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 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.

While NKU does not necessarily endorse or support any of these companies, you should be aware of your options for free virus protection if you cannot purchase commercial anti-virus software.


  • Windows 7 and Vista: Security Essentials
  • Windows 8 and newer: Windows Defender (built-in)


  • Avast Essential Security for Macintosh
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Mac
  • Sophos Antivirus Mac Home Edition
  • Avira Free Antivirus for Mac


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.