Information about what you should do with your computer in order to stay protected from viruses and malware as well as tips to stay aware when you are connected to the Internet.


Instructions on how to properly run anti-virus software and completely remove malware from your system.

Safety Tips

Tips on how to learn from your experience with viruses on your computer. Further sugestions for the safe use of computers with regards to general and data security/safety


Students may download the following free software in order to protect their computer. We recommend that students use AVG and Malwarebytes to protect their system. WARNING You should never install AVG alongside any other anti-virus program (Norton Anti-Virus/F-Secure) because these programs will conflict with one another and cease to function properly.








Before Infection

  • Prevention is important
  • Make sure to have anti-virus installed and keep it updated on a daily basis.
    • Use it as well. Do virus scans at least once a week!
  • Be aware of what you're downloading. Make sure the website is credible.
    • A URL/link with gibberish ( is probably not credible
    • Do not always trust online user reviews. These are easily faked.
    • Be sure that you are visiting the correct site. Typos in the URL or viruses can redirect you without you knowing to a different web site.
    • If someone has sent you a link, be sure that they know what the link is.
    • Remember above all else that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Do not click pop-up ads
  • Also, beware of internet pop-ups that look like antivirus programs. No website can scan your computer without your permission, so if a pop-up tells you that you have a virus, it is probably trying to infect your computer.
  • Be aware of fake antivirus programs in general. These are hard to remove and tend to download many more viruses onto your computer instead of removing them.Some examples of what we've seen include:
    • XP Antispyware 2008-2009
    • Protection Center
    • AVGuard
    • SecuritySuite

  • Note that random links or unexpected links (For example, a link to a compromising picture of you) that are sent to you on Facebook or  over an IM client from friends may in fact be viruses. Be sure to double check that the person meant to send you a link that you were not expecting.
  • Common sense is important. If you are using programs like Limewire or Bittorrent to download or share files on the internet, you are likely to eventually download a file that contains a virus that will infect your computer.

After you've been infected

  • First, try to disinfect the computer yourself
    • If you have antivirus installed, disconnect the computer from the internet and run a scan with it.
    • If this does not work, we suggest that you boot the computer into safe mode with networking enabled  and install Malwarebytes
  • Restart the computer
  • Hit F8 while it is booting
  • Use the arrow keys to select "Safe Mode With Networking"
  • Once into windows, download Malwarebytes (or if it is installed, update it) from
  • Run a full scan using Malwarebytes
    • If these scans do not work, try searching online for the specific virus or symptoms your computer has.
  • Note that if you cannot disinfect the computer and you do not have time to bring it to IT, you can usually get by for a few days just using the computer in Safe Mode. Viruses are usually disabled in Safe Mode, and the computer will usually run much faster in Safe Mode.
    • This is not a permanent solution

Once the computer is disinfected

  • Learn from your mistakes. ITS sees many computers over the years that continually get infected with viruses because people don't learn. It is time with your own computer you waste without proper preventative measures.
    • Your data is in jeopardy every time your computer is infected.
  • Remember to back up your data consistently and often so that any sort of computer problem will not hamper your ability to get critical files
    • If anything at all, make sure vital files are backed up. Anything with critical information should be backed up at least weekly (if changed).