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Computer Viruses and Spyware


Tufts Policies on Computers Viruses

It is very important that you use a virus scanner when connected to the Tufts network or internet. Tufts takes computer viruses very seriously and scans the network for computer viruses.

What happens if Tufts discovers that my computer has a virus?

If a computer virus is found on your computer and it is infecting other computers, your internet access may be suspended and your computer will have to be reformatted to be allowed back on the network.

What is a Computer Virus?

Computer viruses are specifically designed to interfere with the functioning of your computers. They can easily spread to other computers on the network and are often found in email attachments.

Symptoms of a Computer Virus

Some signs that a computer has a virus: the computer runs more slowly than usual, restarts on its own, locks up often, or displays unusual error messages.

How to Protect Your Computer

We strongly recommend purchasing antivirus software for your personal computer. For PC, IT professionals currently recommend AVG (Free), Avast, and Avira as free options. Tufts University also offers Trend Micro Titanium and Anti-virus at a discounted price. Note: Only one antivirus should be installed -- More is not better in this case.

Be sure to stop by the Library IT Service Desk on Sackler 5 if you would like help in choosing an antivirus software.

To further protect your computer against viruses, please see our Steps to Keeping Your Computer Secure .

What to do if you have a Computer Virus

If you think that you have a virus, please get computer help from the Library IT Service Desk.

What is Spyware?

Spyware and adware are programs that are downloaded onto your computer usually without your knowledge. Certain free downloads (such as Kazaa) are bundled with spyware and by downloading them, you are installing spyware. Spyware and adware can also install themselves onto your computer simply by browsing the internet.

Typically spyware collects data about your computer usage and sends it back to marketing companies. Adware causes those annoying popup advertisements.

Spyware and adware usually affect your computer's performance by causing it to slow down and to display popups.

How do I remove it?

There are free tools that remove Spyware and adware. Many people have had success with them but use them at your own risk.