Anti-Virus Software

Symantec is No Longer Supported

ATTENTION:  We are no longer Supporting Symantec for Windows Machines.  If you are currently running Symantec, you can continue to do so until the license expires, at which point you will need to install Microsoft Security Essentials.  If you are running Vista or Windows 7, you should have Microsoft Security Essentials.  If you are running Windows XP, please run CleanWipe to clean other anti-virus software from your computer before installing Microsoft Security Essentials.

See The instructions below.

WINDOWS XP USERS: Run CleanWipe Before Running Microsoft Security Essentials

  1. Download CleanWipe
  2. Click Save.
  3. Double-click on the file ‘Cleanwipe_11.0.5002.333’ to open it.
    unzip files
  4. Click Extract all.
  5. Choose a destination to unzip CleanWipe.  Ensure the box ‘Show extracted files when complete’ is checked, and then click Extract.
  6. Double-click on the application ‘Cleanwipe_11.0.5002.333’.
  7. If you see a Security Warning, click Run.
  8. Click Install.
    install location
  9. Click Yes.

  10. Click OK.
  11. The CleanWipe utility will search your computer for installed versions of Symantec products. It will show a series of windows, asking to uninstall each product that it locates. Click Yes in each window to allow CleanWipe to remove what it finds.  It may take a few minutes for CleanWipe to remove Symantec.
  12. When asked to restart your computer, click OK.
  13. CleanWipe will display a message letting you know it has completed, click OK.

WINDOWS USERS: Install Microsoft Security Essentials

  1.  Download Microsoft Security Essentials
  2. Click Run.
  3. Once the installer window opens, click Next.

  4. Click I accept. 
  5. Click Validate. This will fail if you do not have a registered copy of Windows!
  6. Click Install.
  7. Microsoft Security Essentials will now install automatically.
  8. Once it has finished, keep the box ‘Scan my computer for potential threats after getting latest updates’ checked and click Finish.
  9. Microsoft Security Essentials will pop up to update and scan your computer.

MAC USERS: Install Sophos

The number of viruses actively attacking OS X users is ZERO! However, this it remains to be good practice to check incoming files for possible infection. There's no guarantee that Mac users will never fall victim to viruses, but more importantly, a Mac is still capable of passing a virus to computer running Windows via an infected file.   Therefore, for the sake of our community, it is important to run regular virus scans.

Protecting Your Computer

Please Note: All Vassar-owned PCs are running Windows XP

About your Vassar-owned computer

Is my Vassar-owned computer safe from viruses?
The target for most computer viruses are computers running Windows XP and Widows Vista. Mac OS users are usually safe. If you are using a Vassar-owned computer, are running Symantec virus protection provided by the College, and have allowed your software to do the regular updates it is supposed to do, then you are covered. You ensure your software is up-to-date by following the steps outlined below for XP and Vista users.

What if my computer already has a virus?
If you believe your computer has become infected, shut it down, turn the power off, unplug it contact the CIS Service Desk at or 845-437-7224 (x7224 from a campus phone).

How can I protect my personal (not college-owned) computer?

  1. Install and use a good security suite (such as Microsoft Security Essentials) and make sure the virus definitions are up-to-date.
  2. Keep your computer updated with the latest patches.
  3. Never use free security scans that pop up on many web sites. All too often these are fake, using scare tactics to try to get you to purchase their full service. In many cases these are actually infecting you while they run.
  4. Be smart with your passwords. This includes changing your passwords periodically, using complex passwords and using a separate, longer password for each site that has sensitive personal information or access to your bank accounts or credit cards.