Anti-Virus Protection

About the software

All University managed workstations have an anti-virus service installed as standard.  For Mac users, on workstations provided by the University, if you do not believe you have an anti-virus service running, please contact your Faculty IT Department to arrange a review of your device.

The University provide anti-virus applications for workstations directly provided and managed by Exeter IT.  The licence agreement the University has does not include use on personal computers however it is the Users responsibility to take suitable measures to ensure that any device connected the University Network or being used for University Business is protected from viruses and malware.

Anti-Virus options for personal devices

For Personal Use Windows Computers, Microsoft provide free anti-virus applications. Windows Defender is included with Windows 8 and later, whereas you can download Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) for Windows 7 or earlier.

To download Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 and earlier https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=5201

To find out more about Windows Defender for Windows 8 https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/pc-security/windows8.aspx

To find out more about Windows Defender for Windows 10 https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/17187/windows-10-protect-your-pc

Apple Macintosh and Unix/Linux systems are not immune to computer viruses and it is still recommended that you ensure you device is secured and you take suitable steps to protect your computer from viruses and malware.

How to check your Anti-Virus system is up to date and working.

On the workstations provided by the University, in the System Tray next to the clock you’ll see a Shield Icon.  If everything is running as normal, the icon will be Green and when you hover your mouse over, it’ll say ‘PC Status: Protected’.

If the icon is Amber this can indicate that a scan has not been run for a while, the Anti-virus client is not up to date or it has detected a minor virus or malware infection.  This can occur when the computer has been switched off for a few days.  If it is Amber it will generally resolve itself within a few hours.  If it doesn't resolve itself, please raise a call to the SID helpdesk.

If the icon is Red this indicates the anti-virus system has stopped working.  This can be because it has detected a serious virus or malware infection or it could be because it hasn’t been updated for an extended period.  Please contact the SID helpdesk immediately.

Although the anti-virus system will automatically regularly scan both your computer, and also any new files added to it (for example – emails received, files downloaded) you can also choose to run a manual scan if you are concerned.  Click on the Shield icon and in the System Centre Endpoint Protection screen click ‘Scan now’ on the Home Tab.  To check how old your virus definitions list is click the ‘Update’ tab and if it’s more than a few days old, click the ‘Update’ button.

If you are notified that a virus has been detected, even if the anti-virus service successfully cleans your computer, please report the incident to the SID helpdesk. 

Please remember that no anti-virus program can keep your computer completely secure against viruses, and it’s important not to assume you are safe just because the service is running. New viruses appear all the time, and there is often a delay between a virus appearing and the virus definitions list being updated to recognise it. 

Best Practice for reducing the risk of Viruses and Malware

Keep your computer or device updated

University-owned staff computers will automatically install relevant updates as checked by the University IT team. Students and personal computers can change the settings on their computer to automate this process.  All computers (Windows, Mac’s and Linux) should always be kept up to date with the latest security patches available from the manufacturers.

Be cautious about opening attached files or clicking on web links in emails

A message may not be from someone you know just because it appears to be from their address.

Be careful what you download

Spyware can be installed if you download software, toolbars or extensions, especially from unofficial sites.  

Regularly backup your data

For personal computers, consider backing up your valuable data either offline, for example on an external hard-disk, or using an online service such as Dropbox, GDrive from Google, OneDrive from Microsoft or iCloud from Apple.  If your device is then infected, it will be easier to restore your data after it’s been resolved.

Please note that all staff workstations, any personal data should be stored on the network drives (typically drives ‘N’ and ‘U’) available to your account and not on the local ‘C’ drive of the workstation.  As long as your data is stored here, it will be available and backed up regularly by the University.

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