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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Stop viruses with Sophos

Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Katie Rubel, a history senior, watches as Andre Takagi, an OSCAR staff member and junior at Pima Community College installs software on her computer.  The 24/7 OSCAR center located at Martin Luther King Jr. building has about 50 walk-in clients per day.
Tim Glass
Tim Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat Katie Rubel, a history senior, watches as Andre Takagi, an OSCAR staff member and junior at Pima Community College installs software on her computer. The 24/7 OSCAR center located at Martin Luther King Jr. building has about 50 walk-in clients per day.

While computer viruses hurt people’s computers, software to protect them hurts people’s wallets.

Rather then spending money on antivirus software, an alternative option is Sophos, an antivirus program the UA provides for faculty, staff and students through the university Web site.

Luis Romero, a systems engineering sophomore who works in the computer department in the UofA Bookstore, said the most popular antivirus software being purchased at the bookstore is Norton 2010 for $69.99.

He said some students are taking advantage of the free Sophos software, while others purchase Norton, depending on what they need to use it for.

Roughly three to four students a week buy the Norton software, Romero said.

According to the Web site, Sophos offers the ability to automatically update and maintain the software on many platforms by clicking a link to download it.

After installation is complete, the program will download the latest virus definitions, and then continue to update automatically through network connections to a server at University Information Technology Services.

Limell Lawson, senior director of UITS, said the university has had a contract with Sophos for at least five years now.

Sophos has met platform equivalency, timely automated updates and a history of eradicating roughly 98 percent of viruses, Lawson said.

“”I’m a huge fan of students getting involved,”” Lawson said. “”I’ve heard students grumble about Sophos, Norton and every other antivirus software, and I tell them to get involved, speak up and say they want something different.””

The UA Web site says that the contract will end with Sophos in March 2010.

Antivirus software will continue to be offered after the contract expires, Lawson said, although she was unsure whether it would be the same software.

“”We don’t have a ton of students, based on statistics and the 24/7 service, that call in with Sophos problems,”” she said. “”My only way to reason that is that it generally it works. Otherwise we’d be getting constant complaints and support issues.””

Kate Rehkopf, assistant director of UITS, said according to the incident management system from Aug. 24 to Nov. 1, more than 11,000 incidents were resolved and only 53 were Sophos related.

David Wampler, a natural resources senior who works for the 24/7 technology support in the Martin Luther King Jr. building, said that about 20 to 25 percent of the problems the center deals with are virus related.

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