Anti-virus software protects your computer from software viruses, and prevents you from accidentally passing them to people you work with.
Computer viruses get into computers:
- via email
- via 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 can help prevent transmitting malware to others. Malware is the term for unwanted or rogue dangerous software.
What does anti-virus software do?
Anti-virus software scans a computer's memory and disk drives for viruses. If a virus is found, the anti-virus software will notify the user. It can then clean, delete, or quarantine any infected files. For devices which do not allow scanning (for example iOS) you can use internet protection and VPN options to add protection.
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. Please note - for any option you choose, please only use reputable stores and official app store products. Avoid downloading any random software you find on Google, as this could be malware.
Devices using the University central Windows 10 Supported Desktop have an anti-virus product automatically installed, licensed and configured.
Other Windows devices should ensure that they are using a suitable anti-virus product. Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with the Microsoft Defender anti-virus already installed. You can check what anti-virus is in use from the Windows Security control panel.
Macs using the University central Mac Supported Desktop have an antivirus product automatically installed, licensed and configured.
Other Mac devices should have an antivirus product installed by the user. Antivirus products for Macs are available from several vendors. A third party list of vendors may help with this - please note that we cannot recommend or promote any particular vendor or product. Please also ensure that your choice of product is appropriate for your use case according to the terms and conditions of the product.
For iOS devices:
iOS will not allow you to use anti-virus scanning tools, due to how it was created by Apple. However, you can use a third party app for internet protection, including such tools as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your internet usage on unsecure networks. A VPN creates a secure ‘tunnel’ between you and the network you are accessing, as if you were physically connected.
For Linux machines:
These devices are unique in their configurations, so to find your ideal protection for these devices, it is best to do some research online or ask a Linux expert in your local computing support team.