For students running Microsoft Windows, ResNet officially recommends Microsoft Security Essentials. Microsoft Security Essentials provides protection against viruses and other types of malware for free. It's also very lightweight (download is less than 9MB) and easy to use, while still providing the same level of protection as some paid antivirus programs.
Microsoft Security Essentials will run on Windows XP, Vista and 7. Windows 8 comes installed with Microsoft Security Essentials, thought it is known as Windows Defender. View their website for more information about how to install Microsoft Security Essentials.
As a secondary antivirus scanner we recommend using Malwarebytes, also called MBAM. This is a free non-active scanner, meaning that it will only scan when manually started. It is a great compliment as a secondary scanner and will often help clean out malware that your primary scanner may not catch.
Note: Having multiple active antivirus scanners installed simultaneously will be less effective as they often conflict with each other. We strongly recommend against using Norton Antivirus, McAfee Antivirus, and their Internet security software, as it may cause your computer to block network access.
Recently, Apple computers have become increasingly popular with college students. While Macs are generally not affected by the same viruses or malware as Windows computers, they are still quite vulnerable. As the popularity of Macs increases, they become an increasingly attractive target for malware writers. In fact, hundreds of thousands of Mac users have been infected with trojans impersonating popular programs including Adobe Photoshop, Flash, iLife, and Java. More recently, the Flashback Trojan targets Macs and uses the machine to take part in DDoS attacks, which are capable of taking down company websites, as well as stealing personal information. Also, other viruses may spread through Office Word documents that may cause all your files to become unreadable, or possibly infect the Windows computers of friends or family. For these reasons, we strongly recommend all students to install an anti-virus program on their computers, whether it is a Mac or PC.
Avira for MAC is available to download for free and is currently the recommendation of ResNet. Setup instructions can be found on their website as well.