How do I get virus protection for my Home computer?

It is important that everyone run anti-virus software on their computer. Modern computing devices have great capability, but functions, features and bugs can be exploited by malicious actors to infect your machine with malware that spies on you, steals your data, uses your computer in a botnet or holds your data for ransom. Antivirus software can help protect you from these threats.

Do I Need Anti-virus for my Home Computer?

It depends on the operating system you are running.

  • Windows 10:
    Not necessary
    If you are running Microsoft Windows 10, you do not need separate anti-virus. Windows 10 comes with built-in anti-virus called Windows Defender. This is a capable anti-virus solution on Windows 10 and IT Services feels it is sufficient protection for most users. You can still choose to install a full-featured anti-virus solution from the instructions below if you wish.
    (To see if Windows Defender is setup and operating correctly on your computer, run the "Windows Security" app.)
  • Windows 8/8.1 or 7:
    YES, you should install anti-virus

    If you are running an older version of Windows, you need an anti-virus . This is for people running Windows 8/8.1 or Windows 7, IT Services does not recommend Windows Defender on older versions of Windows. See below for anti-virus installation.
    (If you are running Windows XP, IT Services strongly encourages you to get a new computer and does not provide support for Windows XP.)
  • Apple Macintosh:
    YES, you should install anti-virus
    If you are using an Apple Mac computer, you need an anti-virus package. While Macs have a reputation for security, they are increasingly targeted by hackers and the macOS operating system does not come with anti-virus built in. See beow for anti-virus installation.

Anti-virus Software for University members

The University of Windsor has partnered with Sophos, a leading vendor in the Internet security and virus protection software space, to provide antivirus solutions for the campus. Sophos offers anti-virus solutions for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computers.

Faculty, staff and students can download a free version of the Sophos Home Internet security product for their home computers or personal laptops. ( This software is a replacement for previously used TrendMicro's Internet Security (formerly PC-cillin) software, which is no longer available as of March 2016.)

Sophos Home installation instructions

Please ensure your computer meets the following requirements below before installing:

  • Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10
  • Mac OS X 10.12, 10.13, 10.14, or 10.15
  • Minimum 1 GB of free disk space on Windows or 4GB on Mac
  • Minimum 1 GB of RAM on Windows or 4GB on Mac

To register with Sophos and download a copy of Sophos Home Internet Security, perform the following steps:

  1. Browse to

  2. Click on “Free Download”

  3. Click on "Download Now"

  4. Create a Sophos account by entering your name, e-mail address, and choosing a password. 
    (Note: This account is independent of any UWndsor accounts you may have. Please do not use your UWindsor password.).

  5. Once your account is created, Sophos will send you a confirmation e-mail to the e-mail address you specified.

  6. Once you receive the confirmation e-mail, click the “Confirm E-mail” button in the e-mail message.

  7. The “Confirm E-mail” button will bring you to the Sophos website.  Log in with your e-mail address and the password you created in Step #4.

  8. You will be presented with a "Welcome to Sophos Home Let's get started..." page. It will automatically detect your computer, and display a Download button (highlighted in red below). Click this button to begin downloading the Sophos Home installer (SophosInstall.exe on Windows).

    If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, you will be prompted to save or run the program. Hit run. If you are using Firefox, Safari or Chrome, save the file.

  9. Once the file is downloaded, run the file from your downloads folder.

  10. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the install.


Article ID: 11766
Wed 3/16/16 2:36 PM
Mon 3/30/20 4:41 PM