It is essential that we maintain the integrity of the network, and protect the Institute as far as possible from viruses or any other activities that could adversely effect vital services. Whilst Institute IT services are managed locally, all Institute account holders are bound by UCL Computing Use policies. These can be found at:
If you have a computer attached to the Institute network, there are three important questions you should ask yourself:
1. Are my Anti-Virus defences up to date?
You should have either F-secure or Sophos installed on your computer. These are the only two antivirus packages which we know:
- work reliably
- keep themselves updated
- are licensed for home and office use by Institute staff and students
For Windows PCs, we recommend F-Secure, which can either be downloaded from The UCL software database, or if your computer is part of the ION domain, we can install it from the central server for you. This is the preferred method, since we then get notification of any virus infection or intrusion attempt.
You should be using F-Secure version 11.6 or later. (To find out which version you currently have, right-click the blue triangle in the bottom right corner of your PC and select 'About...').
No Antivirus software installed? Before you install, check first to see if you are infected. (Some viruses can stop software being installed).
Free check-up available from: http://www.f-secure.com/en_EMEA/security/security-center/health-check/
If you have a Mac, you can download Sophos from the UCL software database.
You need to have at least version 8 - older versions have security vulnerabilities (click on the Sophos shield and select 'About Sophos Anti-Virus' to check which version you have).
N.B. The automatic update for Sophos will not work unless you configure it with the correct UCL username and password - details on the UCL software download page. Ensure you install the correct version of Sophos for your specific MAC e.g 10.7 and lower OR 10.8
2. Is my operating system up to date?
Regardless of which operating system you use, if your computer is connected to the Institute network, you have a responsibility to make sure your computer is as secure as it can be. This means your operating system should have the latest service pack and security updates installed. Older operating systems such as Windows 95, 98 or 2000 are no longer be allowed on the network as the represent a security risk.
3. How secure is my password (and does anyone else know it...?)
Change your computer/network password regularly - pick ones which are at least eight characters long and not dictionary words.
Vista/7 – Ctrl-Alt-Delete and click the Password Change button
Finally, test your PC’s security: Shields Up! https://grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2 is a great site which will test your computer for vulnerabilities and point out any security holes.