Anti-virus software protects your computer from viruses and worms and Trojan horses. These are programs or pieces of computer code that are often loaded onto your computer without your knowledge or consent. They can spread through several methods including e-mail, file sharing, web browsing, and unsecured desktops. Anti-virus software periodically scans your computer for the known types of viruses, Trojan horses and worms; it also scans files being saved or accessed on your computer. For anti-virus software to be effective, it needs to be updated regularly so that it can protect against the latest threats. Using up-to-date anti-virus software can help you reduce the chance of your computer being infected.
While the U of S provides network-level security for the campus community, ICT recommends using anti-virus software to provide additional security to your computer. If your computer is managed for you by IT support personnel, please consult with them to see if your computer is already protected by anti-virus software as part of the support service they provide. ICT recommends that Sophos anti-virus software be installed on computers running the Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Macintosh, and Linux operating systems. Sophos is provided free of charge to all members of the University community through a Sophos Anti-virus Software* site license. This licence is for both on-campus and at-home use.
If you are already using a different anti-virus product, it is not necessary to switch to Sophos. If you are using a limited-time software product that was included with the purchase of your computer, you can switch to Sophos or purchase a commercial product to ensure that your computer stays protected when the free trial expires. Commercial products are available from McAfee and Norton (Symantec). If you use a product other than the U of S provided Sophos you must ensure that the virus definitions for the product are updated regularly.
If you cannot install Sophos or need assistance, contact your local IT support personnel or contact the ICT Help Desk. Support for commercial anti-virus software products is provided by vendors.