Loyola University Chicago

University Information Security Office

Information Technology Services


Every computer should be running antivirus software that automatically updates virus definitions and scans the computer on a regular basis.

Students living in the residence halls and running a Windows computer will need antivirus installed in order to access the network. Students with Windows computers who are trying to access the wireless network will also need to install antivirus.

There are antivirus companies that will provide free antivirus software for non-commercial use listed below. While Loyola University Chicago does not endorse or support any of these companies, you should be aware of your options for free virus protection if you do not wish to purchase antivirus software.

Faculty and Staff
All Loyola computers should be running a copy of Windows Defender (renamed from Microsoft Forefront) antivirus.

If you are using a University computer and do not have antivirus software running, please contact the Help Desk at 8-4ITS.

For your home computer, you may qualify to be able to use one of the free packages listed below. Alternatively, you could purchase antivirus software from a vendor at a local electronics store.

Updating virus definitions
All antivirus software makes use of virus definitions. These definitions allow antivirus software to recognize viruses. Since new viruses and virus variants are released almost daily, it is important to regularly update your virus definitions. Most software programs allow you to schedule updates on a daily basis, which we recommend.

Regular scans
Most antivirus software will allow you to schedule weekly or monthly scans. By scheduling scans at regular intervals, you better protect yourself from new viruses. If you receive a file containing a new virus before the virus definitions for your antivirus software are updated, then you may become infected by that virus. However, if you scan on a weekly basis, you will be notified of the infection and can take the appropriate steps to restore your system.

Antivirus for Mac OS X
Mac invulnerability to malware is a myth. It's time to begin installing antivirus software on our Macs. Malware attacks these days are becoming more and more sophisticated. In the case of Mac Flashback, the infection was spread via hijacked WordPress sites due to a vulnerability in the blog software. This means that trusted blogs visited by Mac users could have been used to spread the infection, reinforcing the disturbing truth that infections don't only happen as a result of visiting shady websites or opening unidentified files. If you worry about the possibility that your own favorite sites could transmit something questionable to your machine through an unpatched vulnerability, adding an extra layer of protection between you and the Internet is worth considering.

AntivirusOperating SystemFree/Paid
Avira Windows, Mac Free
BitDefender Windows Paid
Avast Windows, Mac, Android Free
AVG Linux, Windows, FreeBSD Free
Panda Cloud Antivirus Windows Free
Sophos Antivirus for Mac Mac Free