Technical Services for Information and Communication

Frequently asked questions about virus protection

Here you will find frequently asked questions and answers about virus protection and Sophos Anti-Virus software.


Welcome to the FAQ section. Here you will find all questions and answers about the services. If you have further questions, please contact our support.

Frequently asked questions: Virus protection

Stationary computer: your Sophos client is currently unable to update. Your computer is still protected, so there is no cause for concern at this stage. Only if the problem persists for a long time should you check our website to see if there are any operational reports for the service. If you do not find anything here, you should contact us or your local IT support team, if available. Otherwise you should wait - the client will try to connect to the server more often and the problem could solve itself.

Mobile computers: If you use a laptop or similar as a work computer, first check your connection to the university network and, if necessary, establish a connection via VPN. If you manage your own computer and have installed the Sophos client before 2017, we recommend that you reinstall the program, it will also receive updates outside the university. If the problem persists, please follow the instructions above.

Since January 2021, computers with Windows 7 or older and Windows 2008 R2 or older, but possibly also outdated operating system versions of Linux or macOS, no longer receive Sophos updates!

The RUS-CERT has published a comprehensive blog on this topic. Experienced users will also find software recommendations for the removal of malware.

  • RUS-CERT Topics: Malware
  • Users often only notice malware on their computer when system performance is impaired, frequent crashes, unsolicited opening of programs, sudden messages, deleted data, encryption of files, etc.
  • An infestation of your computer can also lead to the blocking of access to the university network via VPN or eduroam. You can find more information here
  • So-called adware is noticed by users primarily through the increased opening of pop-up windows, additional toolbars and buttons, redirections to other pages or the sudden closing of the browser. It is often installed inadvertently when free programs are installed. Adware is usually relatively easy to remove on its own.

A hundred percent protection of your computer can unfortunately never be guaranteed. Nevertheless, there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of infection:

Keep your virus scanner up-to-date. The anti-virus software provided by the university automatically receives regular updates. The Sophos client, which we provide centrally, will also receive updates outside the university's network if you have an internet connection. Mobile devices may need to be connected to the university network via VPN to receive updates.

Do not run programs whose origin you do not know or trust. This also applies to downloading content from the Internet.

Pay attention to your e-mail communication. Check the sender of the message. Do not open attachments whose origin you do not know or trust. Do not follow URLs that seem suspicious to you or that were sent without context.

Do not use any media whose contents or owner you do not know. Often USB sticks are forgotten in PC pools USB. Please return them to the lost and fund office. Unknown data carriers pose a potential security risk and should under no circumstances be connected to your own computer, not even to find the original owner.

Watch out for hidden adware when installing programs. Often software manufacturers offer additional third-party software as a bonus when installing free programs. These are often additional programs or toolbars for the browser. Furthermore, the user must actively object to the additional installation by removing the check mark or manually installing the desired software.

If you suspect that your computer has been infected by a virus, you will find measures and first steps to take in case of virus attack in the documentation.

If you are not familiar with malware removal, the problem cannot be resolved, or you are unsure whether the problem has been resolved: Who is your support contact?

  • Employees should first contact your local IT support
  • Employees with ZVD-managed computers contact the support
  • Students can contact the user advisory service in the event of a virus attack
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