Viruses and Spyware
Throughout every year we approached by many students and staff
that have personal computers that have been damaged by viruses and
spyware. For some it is just an inconvenience of not being able to
use their own equipment however for others the consequences are
Although we cannot offer direct technical support on personal
equipment we will always be happy to provide advice and guidance
whenever it is asked for.
Four Simple Preventative Measures
- Keep you operating system up to date (i.e.
Windows), by downloading and installing updates. Most operating
systems do this automatically but it is worth periodically checking
to ensure that they are being applied.
- Ensure you have an Anti-virus installed and
that it is up to date. Again anti virus programs should do
this automatically but it is worth checking occasionally. Remember
subscriptions for anti virus products run out too, this is
particularly the case with new computers that come with 3-months
free subscription. You do not have to pay to get good virus
protection, AVG and
Avast are two
examples that are available, however please check that the product
you select is compatible with your system.
- Only install software you know from a reputable
source. Applications you have never heard of or even
well recognised applications that have been obtained from sources
you cannot verify may contain viruses or damage your system. In
many cases you may have to decide yourself but a good idea is to
Google the name of the application to see if it is genuine.
- Browse safely, avoid unverified links and e-mail
attachments. A secure and well patched computer can still
be comprised easily if you click on the wrong thing without looking
or open an attachment. The best advice is to read what is on
the screen before clicking. While sometimes it might be
easy to spot a fake or suspect message(i.e a stranger contacting
you via email offering you large sums of money) other times it
might not be so easy (i.e. an email that looks like its come from
your bank, student loans company, IT department asking for you
login details note: none of these will ever ask for you
login details via email).
What to Do if I Think I have a Virus?
What you can do depends on the current state of your system as a
- Download a copy of Malware bytes. You may
have to use another PC and save it onto a pen drive.
- Download the current definitions for your
antivirus or if no antivirus is present down load a copy
of AVG or Avast, again you may have to use another PC.
- Start the PC in safe mode. When you have
turned on the PC start pressing the F8 key as soon as it starts to
turn on. You should see a black and white screen with a selection
of windows boot options. Select 'Safe mode' with the arrow keys and
use the return key to confirm.
- Backup your data, once you have confirmed you
are in safe mode, this might be a good time to save any important
work or documents off onto USB.
- Install the latest definitions you downloaded and
Malware bytes. Once they are installed do a full system
- Review and remove any dangerous items. Bear in
mind that removing some items may break the system and that on
restarting the PC another scan will be necessary to check if
anything has come back.
- Restart your computer. hopefully this will
have fixed it but bear in mind that elements of whatever was
causing the problem might still exist on the machine keep an eye
out for anything unusual and do regular updates and scans.
What to do if my Account has been comprised?
Change your password immediately.
Contact the helpdesk with as much information as you can just
changing your password might not be enough. Does someone else know
your password? Did you reply to a suspect email?
For further support you can contact the ICT Helpdesk in the
- Visit the Information desk on the 1st floor of
Fountains Learning Centre.
- E: firstname.lastname@example.org
- T: 01904 876696 (9am to 5pm Monday to