Antivirus software available, free

 

By Lucas Wimmer

It is a college student’s worst nightmare: turning on his or her computer with an important term paper on it, only to find all the files erased, or to have the computer not turn on at all.

Instructional Communication and Information Technology has a solution for that situation. This year, they are offering free Symantec antivirus software to anyone enrolled or employed at UW-Whitewater.

Matthew Stingel, computer science major, said the availability of the antivirus software will prevent unnecessary stress on Whitewater students and employees.

“It’s great that the school is offering us software for free,” Stingel said. “It might help people protect their personal computers so they don’t lose anything, or have any identity theft issue or anything like that online.”

Jamey Chapin, communication specialist at iCIT, said the program helps protect against viruses, malware, phishing attempts and identity theft.

“For instance, if you get an email that may be a phishing attempt, it will put it in your junk mail box,” Chapin said. “Or it will ask to make sure you want to download an item, and it will protect against pop ups.”

Without any type of antivirus software, computers are susceptible to these issues that may corrupt files or prevent the computer from working correctly.

This is the first year the UW-Whitewater campus will offer  Symantec. For the past ten years, iCIT has had a contract with McAfee.

Previously, antivirus only was installed on computers that were on campus, but the software will now be offered to everyone.

The contract between Symantec and UW-Whitewater is a Committee on Inter-Institutional Cooperation contract. The CIC is a group of IT organizations in the Big 10 that negotiates large-scale contracts.

iCIT Security Information Officer Tom Jordan said 470 people have downloaded the software since it has become available.

Students and employees at UW-Whitewater can download the free software from the iCIT department’s website, uww.edu/icit.