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Every computer can be vulnerable to viruses, and protecting your computer requires constant attention. Every computer with Internet access should have antivirus software installed. Computers which connect frequently to the network or are always on the network are at the greatest risk for infection. DECS staff is very experienced in cleaning an infected computer and helping prevent infections. Keep in mind that sometimes the scope of the infection may require a complete reinstall.

The common signs of virus infection are similar to those listed below for Spyware/Adware. It is very important to make sure your antivirus software is kept up-to-date regularly. When possible, configure the software to retrieve updates automatically on a daily basis. There are several antivirus programs available--some require a fee, others do not.

Antivirus Packages for Purchase

  • Symantec Endpoint (DECS provides this at no cost to all College of Engineering owned computers). As an MSU employee, faculty or student, you are eligible for a free copy of Symantec Endpoint Protection. Instructions for installing the software can be found here.

Antivirus Packages with No Fee

There are several free antivirus products available for personal use. For Windows 7, we recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. For Windows 8 or higher, no additional antivirus products are needed as they come with antivirus built in and updates to the program and definitions will happen automatically.

Other antivirus products often lack the ability to update automatically and may not offer as many features as other products. However, having some antivirus product on your computer is much better than risking not having anything at all. 


Below is a list of events which might indicate that a computer is infected. If you begin to notice any signs of possible virus infection, contact DECS for assistance.

  • When you log onto your computer, or when you are not interacting with your computer, one or more web browser windows open to display advertisements.
  • Your web browser's home page unexpectedly changes.
  • Web pages are unexpectedly added to your bookmarks.
  • New toolbars are unexpectedly added to your browser.
  • You cannot start a program which was previously working.
  • When you click a link in a program, the link does not work.
  • Your browser suddenly closes or stops responding.
  • There is a sudden large increase in the time taken to start your computer.
  • Components of Windows or other programs no longer work.
  • New and unrecognized icons appear on the desktop.
  • Network connections become very slow.
Security category