MCR Computing

Viruses

It is important that all computers be protected from viruses, but this is particularly important for computers connected to active local networks or on which important data are stored, both of which apply to most postgraduate students. The college and university require you to install virus-checking software, run it and keep it up to date on any computer connected to the university network.

The university makes virus-checking software available free to all current students, and this is usually pre-configured to be automatically and regularly updated. You should install this on your own computers as soon as possible and verify that it is set up for updates. The Computing Service has a local "repository" of update files, which is the most convenient source for virus updates (but you can still connect to the manufacturer's main repository on those rare occasions when the local repository is inaccessible or not up to date). After installation, you should run a complete system scan.

For publicly-accessible computers - for example the MCR computer, PWF computers and the college Computer Suite - their administrators should ensure that virus protection is installed and updated. You should not have to take any action (unless you observe that a machine is not protected), and indeed the college rules require that you do not interfere with virus-scanning software.

E-mail from Hermes is routinely scanned for viruses, and filtered for spam, at the server. However, you should still use virus-checking software on your own computers to check your e-mails. Occasionally your software may be more up-to-date than theirs (you should always keep it up to date); you might want to choose a higher level of protection by performing a "heuristic scan" - this will occasionally detect previously unknown viruses (although you will almost certainly get occasional false alarms). If you have an account on a non-Cambridge server this is particularly important.

Whatever virus scanning is in place, though, you should be very careful with e-mail attachments - and remember that viruses aren't only sent by e-mail, but could be received on discs or CDs or via internet downloads. Refer to the information about malware.

Virus information

Introduction to viruses

Latest version numbers for anti-virus software

Virus alerts

Computing information last modified by SP on 13 October 2009