Anti-Virus Software

Use anti-virus software

Anti-Virus Software


Anti-virus software protects your computer from software viruses, and prevents you from accidentally passing them to people you work with.

Computer viruses commonly get into computers:

  • via email attachments
  • by clicking on infected links (on social media sites or compromised websites)
  • from infection by other people’s compromised computers
  • through the network, especially if you have not kept your software up to date

Anti-virus software doesn’t only protect your computer from viruses. It also prevents you from being the person who transmits them to others.

New computer viruses are being created all the time. It is important to keep your anti-virus software up to date so that it is able to recognise them.


What is malware?

The term malware comes from blending the words malicious and software together.

Malware includes:

Virus (Viruses)
The generic term for any software that self replicates. Computer viruses tend to do more than just self-replicate. They almost always are designed to do some kind of harm.
Devices or software designed to record everything you type. Their goal is your gather information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details etc.
Once installed on your computers, it detects what you do and transmits this to hackers or cyber criminals. It can be similar in operation to software keyloggers.
Trojan horses
Malicious software that is disguised inside software that appears nice or useful.
Malware that, once installed, provides an easy way for hackers to get back into your computer.
Malware that probes the network for vulnerabilities seeking to replicate and spread.


Anti-Virus software

Anti-virus software helps to protect against viruses and other types of malware, such as ransomware and spyware.

Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is essential. Thousands of new viruses are detected every day, with lots of variants of new and existing ones emerging. Most antivirus software update automatically to provide protection against the latest threats.

Antivirus software detects and removes, or disables, malicious programmes. It does this by:

  • Scanning email attachments as they arrive in your inbox
  • Checking files as you open them to make sure they are not infected
  • Performing regular scans of the files on your computer

Some anti-virus programmes have additional features, such as scanning USB devices when they are connected, or highlighting suspicious websites.

Software for Home Use

If you need anti-virus for home use, the University provides Sophos anti-virus for all staff and students and it can be downloaded from this site.

Also have a look at this site for a full list of all the software available for home use.