IT Safety and Security

Anti-Virus Software

Up-to-date software must be installed before connecting to the network.  The University offers Sophos Anti-Virus free for all members at  Login using your SSO userid and download the appropriate client

Anti-Spyware Software

This offers additional protection against spyware, trackers and such like.   Recommended free-to-use versions include Spybot Search and Destroy (https:// www. or MalwareBytes (

Operating System Patches

Make sure the OS on your device is set to download the latest security updates.  Unpatched systems are at risk of the latest Trojan attacks.


Phishing emails are usually devised to try and obtain personal information such as usernames and/or passwords, or financial information such as banking details.  Common fake emails pretending to be from the University are aimed at obtaining your SSO user details by claiming you need to login and ‘verify’ your account, that your mailbox is nearly full, or that your password is about to expire.

There are, however, some obvious ways to distinguish between fake and genuine emails.

Things to note in a fake email:

  • Not sent from an Oxford email address
  • Links to follow are not Oxford addresses
  • Use of exclamation marks and other emphatic wording to act soon.
  • Not addressed to you personally.  No indication that the sender knows your SSO/userid.
  • Vague details about the sender.
  • Poor English.  Look out for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

Things to note in a genuine email:

  • Addressed to you by name.
  • Sender knows and uses SSO/userid.
  • Gives specific information that can be checked by you.
  • Genuine Oxford links often with personalised information.  Hover over a link to verify it actually points where it claims.
  • It may contain a link to instructions on how to reset a forgotten password, not a request to email a password back to the sender.
  • It will provide lots of ways to contact the sender to check if the email is genuine.