Information on Viruses

Discovering that a computer virus has infected your PC or your work files can induce a lot of anxiety; it may even cause you to panic. Our best advice? Try to relax yourself, chances are you're not going to lose any work and your machine will remain operational. Have a look at the information below if you need help, or have any questions.

The Institute has anti-virus software on the root mail gateway, on all local mail servers, and on all IAS office computers. All of these virus scanners are updated regularly, and this process requires no action on the part of the user.

If you suspect that your computer has been infected, or compromised, proceed as follows:

  • Do not pass on the infected file to anyone else, or forward any e-mail with an infected attachment.
  • Do not try to access any disk that contained the infected file. Such as floppies or zip disks.
  • Do not disconnect your office computer from the network. Doing so will prevent us from being able to scan your computer remotely.
  • If you are using a non-IAS computer (i.e. your personally-owned computer) click here.

To protect yourself from being infected, follow this advice:

  • Make sure you have an AntiVirus program installed. If you do not want to purchase one, there are free ones available.
  • Do not open a file sent to you from an unknown source.
  • If your computer is not an IAS-owned office machine, such as a home computer or laptop, then you will need to update the virus scan software yourself. You should check for updates at least once a week.
  • Click here, for more information.

Also, keep an eye out for hoax messages. These messages may be in the form of a virus alert, or a message asking for donations.
What are Hoax messages?
Where can I go to find out more about hoax messages?

We also recommend that you contact the Information Technology Group for any of the following reasons:

  • If you believe your computer is infected with a virus.
  • If you received a message you believe is a hoax, but are not sure.
  • If you receive a virus alert message from anyone other than the Information Technology Group.

Follow the links below, for more detailed information.

What is a computer virus?
F-Secure Security Center
Sophos Virus Information Online
Symantec's Anti-virus Research Center
Virus Bulletin (international virus newsletter)

Free AntiVirus Programs:

Vipre AntiVirus (free for IAS Members, Faculty, and Staff - non-IAS computers)
avast! AntiVirus
Avira's AntiVirus

AVG AntiVirus Free