What is a virus?

A virus is a computer program that interferes with your computer’s operation. They can:
Steal important information, including your password’s by logging your keystrokes
Corrupt or delete data from your computer
Spam your contacts (e.g. send “Viagra” emails to all your friends and family)
Slow down your computer

A virus can replicate itself. It usually spreads through emails attachments, and online downloads, especially from websites illegally distributing copyrighted material.

How can I protect my computer?


1) Download, install and use the free version of AVG AntiVirus. This is available for free at:
For a step by step guide on using AVG products, check out their tutorials here.
2) Download, install and use the free version of Malwarebytes. Run a full scan of your computer. This is available for free at:

Note: You should only ever have one anti-virus program installed. Multiple anti-virus programs can slow down your computer and interfere with each others functionality. If you require assistance uninstalling old anti-virus programs, please log an IT Assistant request here.

Mac OSX:

Download AVG AntiVirus. This is available for free at:

How do I know if my computer is infected?

Generally, a virus has a few symptoms. These include:
Your system is running very slowly, or suddenly slows down.
You receive unexpected warning messages.
Programs are starting automatically without your permission.
You see pop-up ads, even when your computer is not connected to the internet.
Your home page or default search engine changes.
You see new toolbars, links or favourites that you did not add to your browser.

How can I remove viruses?

If you suspect or know that your computer is infected with a virus, follow the steps below to safely remove the infection:
1) Reboot your computer into safe mode with networking.

To do this, restart your computer. The computer will start processing a set of instructions known as the “Basic Input/Output System (BIOS).” What you see depends on the manufacturer; some display a progress bar whilst others may have ni indication that this process is happening.

As soon as the BIOS has finished processing, begin tapping the F8 key. Continue to do so until the Windows Advanced Options menu appears. Sometimes (usually if you begin tapping the F8 key too soon) you may get a “keyboard error” message. Just restart your computer and try again.

Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to scroll through the menu options, and then select the Safe Mode with Networking menu option. Press ENTER.

Some new Windows 8 computers boot so quickly that you can almost never press F8 in time. If this is the case, you will have to do the following:

Press the Windows Key and “R” at the same time. This will open up a prompt. Type in “msconfig.exe” (without the quotes), and press enter. This will open a window called “System Configuration”. Select the “boot” tab from the top menu. Check the “Safe boot” box (under boot options, in the bottom left corner of the window). Select the “Network” option under “Safe boot”. Click OK. A box asking you to restart should appear. Click restart.

If you use this alternate method, after you are finished you will need to repeat this process, but uncheck “Safe boot”.

2) If you have not yet done so, download and install the free version of Malwarebytes from

3) Start Malwarebytes.

4) Update Malwarebytes definition files. Note that you need to be connected to the internet to do this. Click the “update now” button.

5) Click the “Scan” tab.

6) Select a “Custom Scan”, then check the boxes next to your hard-drives. You should also plug in any flash drives or external hard-drives that you have, and select them too for this scan.

7) Run the scan. Note that depending on the number of files you have this can take more than an hour.

8) Select any malicious files found and delete them.

9) Make sure to install AVG Anti-virus, and to set up weekly scans with Malwarebytes and AVG.