Virus & Malware Protection

Viruses and other malware are one of the top IT security concerns because they can wreak havoc in a number of ways. Similarly, there are many ways a computer can be infected with a virus or other malware.

Strong and effective antivirus/anti-malware software is an absolute necessity on both PC and Mac computers. There is a misconception that Apple computers are less susceptible to viruses and malware, but that is not accurate. Macs and Macbooks can and do get infected by malware.

KU Workstations:

All KU workstations — both PCs and Macs — use Windows Defender to protect against viruses and other malware.

Personal/Home Computers:

Windows Defender is provided at no cost on new Microsoft Windows-based laptop and desktop computers. A number of other companies also provide effective antivirus/anti-malware software. Some products provide the option of managing security for multiple computers in a household. We recommend that you read online reviews from several credible technology publications/websites to help identify an antivirus/anti-malware product that will best meet your needs.

Virus vs. Malware

The terms "virus" and "malware" are often used interchangeably. "Malware" is a broader term for any type of malicious software, while "virus" is a subset of malware that self-replicates by inserting its code into other programs and operating systems. Malware includes viruses, spyware, adware, ransomware, keystroke loggers and other types of harmful software.

Some examples of what modern Malware can do include:

  • Record all your keystrokes.
  • Capture the contents of your screen.
  • Modify your network settings.
  • Make itself nearly impossible to remove.
  • Encrypt your important files and demand a ransom to decrypt them.

You Are the Best Defense

Both viruses and other malware can be spread by clicking on infected links in an email or on a website, opening an infected attachment or document, inserting an infected USB thumb drive, and more. It's important to be hyper-vigilant in protecting yourself against all malware. Antivirus/anti-malware software is a back-up protection. You are the first line of defense against malware.

Avoiding Malware

Keeping your computer and other connected devices free and clear of viruses, spyware and adware helps to secure your personal information and privacy.

  • Use antivirus/anti-malware software.
  • Set your computer to update and patch automatically.
  • Reboot your computer daily to ensure the latest patches and updates take effect.
  • Don't open unsolicited email attachments.
  • Think twice before clicking on links in emails. Verify the destination of links by hovering over the link and looking at the URL in the pop-up.
  • Heed warnings from your antivirus software and browsers about known bad sites and suspicious security certificates.
  • Back up your data regularly.
  • Remember, legitimate organizations, including KU, will never ask you to provide sensitive personal information (e.g., password, Social Security Number, etc.) in an email or in an unsolicited phone call.

What to do if your computer is infected

If you suspect your KU workstation has been infected with malware, don't wait. Immediately contact your IT Support Staff, or contact the IT Customer Service Center at or 785-864-8080.

Do not shut down your computer or try to fix it yourself, as you could destroy evidence or complicate the issue.