Malware is "malicious" software such as viruses, spyware, trojans, rootkits, worms, adware, ransomware, and scareware. Antivirus software will protect your computer from malware.

Your computer can become infected with malware in a number of ways, such as via email attachments or compromised downloads. To reduce the risk of getting malware on your computer:

  • Install antivirus software — keep it up-to-date and run regular scans
    • If you are using a University of Otago-owned computer, antivirus software will be installed and managed by IT Support Services
  • Don't download pirated software, as it is more likely to contain malware
  • Be alert and critical when browsing the internet and when downloading material from websites
  • Only plug in trusted USB drives to your computer
  • Don't open unexpected email attachments from unknown or even known senders
  • Don't follow web links within an email message unless you are certain that the link is legitimate. Following a link in an email message executes code, which can also install malicious software on your computer
  • Don't complete forms sent via a web link from an unknown sender. This is to mitigate the risk of identity theft
  • Use a current web browser and consider using security add-ons (such as uBlock Origin, NoScript, or FlashBlock)
  • Complete the Cyber Security education and awareness training modules assigned to you

If you need any assistance installing antivirus software on a personally-owned computer (students only), or if you are worried about malware on your computer, contact AskOtago