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This page updated December 2019.


The Internet is not a secure place for personal data.  There are always new ways for your computer to be used as a resource or steal your information via viruses or other online malware.  Anti-virus protection is essential in safeguarding your private information and protecting your computer against malicious programs.  Anti-virus software should be kept up-to-date and applied to all your devices, including computers, smartphones, and tablets where applicable.

Anti-virus software for students and all non-NKU owned computers

Students are required to have Anti-virus on their systems if they are using the NKU network.  This is detailed under User Responsibilities in the Acceptable Use Policy.

Note: NKU does not support nor endorse any specific anti-virus service or software.  The following recommendations are offered to assist you in choosing a  suitable, no-cost product to secure your device.  Your decision should be based on your research, usage, and personal preferences.



  • Windows 8 and Windows 10 include built-in antivirus capabilities.  
    • Note: This antivirus functionality ceases when the OS is no longer supported by Microsoft.  Check the Microsoft website for details.

Windows versions below Windows 8







  • Due to the security controls built into iOS, security products do not address virus issues but instead provide alternative protection for privacy and web browsing.  These products are not recommended by NKU.

Older computer/device operating systems

  • It is not recommended to use versions of computer or mobile device operating systems that are no longer receiving security patches.  Antivirus software will not provide adequate security coverage to compensate for operating system vulnerabilities.

Anti-virus software on NKU-owned computers

NKU places licensed anti-virus software on all NKU-owned computers.  NKU-owned computers are set to automatically scan every Wednesday at 2 p.m. Lab computers scan every Friday at 2 p.m.

If you suspect an issue (see symptoms below), contact the IT Help Desk.  You may also send security questions to


Symptoms of an infected system

  • Computer exhibits unexpected program behavior.
  • System shuts down unexpectedly.
  • Slow internet connection, even during light usage.
  • Virus scanner crashes and cannot be restarted.
  • Unable to access anti-virus websites.
  • Hard drive becomes full with files you cannot see
  • Computer is unable to start or takes longer than normal.
  • Strange graphics or pop-ups appear on your screen.

If your system has been compromised

  • Undergo a full anti-virus scan of the system to verify that there are no vulnerabilities remaining.
  • Sometimes, the virus may be so embedded into your system, it may need to be reimaged (complete re-install).
  • Change passwords on any computer you use, as well as passwords used online.
  • Visit for further tips and information.
  • Contact the IT Helpdesk if the anti-virus scan fails to eliminate the virus issues.