The Catholic University of America

Protecting your computer against viruses and spyware


Students who own a computer should install antivirus software to help keep it free of malware such as viruses and spyware. The antivirus software should be configured to download and install its updates automatically, to provide real-time protection, and to scan the entire hard drive regularly (e.g., daily).

Microsoft Windows

Students who own a computer running Microsoft Windows 7 or earlier can download and install Microsoft Security Essentials, available from Microsoft free of charge. Windows Defender is built into Windows 8 and later and provides the same virus protection as Security Essentials.

Or you can use one of many other free antivirus products, such as AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition or Avira AntiVir Personal.

Apple Mac OS

Students who own a computer running Apple Mac OS can use the free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition product.

Commercial Products

For comprehensive protection, there are commercial security suites available from vendors such as McAfee and Norton, with versions that run on Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS.


Faculty and Staff

University-owned computers issued to faculty and staff have antivirus/antispyware software already installed.