Can I get free anti-virus software?

Through a site-license acquired by ITS, NYU provides Symantec AntiVirus software to members of the University community at no cost to the individual. If you have NYUHome service, you can download this package from the Software channel in the Files tab. To do so:

  • Point your Internet browser to, then log in using your NYU NetID and password.
  • On the page that opens, click on the Files tab at the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Find the "Software" channel at the bottom of the page, then click on the link for Symantec AntiVirus that corresponds to your computer's operating system, which will allow you to begin installing the software to your computer.
  • An installer (or a folder containing an installer) will appear on your computer's desktop. Launch the installer and follow the instructions to activate Symantec AntiVirus.
  • Once you have installed the software, be sure to update the virus definitions immediately using LiveUpdate.

You can also download Symantec AntiVirus from the latest NYU-NET CD, available at the ITS Client Services Center, 10 Astor Place, 4th floor (for hours, see If you prefer to use a different anti-virus software program, the NYU Computer Store offers software at a discount to the NYU community. See

General virus information

A computer virus is a parasitic program written intentionally to enter a computer without the user's permission or knowledge. The word parasitic is used because a virus attaches to files or boot sectors and replicates itself, thus continuing to spread. Though some viruses do little but replicate, others can cause serious damage or affect program and system performance. A virus should never be assumed harmless and left on a system.

For information on how to protect and diagnose computer virus issues, check the ITS Virus FAQ site.