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Northwest Missouri State University

Viruses and Spyware

An article in Computerworld offered up the analogy that buying a computer without anti-virus software is like buying a new car without an airbag. (Frank Hayes, Secure Suggestions, Feb. 23, 2004)

As a contemporary, safety-conscious motorist, you probably wouldn't even consider investing your hard-earned money in a vehicle without this standard safety feature. Yet, millions of computer users across the nation fail to install the equivalent of the airbag on their computers.  Listed below are resources to help you keep your computer healthy and secure.

Note: It is a violation of Northwest Information Technology/Computing Policies for computers to be connected to the Northwest network without updated anti-virus software and Windows updates (or other OS applicable updates).

Northwest provides Microsoft Forefront Security to protect you from maleware and spyware on university computers.  Microsoft also provides Windows updates to protect you from breaches to your security.  Weekly anti-virus upates and Windows updates are automatically sent to your computer whenenver your restart your computer on the Northwest network.  However, if you are away from campus or would like to update your computer more frequently, you can do so manually at a time of your choosing.

Tips to Guard Against Malware:

Northwest’s Office of Information Technology warns campus technology users about malicious software such as "ransomeware" whenever possible.  CryptoLocker is an example of "ransomware," which restricts access to a infected computer and demands that the user provide a payment in order to decrypt and recover his/her files. The primary means of infection for ransomeware and other malware is typically phishing emails containing malicious attachments.

Prevention Tip:

To prevent the spread of such malware, Information Technology recommends users take the following preventative measures to protect their computers from infection:

Mitigation Tip:

Information Technology suggests the following mitigation steps for users who believe their computer has been infected with malware:

Windows Updates:

To download the latest Windows Updates manually, either go directly to Downloads at and look for Windows Update or click on Control Panel on your Northwest-issued laptop computer and then click on the Windows Update icon.  Then click on Check for Updates.

ForeFront Security:

To download the latest Forefront Security virus updates manually, click on Client ForeFront Security on your Northwest-isued laptop computer's Start bar.  When the Forefront Security window opens, click on the small white arrow near the Question mark [?] icon.  A drop down menu will appear.  Click on Check for Updates.  Once updates have been downloaded to your computer, click on Scan to scan your computer to see if problems are present.

Virus Protection Links

Note:  To use Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking to save important files or download a virus removal software program such as Malwarebtyes, do the following:  Turn off your computer (either by use of the Start menu or by simply holding the power button down until your computer shuts down).  Next, restart your computer and press the F8 key repeatedly until the Startup menu appears.  Use your arrow keys to either select Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking and then press the Enter key.  (Safe Mode with Networking will allow you to get on the Internet)

Removal Tools

Other Spyware Links