New computer viruses and malware are emerging all the time and your computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or any device connecting to the Internet is at risk if you do not use and regularly update software designed to protect it. If your computer or device becomes infected with a virus, the virus could delete all of your data, hold your data for ransom, steal your banking information, send spam from your accounts and more.

Removable media like USBs, DVDs and other external devices can also be infected by viruses and malware. If infection occurs, anything you have stored can be lost and viruses and malware can be transferred to other machines. You must be careful about what you connect or insert into your computer or device. Find out more at: Store sensitive information securely

Also, be careful when opening email attachments or clicking within emails as these often contain malware. Find out more at: Avoid scams and malware


If you suspect that your machine might be infected, contact the ICT Service Desk to arrange a time for your machine to be scanned.

Antivirus and antimalware software

The College's contract with Symantec Endpoint Protection software (for Windows and Mac machines) available to protect hardware against viruses, has ended. This software is currently preinstalled on Imperial College London machines managed by ICT. In the near future we will be replacing Symantec EP software with an alternative product. In the meantime, ICT will begin removing Symantec from College owned Windows computers. If you are using Windows 10 then Windows Defender will provide Endpoint protection for your computer until the new software is installed.

Some departments are exempt from the removal of Symantec, this includes Registry, staff who are using Windows 7 and computers that are not registered on the College network.

If you have any concerns please contact the ICT Service Desk.

Stay up to date

Antivirus and antimalware software is only as good as its last update. The software should automatically update, but if prompted, do update the software yourself. The most common way that a computer is infected by viruses and malware is via out of date Java, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader software. If you ensure that this software, as well as operating system (OS) patches, are installed, you are less likely to experience issues.

Apple machines and devices

Contrary to popular belief, Apple machines and devices are also susceptible to viruses and malware so, if you have a College or personal Mac machine, we recommend that you download antivirus software.