Virus Protection

Instructions for installing virus-protection software on ResNet or office computers

Instructions for installing virus-protection software on off-campus computers

Instructions for using virus-protection software


ResNet @ SMC

ResNet FAQ

Contact ResNet

ResNet Problem Report Form


Helpdesk for Faculty and Staff

Helpdesk FAQ


Information Technology

Saint Mary's College

What are viruses, trojans, worms, and malware?

    Viruses are programs designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with your computer use. Viruses can infect your computer simply by you opening e-mail attachments or visiting infectious websites via "drive-by downloads." Viruses can slow down your computer, prevent Internet access, delete data on your computer, and use your e-mail program to spread themselves and your personal data to anyone you know (and even people you don't).

    Trojans are frequently disguised as freeware you would otherwise pay for, including peer-to-peer file sharing of music, videos, and pirated software. Trojans do not self-replicate. Trojans can give others complete access to your computer and report every keystroke you make. They can disable your virus protection and firewall software, and pretend to be anti-virus software when they are not.

    Worms can infect your computer simply by having the computer connected to the Internet without current software patches installed. Worms are self-spreading.

    Malware refers to any malicious software on a computer.

How can I protect my computer?

  • Install software updates (Windows Update for Windows computers, Software Update for Mac computers) when they are made available. Do not delay in installing the updates available from Microsoft and Apple, as these updates are the first line of defense in protecting your computer from security threats.
  • Always have up-to-date virus protection software installed on your computer. Saint Mary's provides McAfee software for free to all faculty, staff, and students for their College-owned and personally-owned Mac OS X and Windows computers.
  • If a message (e-mail, chat, text) isn't personalized, don't click on the links or open the attachments. You should never open an attachment you are not expecting.
  • Don't click on any link if you are not 100% certain where it will go. Stick with reputable websites for your information. Not every link found with Google is a safe one.
  • If a free copy of software/music/video sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It could be bait for a drive-by (hidden in the background) download of malware.
  • Make sure you are always using the latest version of Adobe Flash. It should be downloaded directly from http://www.adobe.com and NOT from any other website that prompts you to install it.
  • If you believe your computer may have malware currently being installed (for example, you see a suspicious pop-up about anti-virus or anti-malware software), push the power button on your computer and hold the button in until the machine turns off. Don't click on the cancel or X buttons in the windows.
  • If you have installed a Windows operating system on an Apple computer, that computer is just as vulnerable to malware as any other computer running Windows. Make sure that you take the same precautions as other Windows users to protect your computer - keeping your version of Windows up-to-date with Windows Update and installing and keeping your Windows virus protection software up-to-date (in addition to your Mac OS X virus protection software).

What happens if my personal computer becomes infected?

  • Students: If your computer is infected with malware, you are responsible for cleaning the unwanted software off your computer. Instructions for removing many current threats are available on the ResNet FAQ at http://www.saintmarys.edu/resnet/resnetfaq.
  • Students: The ResNet Office can provide assistance with malware removal, but the process may take several hours. You must be present with your computer in the ResNet Office the entire time your computer is being worked on.
  • Students: If your computer is infected with malware that is self-spreading (via e-mail or over the network in some fashion) or your computer is suspected of having malware because it is displaying symptoms of infection that can be traced, Information Technology will block Internet access from your computer until the computer has been cleaned and an RCC has witnessed a scan for malware on your computer coming up clean.
  • Faculty/Staff: Information Technology does not provide support for personally-owned computers. You may refer to the ResNet FAQ at http://www.saintmarys.edu/resnet/resnetfaq for guidance or find a reputable technical support provider off-campus.
  • Saint Mary's College and Information Technology are not responsible for any loss of data or other damage caused by malware. You are responsible for installing and keeping the virus protection software on your computer up-to-date as well as backing up your personal files on a regular basis. (Your personal network drive is backed up automatically every night by Information Technology, though.)

What happens if my College-owned computer becomes infected?

  • Faculty/Staff: If your College-owned computer is infected with malware, you may contact the Helpdesk (helpdesk@saintmarys.edu, 574-284-4715). Information Technology staff will arrange for the malware to be removed. A timeline for when the malware will be removed cannot be provided, as it depends on the number of infected computers Information Technology is currently working on.

  • Saint Mary's College and Information Technology are not responsible for any loss of data or other damage caused by malware. You are responsible for installing and keeping the virus protection software on your computer up-to-date as well as backing up your personal files on a regular basis. (Your personal network drive is backed up automatically every night by Information Technology, though.)

What happens if a computer in a classroom/cluster becomes infected?

  • The Windows computers in the computer classrooms and clusters on campus are protected with a software program called Deep Freeze. Rebooting the computer should remove any software that was not installed by Information Technology.
  • If problems persist, please complete a Cluster Problem Report Form at http://fixit.saintmarys.edu so it can be addressed.

How Can I Protect My Computer Against Malware?

    In a networked environment such as Saint Mary's College (including ResNet), the ease with which malware can spread from computer to computer is greatly multiplied, as is its potential for damage. Instead of affecting just your machine, malware could spread to hundreds of computers all over campus, and could even bring down our campus network. Recognizing this threat, the College has decided to provide virus protection software free of cost to all students, faculty, and staff for their personal computers. This software can be downloaded from the campus network and installed on your computer. Any student who connects her computer to the Saint Mary's network via ResNet must install virus protection software and keep it up to date. Failure to have current virus protection software on your computer may result in the loss of ResNet access privileges. McAfee virus protection software is available for both Macintosh and Windows computers. Instructions for installing virus protection software on your personal Macintosh or Windows computer connected to ResNet can be found at http://www.saintmarys.edu/virus.


Instructions for installing virus-protection software on ResNet or office computers:


Instructions for installing virus-protection software on off-campus computers:
(students living off-campus and faculty/staff home use)


Instructions for using virus-protection software:


Virus Hoaxes

    There are a lot of viruses out there. And then there are some viruses that aren't really out there at all. There are many e-mail messages floating around the Internet that claim to be viruses (Good Times, Join the Crew) and are nothing more than hoaxes. The problem with these messages is that people keep forwarding the messages to all their friends, and the message ends up spreading as if it was a virus. Hoax virus warning messages are more than mere annoyances. After repeatedly becoming alarmed, only to learn that there was no real virus, computer users may get into the habit of ignoring all virus warning messages, leaving them especially vulnerable to the next real, and truly destructive, virus.

    If you receive an e-mail that warns you of a virus, such as "Good Times," that you can get via reading an e-mail message, check it out before panicking and forwarding it to everyone you know - it may be a hoax! To learn if a virus warning is a hoax or not, consult these lists of virus hoaxes:

Questions about virus protection?

  • If you are a student living on or off campus, please fill out a ResNet Problem Report Form at http://fixit.saintmarys.edu, by sending an e-mail to resnet@saintmarys.edu, by calling (574) 284-5319, or visiting 113 Haggar College Center. The ResNet Office hours are posted on the ResNet website at http://www.saintmarys.edu/resnet. The ResNet Office is not open during academic breaks, including the summer.
  • If you are a faculty or staff member, please contact the Information Technology Helpdesk by sending an e-mail to helpdesk@saintmarys.edu, by calling (574) 284-4715, or visiting 113 Haggar College Center. The Helpdesk is open Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm.


Last Modified October 4, 2016