OIT Home > OIT Knowledge Base Search Knowledge Base: Antivirus Information What is an antivirus program? - An antivirus program is designed to protect your computer from possible virus infections. Since most viruses are designed to run in the background, most users do not know when their computer is infected. Virus protection programs serve to search for, detect, and remove these viruses. Antivirus programs must be kept up-to-date in order for them to be able to detect new viruses. So, downloading the program once and never getting the updates will leave you unprotected. What is a virus? - A virus is a program that replicates itself. It is usually spread by attaching itself to other files and programs. You can get a virus through an e-mail attachment, floppy diskettes, downloads, etc. All viruses are different. They can lay dormant for a while and then attack your machine or they can immediately begin causing problems as soon as your computer is infected. Are viruses the only thing I should worry about? - NO. In addition to viruses, there are a growing number of Trojan horse programs, some of which like NetBus and SubSeven BackDoor, allow others remote access to your computer. Spyware and Adware can also violate your privacy and damage your computer. How do I protect my computer from viruses? - You need to download a virus protection program and keep it up-to-date. Before running a download from an unknown site, or an e-mail attachment, be sure to scan it to ensure that it is not infected. If you were not expecting the file, do not open it! Where do I get a virus protection program? - We believe that having a virus protection program running on every computer in the University community is VERY IMPORTANT. Faculty and staff with Windows computers can obtain this software from the Software Distribution Site. Students with Windows computers can obtain this software from the Microsoft web site.Need more help?