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Virus Protection (PC and Mac)

The information on this page is for personally-owned computers. If your PC is owned by the University it should be updated to Windows 10 and running Windows Defender. 

What antivirus options are there?

For PCs

If you are using a PC, we recommend using Windows Defender which comes pre-installed in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1.

If you know that you are running Windows Defender, you can check that you have the most up to date version on the Microsoft website. Go to this link, click Verify You’re Updated and Open Settings. A button will then appear where Windows will check that it has the most recent version of Windows Defender.

For security purposes, we also recommend running the most up-to-date version of Windows (Windows 10 at time of publication). Please also be aware that running Windows Defender in conjunction with a third party antivirus package could potentially cause issues.

If you would like to install antivirus software, some free options are available:

Many antivirus programs will offer either a free basic version of the software or a time limited free trial, after which you may be required to pay for full functionality. If you are downloading antivirus software, some key considerations are:

Choosing the right version

If you are installing new antivirus software, make sure you pick the right version to download - you will likely be asked to choose a particular version depending on what type of Windows software you are running.

To find out which version of Windows your device is running:

  • Press the Windows logo keyR, type winver in the Open box, and then select OK.

To find out more information, such as whether you're running a 32 or 64-bit version:

  • Press the Windows logo key, then Settings (the gear symbol), then scroll down to About in the menu on the left hand side of the pop up box and click on it



Removing any existing antivirus programs

It is important to remove any existing antivirus software before installing a new one. New computers often come with a trial version of antivirus software. You can uninstall an antivirus program using add/remove programs in the Control panel or, if it is available, with a specialised removal tool provided by the manufacturer.

Running the new antivirus

When complete, go back to the installer you downloaded earlier and double-click on the file to install it.

When the installation has completed, the software will update itself with the latest information about the viruses it needs to be looking for. This can take some time, but when it's finished it should confirm that you are protected.

Most antivirus software gives you the opportunity to run a scan of your computer to check for potential problems. This can take a long time to complete (potentially several hours for a full scan) but it's a good idea to do this soon after you install a new program or periodically, to ensure that your computer is protected.

For Macs

Macs are generally less fallible to virus issues than PCs, however, there are still antivirus options available to further protect your computer. Some possible options are:

If you need any additional help, please contact the IT Service Desk for support 

created on 2020-03-26 by Chris Jarvis
last updated on 2020-03-27 by Chris Jarvis