This advice is provided for guests on our network who do not have BU accounts but need to remove viruses and malware from their computers.

If you are a member of the BU community, you are encouraged to use our site-licensed McAfee VirusScan software.

What To Do

Use Up-to-Date Anti-virus Software

Anti-virus software is important because you can set the software to scan your computer for viruses at regular intervals. By regularly scanning your computer for viruses, you prevent a virus build-up from occurring and avoid a potential disaster. Below is some free anti-virus software that we recommend.

Computer Sites with Free Anti-virus Software

    AVG Free Edition
    Antivirus software is reliable, free antivirus program that will continue to protect your computer from viruses.
    Microsoft Security Essentials
    helps protect your computer from viruses, spyware or any other unwanted software. The spyware remover scans your computer and then removes the unwanted materials.
    Ad-Aware Free
    is a great tool that provides advanced protection against viruses and spyware. This site does charge a fee to download Ad-Aware Free. However, the site also gives a link to, where you can download a free version of Ad-Aware Free. Note: Ad-Aware has created several different antivirus programs. Make sure you choose Ad-Aware Free from the list to download.
    Trend Micro's Housecall
    is very effective as a one-time online virus scanner and remover.
    Spybot - Search and Destroy
    is an excellent program that detects and removes all spyware (but not viruses).

Use an Internet Firewall

A firewall is a barrier to keep viruses, worms, and spyware away from your computer. With the use of filters, the firewall examines the information coming through your Internet connection. If any of the information is flagged by the filters as being dangerous to the computer, it is not allowed through. Firewalls are excellent for a first line of defense in protecting your computer from future infections.

If you have Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, your computer already has a built in firewall that just needs to be activated. To activate your firewall, you need to:

  • Click on your "Start" menu in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen.
  • Select "Control Panel" from the list of options that appears.
  • Select "Security Center" in the "Control Panel" window that appears.
  • Select "Windows Firewall" from the list of options.
  • Check the recommended firewall box and click "OK."

If you do not have the ability to activate your firewall, you may need to update your computer. So, first follow the steps listed below under "Get Computer Updates" and then you will be able to activate your firewall.

If you have a Macintosh computer, your computer also has a built in firewall that just needs to be activated. To activate your firewall, you need to:

  • Open "System Preferences" and click on "Sharing."
  • Select the service you want to share. Firewall protection will be automatically turned on for that service. Click on "Firewall" to make sure.

Get Computer Updates

Computer updates are also a necessary defense measure at keeping your computer safe from viruses, worms, and spyware. By keeping your computer constantly updated with patches and anti-virus software, harmful software has a decreased chance of infiltrating your computer system.

Free computer updates for Windows can be obtained by:

  • Open an Internet Explorer window.
  • In the tool bar, click on the "Tools" menu.
  • In the drag-down menu, select "Windows Update."
    • Note: If you are unable to select "Windows Update" from the "Tools" menu, the link below will direct you to the same site.
  • You will be redirected to the Microsoft Windows Update site.
  • Follow the necessary instructions to update your computer.