Desktop protection: anti-virus & firewall

Anti-virus software

UMass policy states that every computer that is connected to the campus network is required to have anti-virus software installed and continuously enabled with up-to-date virus definitions.

Network and computer security is critical to maintaining the integrity of the university campus network, so any computer found to be infected with a virus will be quarantined from the network until the virus is removed.

If you have an infected computer, contact:

Students have the ability to download and install a university licensed copy of Sophos Anti-Virus by downloading it at

All faculty and staff computers configured by the IT Service Center have anti-virus software installed. Faculty and staff should contact the IT Service Center (508.999.8790 or x8790) if:

  • you do not have anti-virus software installed on your computer
  • receive notification that your definitions are out of date
  • think your computer may be infected

Personal desktop firewall

The university strongly suggests--but does not require--that you run a personal desktop firewall on your computer. A firewall is a piece of hardware or software that protects your computer from attacks by intruders and hackers. It can also offer some protection from malicious software. (However, it does not protect your computer from viruses or spyware.)

Some operating systems, such as Windows and MacOS come with a built-in firewall, and some anti-virus software packages include a firewall component. The Windows firewall only needs to be specifically configured if you are having a problem with a specific piece of software.

For more information about configuring or using the Windows firewall: