Protecting Your Computer


Each year hundreds of student computers on campus are infected with a virus, trojan program or spyware. Protect your computer before you become a statistic. This page will guide you on how to proactively prevent viruses and other malware from getting to your computer.

(If your computer currently has a virus or other malware, follow the instructions at Removing Viruses and Malware from Windows or Mac OS instead.)

If You Do Nothing Else: Make Sure Your Built-in Antivirus Is Turned on

Use a Malware Scanning Program

Due to licensing restrictions, Malwarebytes is only available to run on personally-owned devices.  Virginia Tech does not own an enterprise edition and therefore it violates the licensing agreement to run Malwarebytes on a university-owned device.

Avoid Computer Viruses

There are many ways to avoid getting a computer virus, such as:

If you suspect an email has a virus, is malicious, or will try to steal or send your password:

  1. Do not open any attachments to the email.
  2. Delete the message from your inbox. Make sure to empty the trash or deleted messages box.

Virus Hoaxes

A virus hoax is a report of a fictional virus. These are often sent out as emails requesting that you forward them on to as many people as possible to stop the spread of the fictional virus. These virus hoaxes create lots of unwanted email messages for the people who receive them and may also spread rumors about companies' products and services.

Help stop the spread of virus hoaxes by checking the legitimacy of the email before passing it on.

Use Strong Passwords

For secure password strategies, see Virginia Tech Password Rules, Requirements, and Tips

Install Updates for Windows or Mac OS

Uninstall Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Programs

For instructions, search Google.

Backup Your Data

Every possible method of attack has not been discussed. Even if you follow all of these recommendations, it is still possible that your computer could be compromised by a hacker. In a worst case scenario, your files could become corrupted or even erased, or your hard drive could simply fail, causing the loss of all your data. For more information, see Backing Up Your Data.