Security: Malware & Updates

What does a malware infection look like?

Common signs of virus infection include:

  • Inability to open programs or access the internet
  • Redirection to different webpages
  • Pop up security alerts referencing "scareware"-illegitimate (for our purposes, non-Symantec) anti-virus programs such as Security Suite, WinAntivirus, ErrorSafe, etc.

If you ever suspect that you have malware on your computer, do not hesitate to submit a ticket to SAIT. Viruses threaten the security of not only your workstation, but also those of your colleagues. The more quickly you let us know about a potential infection, the less risk it poses.

What are the signs of an illegitimate or phishing e-mail?

Things to look out for:

  • Links to websites outside of the domain
  • Misspellings and flagrant grammatical mistakes
  • Vague references to a mail server, card service, or administrator without specific reference to Northwestern University or SAIT
  • Requests for username or password confirmation. Northwestern will never ask you for your password

As with virus infections, always better safe than sorry. Feel free to forward any suspicious e-mails to

Which software updates should I allow?

These are prompts to update the software that the manufacturer deemed necessary to patch. You should go ahead and accept the installation of these products, as they often include important security or bug fixes. Updates from the following companies should always be accepted:

  • Adobe
  • Java (Oracle)
  • Microsoft
  • Symantec

However, if the software is not from one of these companies and you do not recognize the software, contact SAIT to findout if you should accept the install.