Keeping your computer healthy and virus-free

15 June 2010

Do you take care of your computer to ensure it is virus free and your data is protected? Just as we would take extra care to ensure our bodies are safe from nasty viruses and infections this winter, we should also consider taking the necessary precautions to ensure our computers are safe and secure from malicious software.

Malicious software (or "malware") infections are common and it is best to know how to avoid them and recognise the warning signs in case your computer has already been infected. Downloading what seems to be a simple program from an unknown site can easily lead to malware being installed on your computer. Common symptoms of a malware infection include an appearance of annoying pop-up screens, files mysteriously being deleted, and experiencing a severe delay when trying to start your computer or opening a simple program. If you don't address the malware infection, these annoying symptoms can lead to serious threats where malware is used to access passwords and personal information, or even control your computer and use it for criminal activities.

To increase the security on University computers, ICT will be providing Symantec Endpoint Protection anti-virus software to all University owned desktops and laptops in up and coming months. The software is designed to protect our computers from malware and can be used to regularly scan computers for infected files at a scheduled time.

In addition to rolling out this software, staff are encouraged to adopt the following practices to ensure their computers are healthy and virus-free:

  • Ensure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is always turned on and scheduled to scan your computer for malware on a regular basis.
  • Always run a scan of any new software or portable devices (especially USB keys!) when you first install or plug it into your computer.
  • Only open files if you are aware of the sender and if you can verify that has come from a trusted source. If you are in doubt use anti-virus software to scan files for viruses before you open them.
  • Avoid opening emails or opening links in emails if you don't know the sender or are not expecting the email.
  • Back-up your data and files regularly, in case your computer or its hard drive becomes compromised.

Further information on cyber security can be found at the Australian Government website This website is part of an Australian Government initiative to help computer users for small business, in the home including teens and kids understand cyber security risks.

Contact: Maryann Lauofo

Phone: 02 9114 0989

Email: 2a2d19412a232c68351b430e31273a1b36025e303f613d5c247a2d13