Division of IT: Software Services

Anti-Virus Software

Computer Viruses and Protecting Your Computer

Computer viruses, worms, and other malicious software can destroy important data, compromise security, and generate a large volume of network traffic. Infected computers can have a disastrous effect on the University's network and on the campus' ability to accomplish core business activities and instructional functions.

You can prevent most viruses by installing anti-virus software and keeping the anti-virus software updated. MU licenses Microsoft Forefront for University-owned equipment. Microsoft Windows Defender is recommended for individual faculty, staff, and student-owned equipment.

University-Owned Equipment

Microsoft Forefront has been licensed by MU for all university-owned computers (MU Healthcare employees should contact Hospital computing support about anti-virus software). Contact your IT Pro for information on downloading and scanning with Microsoft Forefront.

Personal Equipment

Individual faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to use Microsoft's Windows Defender. Windows Defender comes pre-installed on Windows Vista and later operating systems, and can also be downloaded for Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 at no charge from the Microsoft site. Installation instructions can be found on the product download page.

Keeping Your Program Up-to-Date

Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date to ensure protection from viruses. These updates, known as virus definitions, are available at no cost and are key to the secure operation of your computer. In addition, all computers that connect to Mizzou TigerNet must have anti-virus software installed.

Once installed, adhere to these best practices:

  • Keep virus definitions current through automatic updates.
  • Avoid file-sharing programs. They make your computer highly vulnerable to viruses.
  • Periodically scan your hard drive for viruses.


There are a number of free utilities available to help you find and remove spyware; Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-Aware, and Trend Micro are the most common. If these don't help, you might need to have your operating system reinstalled to make sure all spyware and viruses are completely removed. The Mizzou Store TigerTech in the Student Center offers a service to reinstall operating systems. Visit TigerTech for more information.