This article outlines information about how to detect threats, how to get free antivirus programs on your personal computer, and other tips for dealing with viruses.

Sophos offers a free antivirus program for students. Get Sophos Home for your computer.

Other antivirus options include:

Antivirus for Windows PC

Antivirus for Mac

How to Detect Threats on Your Computer

Your computer might be infected if:

  • Your computer is running slower than usual.
  • You receive errors in your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer or Firefox) when on the Internet.
  • Your computer crashes often and unexpectedly.
  • You are receiving peculiar error messages or pop-up advertisements.

How to get Free Antivirus on Your Personal Computer

If you get malware on your computer, there are ways to fix the problem. There are many trusted programs available for purchase/free download. Be wary when selecting a program. Some of these "programs" are actually disguised malware, designed to prey upon people's desire for cybersecurity. 

NOTE: All campus computers are equipped with an antivirus program.


MalwareBytes is a powerful protection tool built to scan and detect viruses. MalwareBytes will only scan for viruses when you prompt it to. Therefore, you must be diligent and proactive when using MalwareBytes to scan for viruses. Download a free and safe version of MalwareBytes.

How Threats Get on Your Computer 

Your computer is vulnerable when: 

  • You download free software or illegal content (music, videos, programs) from file-sharing and torrent websites.
  • You open unsafe emails.
  • You visit unsafe websites.
  • You use infected thumb drives. 

How Often You Should Back Up Your Computer Files

Anything can happen in the world of technology. It is vitally important that you back up your files constantly in order to prevent the loss of important documents. You can back up your files by saving them in many different forms, including:

  • Cloud-based file storage services  
  • External hard drives, or thumb drives

NOTE: Thumb drives can get infected with viruses. Do not trust unrecognized thumb drives.