Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Antivirus FAQs

ITServices has gathered a listing of frequently asked questions. If you have a question that is not found on the list, please fill out the Online Support Form or call us at 613.533.6666.

Q. How do I get antivirus software?
  • Faculty, staff and grad students: Log in to Software Centre to download the software.
  • Undergraduate students: Queen's University does not have licensed antivirus software for undergraduate student use.

Caution: If you have another antivirus program installed, it's generally a good idea to uninstall it before installing another. Installing multiple antivirus programs on the same operating system can render the computer useless.

Q. How do I remove a virus?

If you suspect that you have a virus on your computer, please contact the IT Support Centre at 613.533.6666.

Q. Do I need to install antivirus software if I use a Mac?

It is a false idea that Mac users do not need to worry about viruses.

Mac users can get viruses, trojans and other unwanted malware through email attachments, Internet downloads, social networks and other sources. They can also spread these viruses and malware to their colleagues, friends, and family.

Mac users are also vulnerable to Microsoft Word and Excel macro viruses.

Mac users who use PC emulation software such as Microsoft's Virtual PC, Bootcamp or Parallels need to install and configure antivirus software for Windows, continuously use Windows Update, and to turn on the built-in firewall.

Q. I'm having problems installing SCEP. What can I do?

Please contact the IT Support Centre at 613.533.6666 for assistance if SCEP does not install properly. Please record any error messages that you receive during the installation process before calling.

Q. Why are some settings in SCEP greyed out?

Some computers on Active Directory have managed clients as arranged through your department. Contact your ITAdmin Rep to determine if your department has managed clients.

Q. What are the symptoms of having a virus?

A computer virus is like a human virus in that the computer may appear to be sick and not working properly.

There are thousands of viruses in circulation on the Internet; the symptoms of which are very similar to each other, while others are quite unique.

As a result, there are many different symptoms that you could experience as a result of having a virus. It is even possible that you would never see any symptoms.

Common Symptoms:

  • Computer will no longer boot into Windows.
  • Windows crashes immediately upon boot.
  • My Documents Folder is no longer accessible, or all files in it are missing.
  • Windows boots, but programs seem to be randomly crashing.
  • Computer runs really slowly.
  • People are receiving emails from you that you never sent.
  • You receive ?undeliverable mail? messages (email bounces back) for messages you did not send.
  • Elements of your Windows desktop change for no apparent reason.
  • Random non-Windows messages keep popping up.
    • NOTE: This could also be a symptom of adware or spyware, and not a virus.
  • Files are missing from your hard drive or files are inaccessible.
  • Random text keeps appearing when typing in Microsoft Word.
  • People are receiving instant messages that you didn?t send.
  • When you load your web browser, your start page has been changed to something undesirable.
  • Your phone bill has long distance charges for calls that you didn't make to some unknown location.

Please note that most of the above symptoms could be caused by other problems and may not be a virus, but a virus should be one of the first causes investigated.

Q. How does a computer get a virus?

The most common methods are through an unprotected network connections, email or instant messages.

An infected computer can "probe" other computers on the network looking for vulnerabilities in the operating system or unprotected connections. When one is found, the new computer is infected and it starts to probe for other computers. You can prevent this by keeping your operating system up to date (by using Windows Update, for example.)

Viruses can be transmitted as script files (text code that is run by a program) or as file attachments. Microsoft Word documents can also be infected with a virus and passed on wherever that file is copied. Viruses can also be spread through file-sharing over networks and file transfer programs. They can even be obtained by visiting a website hosted on a server that infected with a particular type of virus.

Most importantly, a computer can get a virus if there is no antivirus program installed. A current antivirus program is essential for every computer or device. It is also absolutely necessary to keep your virus definitions up to date. An antivirus program without updated virus definitions is useless for protection against the latest virus attacks.

Most commonly used antivirus programs use built-in virus definition update mechanisms that must be run regularly in order to keep your system protected.

Not using an up-to-date antivirus program is like always leaving the door to your home wide open to vandals and burglars.

Q. What is a virus hoax?

A virus hoax is a false message, usually an email, indicating that you might have a virus on your computer. These messages are designed to instill panic in a user and to trick them into deleting a valuable (and legitimate) system file.

They are often forwarded on by well-intentioned friends or colleagues who were fooled by the hoax and believe that they are helping you.

They usually claim that no antivirus programs can detect this virus and that it will cause severe damage to your computer after a certain amount of time. These messages, regardless of their origin and virus details, are usually a hoax.

Q. Where else can I get help?

Note: The following resources were made available for Symantec products when there were supported, and are included here for reference purposes. Please be aware that some of this information may now be out of date.