Information ServicesUpdates & anti-virus

Protect your devices and information by keeping software up-to-date and using anti-virus.

Always update software and apps as soon as possible. Updates are released to fix weaknesses that might otherwise be exploited by cybercriminals.

Antivirus software is essential to protect your computer from viruses and other types of malware, such as ransomware and spyware.

Watch Computer Updates from Get Safe Online on Vimeo.

Top tips for software and app updates

Do not ignore prompts on your computer, smartphone or tablet that notify you that a new update is available.

The few minutes it takes to apply an update could save you a huge amount of time and inconvenience by stopping your device from becoming infected with malware.

Your device will have options to install updates automatically. You can choose to apply updates at night.

Make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser; go to the What Browser? website to check if you need to update to the latest version.

Anti-virus software

Anti-virus software helps to protect against viruses and other types of malware, such as ransomware and spyware. Malware can have very serious consequences, such as:

  • identity theft and fraud
  • deletion, theft and corruption of data
  • a slow or unusable computer

Keeping your anti-virus software up to date is essential. Thousands of new viruses are detected every day, with lots of variants of new and existing ones emerging. Most antivirus software updates automatically to provide protection against the latest threats.

Antivirus software detects and removes, or disables, malicious programmes. It does this by:

  • scanning email attachments as they arrive in your inbox
  • checking files as you open them to make sure they are not infected
  • performing regular scans of the files on your computer

Some anti-virus programmes have additional features, such as scanning USB devices when they are connected, or highlighting suspicious websites.

Top tips for anti-virus software

Uninstall one antivirus program before you install another. While it will not provide 100% protection against all cyber threats, antivirus software is an essential first line of defence. Other steps you can take to avoid malware include:

  • backup your data regularly
  • do not open email attachments unless you are sure the email is from a trusted source
  • be aware of malicious links in emails, instant messages, social networking sites or other websites
  • use USB connected devices with caution (for example, memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players) as they can be used to carry malware
  • enable macro protection in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • only install software from reputable sources

Find out more

Keep your Windows device up-to-date by turning on automatic updates. By doing so, Windows automatically installs important updates as they become available. 

The Microsoft website provides information on how to keep your PC up to date.

A Mac will normally prompt you when a software update is available.

If this option is not enabled on your Mac, you can check for updates in the App Store. 

The Apple website provides information how to update software on your Mac.

You can check in the App Store if there are updates for apps on your iPhone or iPad. If there are, the 'Updates' icon will have a little red dot with a number inside it. This is number of apps that need to be updated. Select 'Update All' to get the latest versions of each app.  

The Apple website provides more information on turning on automatic updates for apps and how to update your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

To check your device for available updates, go to the ‘Settings’ app, select ‘About’, and choose ‘Software updates’.

Your Android device should automatically check for updates to the apps you use, and download and install them directly from the Google Play Store. Sometimes you may be required to authorise an update.

With any malware, if you have the slightest suspicion, you should take action immediately.

University-owned devices:

  1. Disconnect your device from the University network. For wired connections, like a desktop PC, pull out the network cable. For wireless devices, disable your wireless connection.
  2. Power down your computer.
  3. Contact the Helpdesk.

Personal devices:

  1. Disconnect your device from the internet. For wired connections, like a desktop PC, pull out the network cable. For wireless devices, disable your wireless connection.
  2. Power down your computer.
  3. Use another, uninfected computer to download anti-malware software and save it to a DVD or USB. Free versions of anti-malware software are available online.
  4. Turn on the infected machine, making sure it’s still not connected to the Internet, and run the anti-malware software from the DVD or USB.
  5. Keep running the anti-malware tool until your device is ‘clean’. 
  6. Reconnect your device to the internet and update the anti-malware.
  7. Scan the device again.
  8. Change your device login passwords and any other passwords you suspect may be compromised.

Anti-virus software will be installed on University-owned computers. For more information, contact your local IT support.

The University provides anti-virus software for home use. To download the software, log on to Pegasus and navigate to the 'Available Licenced Software' section on the 'Information Services' tab.

More information on University's Anti-Virus Policy can be found on the Information Security Policy web pages.