Antivirus and Anti-Spyware Software

Antivirus Software

Students are responsible for purchasing, installing, and maintaining antivirus software on their home computers. It is a mandatory requirement that students have antivirus software installed on their home computers, and keep their virus definitions up to date. 

Many security programs now also include additional anti-malware features, such as the scanning and removal of anti-spyware. It is recommended that you make sure your security software offers a wide range of anti-malware detection and removal.

Many security software vendors offer free versions of their anti-malware software. These include Microsoft Security Essentials, AVG Free Edition, and Avast! Free Antivirus.

Anti-spyware Software

Many current security programs (including Microsoft Security Essentials) also include anti-spyware scanning features. Consequently, you may not need to install a separate anti-spyware scanner. Check your current security software to verify whether it includes anti-spyware capabilities. If not, then you may want to consider switching to a security program that includes anti-spyware scanning, or install a separate anti-spyware scanner, such as Spybot Search and Destroy, which is free for non-commercial use.

Some security professionals recommend using multiple anti-spyware scanners, as inevitably no single scanner will identify all spyware/adware. However, running multiple anti-malware packages can sometimes lead to unexpected complications and system slowdowns. Users choosing to run multiple security programs simultaneously should do so with caution.