus Software - your responsibility

Anti-virus software for you to download:

The University has a site licence for the Sophos anti-virus client which is available for MS Windows, Apple Mac OS X and Linux. Members of the University can install the Sophos client on to their own computers for free.

Sophos Anti-Virus

To obtain Sophos Anti-Virus:

  1. Visit Software Registration and Download
  2. Select Sophos Anti-Virus
  3. Click on Submit
  4. Download and install the appropriate Sophos client for your computer system

Doing this also makes sure that you are registered on a mailing list so that you receive important announcements.

Full instructions are given in the IT Services Anti-Virus pages.

If you have alternative anti-virus software that you are happy with, then it's fine to stay with that as long as it is kept up-to-date.

If you leave the University you must remove Sophos Anti-Virus from your PC(s) and/or laptop(s). It is recommended that you install an alternative anti-virus product.


Viruses are one example of malware, malicious software that corrupts, modifies or deletes data stored on your computer. Other examples of malware include:

  • Adware: displays random advertisements or replaces your normal home page.
  • Spyware: silently collects passwords, PIN and credit card numbers typed at a keyboard and forwards these over the internet.
  • Trojans: destructive programs which masquerade as benign - a trojan can open your computer to attack by other malware.
  • Worms: malicious software that spreads automatically from one computer to another.

See the Adware and Spyware section of IT Services for more information, and tools for the removal of malicious software.

Malware gets onto your computer in a variety of ways:

  • Attachments on email
  • Infected files downloaded from the internet
  • Pirate software
  • Sharing USB sticks
  • If your system software is not fully updated, then simply having it connected to the internet can result in attack and infection from outside.

There are thousands of pieces of software designed purely for malicious activity. Owners of computers connected to the University network are responsible for the installation and maintenance of up-to-date anti-virus software. Virus-infected computers can be barred from using the University network. The following actions may help you to avoid accidentally downloading a virus.

  • Login as a normal user rather than using an administrator account
    • Most users will be using a standard limited user account for their everyday use of their computer.
    • Standard limited user accounts have fewer privileges to make changes to the operation of the computer than administrator accounts.
    • This means that a virus downloaded on a standard user account may not cause as much damage as one downloaded by an administrator.
  • Check that up-to-date anti-virus software is running on your computer
    • Use Sophos Anti-Virus (see above), or another commercial product, and keep it up-to-date anti-virus so that this software will help detect and protect you from viruses, notifying you when it detects anything that could be harmful.
    • Viruses are targeting all platforms, Windows, Mac, Android, etc.
    • As a matter of course you should update your anti-virus software as frequently as possible, scan your PC, Mac, etc. regularly and check that your anti-virus software is running and updating.
  • Beware of clicking on links in emails and even opening email attachments from trusted sources
    • Email attachments may contain code which can lead to the compromise of your information and personal details.
    • Opening emails from trusted sources is not foolproof protection as email addresses can be faked, but this does reduce likelihood of virus infections.
    • If you receive an attachment that you are suspicious of, you should report it to your local IT support straight away.
  • Think and question your actions before you download any software
    • Do not install pirated software, or apparently legitimate software from an unknown source.
    • You should speak to your local IT support if you're ever in doubt of the effects of an installation.
  • Contact your local IT support if you spot anything suspicious on your computer
    • Your local IT support will be able to help answer any questions you have regarding email attachments or downloads that you are concerned about.

Apple, IOS, Mac and viruses

Got a Mac and think this doesn't apply to you?

Other Sources of Information


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 6 October 2014