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Virus Protection at MIT - Virus Protection Tips

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Pre-bundled Virus Protection Software

MIT provides Sophos Anti-Virus free of charge to the community (certificates required). Not only does using Sophos save cost, but you have the added benefit of using software that has been fully tested in the MIT environment and is supported by the IS&T Help Desk. Also, the MIT settings for Sophos ensure that your system will be updated with the latest virus definition (DAT) files.

If your Linux, Macintosh, or Windows system came pre-bundled with any virus protection program other than Sophos, remove it prior to installing Sophos from the Software Grid. Sophos works best on computers that do not have additional virus protection software included on them.

Recommendations for Email

Many computers get viruses through email because of dangerous links that were clicked on, or attachments that were opened. 

The spam filtering tools on our email server will catch most dangerous files and emails from arriving into our in boxes. Nevertheless, it is always possible that some might slip through. To prevent getting a virus from unwanted email, Sophos will scan any email attachments by default, including compressed files that reside on a computer.

That said, there is no better way to protect a computer from viruses coming in through email than by already practicing good email hygiene and caution: 

  1. Don't open email messages, attachments, or click the links within emails from people you don't know.
  2. Set up the Spam filter's good and bad sender lists to prevent spam from arriving in your email inbox. How to add an email address to your good or bad sender list.
  3. If an attachment seems suspicious, or out of the norm from what you typically receive, even if you know the sender, contact the sender first before opening it. Instead of hitting "Reply" use "Forward" and type their email address in, or better yet contact them over the phone, chat message, or in person.
  4. If a spam message makes it through the Spam filter, you can report it to Symantec to improve the filters for everyone  

Subscribe to a Security Alert List

The Security-FYI Email Newsletter
This email newsletter from IS&T keeps you up to date on the latest security-related announcements, updates, virus alerts and information that will help you to take preventative safe computing measures.

Subscribe here. (For members of the MIT community) 

Security SIG
This is special interest group and email list for anything IT security-related. Meetings are held monthly to discuss various topics. Members can share their knowledge, experience and questions at these events or with the email list.

Learn more here. (For members of the MIT community only)

Get Help with a Virus Problem

Contact the IS&T Help Desk or search on the term "virus" or "malware" in the Knowledge Base.

Additional virus help information can be found at:

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 12, 2018

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