Antivirus Protection

Why is AntiVirus software important?

Antivirus software serves a vital role in the Defense-In-Depth approach to protecting data on a computer system along with other features such as firewalls and anti-malware software.  Viruses can be used to give hackers access to your system resources, obtain confidential information (including credit card and banking info), etc.  Viruses can also be used to install malicious software (malware) that can encrypt files and hold them for ransom (known as Ransomware).  Viruses can be embedded in files downloaded from the Internet or shared among various users.  Antivirus software detects viruses in infected files and can clean the files or prevent the virus from activating.

Commercial Antivirus Products

Commercial antivirus products are available from various retailers.  These products are actively updated and maintained, full featured, and generally require ongoing payment via an annual subscription model.

The Campus Computer Store at Western sells commercial antivirus products for home use.  Use the search term "Trend Micro" on the store's site to order the latest available version of Trend Micro antivirus software for Windows and Mac OS.

Free Antivirus Products

Free antivirus solutions are readily available.  Although they are generally well maintained and updated, they likely do not contain all the features of the commercial products.

Performing an internet search will result in a long list of available products.  Before selecting an antivirus solution, it is recommended that you research the products to determine which ones have the highest rankings in terms of usability, the ability to recognize known viruses, as well as the ability to recognize virus behaviour of an unknown virus.

Be advised that WTS has no official recomendation regarding free antivirus products for home use.

Scan periodically for viruses


1.  Run period full system antivirus scans.  Be sure to configure the software to scan for all types of threats, ie: spyware, trojans, etc.
2.  Extend the full scan to the contents of your mobile devices as well.  Run a full scan on everything on your USB drives, all internal and external drives of your laptop or desktop etc.
3.  Occasionally make use of the free web based scanning programs offered by the major antivirus vendors.  These scans offer a "second opinion" about the health and safety of your computer.  One such service is the Trend Micro Free Online Security Scan.
4.  Supplement your antivirus scans with periodic antimalware scans, using a product such as MalwareBytes (free) which can be downloaded at

Published on  and maintained in Cascade.