Protect your Personal Computer

Overview

Installing updates for all software and operating systems can help prevent vulnerability in your computer. For further information, please see our page on preventative maintenance.

Getting Started

Mac/PC Updates
Running regular updates on your operating system allows your computer to prevent many malicious programs. Often this is set up to run automatically, however if you are unsure if you computer is up-to-date or would like to manually update it, please see the directions below.

Anti-virus
The best way to prevent infection on your PC is to install an anti- virus program. IRT offers Microsoft Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP) free to UST faculty, staff and students. Directions on how to run virus scans are located below. SCEP is available on the Antvirus webpage.

In the past Macs were not as susceptible to viruses as PCs. However, we are seeing an increase in Mac viruses and recommend adding the extra security of Microsoft Center Endpoint Protection (SCEP). Antvirus webpage.

After installing, make sure to run a system scan at least once a week and update the program as needed.

Anti-spyware
Popular anti-spyware programs are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and Spybot – Search & Destroy. These programs can help supplement your antivirus protection by searching for a specific type of malware. However, this should not take the place of an antivirus program. If you choose to install an anti-spyware program, be sure to keep it up to date and run scans regularly.

Browser
Like any other software, internet browsers also need patches and updates. These updates usually are downloaded automatically and will alert you to restart your browser when the download completes. Not all browsers contain the same security features. You may want to research the browser you are currently using and determine whether it meets your security needs.

Other Precautions
Infections are commonly caught through email. Never open attachments or click on links in emails that are from an unknown sender or appear to be fraudulent. For more information about email safety see our spam and phishing page.

If you would like to download software online make sure it is from a reputable website. Documents and non- HTML files are just as threatening when downloaded from the internet, so make sure you know exactly where your download is coming from.

Lastly, be conscious of the websites you are visiting. Malicious scripts on websites can infect your computer without your knowledge. Sites that offer “free” material (e.g. music, movies, etc.) are very likely to give your computer an infection. Downloading copyrighted material without paying is illegal and also puts your computer at high risk.

What to Do When Your Personal Computer is Infected

Visit one of our Help Desks. External assistance is also available. Here are some recommendations for where to get a PC or Mac fixed.