IT safety and security


Anti-virus and more

You need to use anti-virus (AV) software on your own PC or Mac to:

If you already have AV software, it must be active (receiving regular software updates). If your trial or licence has expired, you are no longer protected so need to upgrade it or replace it as soon as possible.

Free anti-virus for your personal laptop/device

Don't install more than one anti-virus program. There are lots of free products covering different devices, such as:

University-owned Macs, PCs and laptops

Remove outdated anti-virus software

How to remove outdated software

In the list of programs, check for Norton, McAfee and other AV programs:


  • Windows 10: open the Start Menu, click Settings, click System on the Settings menu, select Apps & features from the left pane. A list of installed apps appears in the right pane. Select an app you wish to uninstall. Click the Uninstall button that appears, then click the Uninstall pop-up button to confirm.
  • Windows 8: from the Desktop, hover the cursor in the bottom left of the screen to see the Start Menu image. Right-click to bring up the Start Context menu. Click Programs and Features - from there you can add or remove programs.
  • Windows 7: click Start then Control Panel (or Settings and then Control Panel): double-click on Programs > Uninstall a program.
  • Windows Vista: click Start then Control Panel (or Settings and then Control Panel): double-click on Programs and Features icon from there you can add or remove programs.

Mac OS X

To remove a program drag it to the trash can on the dock.



More security measures you should take

Your device should get regular security updates. Make sure you run them: don't turn them off or ignore them.

Adware and spyware protection

Adware causes intrusive advertising pop ups. Spyware will access your data discreetly for financial gain.

You can be infected unknowingly, so it's good to scan for spyware regularly using a tool such as Malwarebytes (for Windows).

Spybot Search and Destroy, if updated weekly, can help you remove adware and spyware if you get infected.

Ransomware protection

Malicious software that encrypts any files you have access to (including files on the Kent network or services like Dropbox and OneDrive) and demands payment for you to access them again.

Back up your work regularly - save to the University network to avoid losing weeks or months of work.

If you back up on a device such as a memory stick or USB hard drive, be aware that all your backup files may be encrypted too, leaving you with no way to get them back.

Follow our email safety tips and stay vigilant

Shared network drives

University schools and departments: we can help you recover data that was stored on the University network (click Systems services and backup data restore). There is a charge if Information Services staff retrieve the files for you.

IT Services, University of Kent

Contact IT Services  |  Feedback on IT Services  |  IT Regulations

Last Updated: 17/01/2019