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Malicious Code

It is essential that computers are protected from the wide range of online threats that exist, including viruses and ransomware - commonly known as malware or malicious code.  

What is malicious code, and what can it do?

Malicious code is code which is part of a piece of software or an app that is designed to cause an undesired affect or to harm a computer. The impact of malicious code can be detrimental and includes; loss of data (perhaps with a ransom to get it back), installation of spyware to snoop on your activities or allowing others to take remote control of your device or password stealing to access your bank accounts. While malicious code can be transferred through infected files on devices such as USB memory sticks the most common method of propagation is via the Internet - opening unsolicited attachments, clicking on links to infected web sites and downloads, can introduce malware to computers. 

How do I protect myself against malicious code?

To combat the threat of malicious code it is important to protect a computer with security software such as anti-virus software - anti-virus is automatically installed on University owned machines. It is equally important to update the computer with the latest operating system version and regularly back-up any important work-related files to a secure location such as the University’s file share in case your computer does become infected. 

In addition to installing anti-virus and regular updates, it is important to remain vigilant while using your computer - do not install software from unknown vendors, open email attachments without expecting an email etc. 

The University also provides a free copy of anti-virus to all staff and current students for their personal machines. Further information can be found on our software downloads page.

If you require any further advice, please contact the IT Service Desk. 

What do I do if my computer becomes infected?

If your computer does become infected, an immediate scan using the anti-virus software should be undertaken. If the software cannot remove the infection or you have any other questions regarding malicious code, please contact the IT Service Desk who will be able to advise. 

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Contact the IT Service Desk

Log a call using IT Self-Service
(01334 46) 3333
 Message us on Skype for Business
(Mon - Fri, 09:00 - 17:00)

Level 2
University Library
North Street
St Andrews
Fife KY16 9TR

Opening Hours
Mon - Fri
: 08:30-18:00
(front desk support
from 09:00)

Sat: 10:00-17:00
Sun: 11:00-18:00

The IT Service Desk is closed
for staff training on Fridays
between 09:30 and 10:30