It is important to have a good working anti-virus program on your computer, whether it is running Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems. An anti-virus will provide valuable protection for your computer by detecting and removing malware. It can also block malicious webpages to help prevent malware from being downloaded.
It is also a requirement of the University of Otago that all computers connecting to the network have a working, updated antivirus:
If you are unsure whether or not your computer has an anti-virus installed, see the instructions below or contact AskStudent IT for assistance.
- Open the Control Panel and go to Programs > Programs and Features.
- Look through the list of installed programs on your computer. This will show any installed anti-virus software.
- Click the small up-arrow on the bottom right of the toolbar to display the system tray. Often an installed anti-virus will be shown here.
- Navigate to your Applications folder by opening a Finder window and clicking Applications in the left sidebar.
- Use the Search function in the Finder window to look for the names of common anti-virus software applications (see list below).
Some of the most common anti-virus software applications are:
- Windows Defender (free with Windows 8 and 10)
- Sophos (30-day free trial—the University of Otago's recommended software)
- AVG (free)
- Avast (free)
- Norton (via paid subscription)
- McAfee (via paid subscription)
Some anti-virus software requires a paid subscription. If your subscription is out of date, you will need to either renew your subscription or install a free anti-virus. A computer that has an anti-virus with an expired subscription does not meet University of Otago policy for use of the University networks.
Please see the Wikipedia Comparison of Anti-Virus Software page if you wish to consider alternatives and compare different vendors and products.
Two or more anti-virus programs?
If you find you have more than one anti-virus installed, choose your favourite and uninstall the other. If you have more than one anti-virus, they will interfere with each other and neither will work effectively, potentially leaving you with no anti-virus protection at all.
Windows Defender on Windows 8 and Windows 10
Windows 8 and 10 come with Windows Defender, a full anti-virus program that is fine to use at the University.
If you need any assistance installing or removing an anti-virus program, or if you are worried about malware on your computer, please contact AskStudent IT: