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Queen's University

Help and Support

Changes to antivirus, Ida, Queen's email


adapted from "The Gazette," 15 June 2009


For many years, ITServices has distributed software from Symantec that protects against viruses, spyware and adware. As of June 12, that product switched for Windows users from Symantec AntiVirus (SAV) to Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP). This change is because SAV has reached the end of its lifecycle and SEP is Symantec's follow-on product. Macintosh users should continue to use Norton AntiVirus (also a Symantec product), which can be accessed through the Macintosh Software Download page on the ITServices website.


ITServices has been testing SEP on campus for several months and found that systems running SEP were better protected against the greeting card virus in February and March 2009 than those running SAV. Not only does SEP offer antivirus and anti-spyware protection through definition files updated daily, it also offers "proactive threat protection," which analyzes program behaviours and protects against malicious programs that have not yet been formally identified by a signature. All told, Symantec Endpoint protects against more types of malware than SAV.


All members of the Queen's community are entitled to Symantec Endpoint Protection free of charge, and it is highly recommended that they install and use it. SEP is downloaded through the ITServices Desktop Assistant (Ida) which retrieves, installs, configures, and updates Windows applications in use at Queen's.


In order to install SEP, you must be using Ida 1.3.1. If you are still accessing Symantec AntiVirus (or other software packages) through Packman then you must make the switch from Packman to Ida. SAV is no longer being distributed through either Ida or Packman.


If you are using an older version of Ida you will be prompted to upgrade to 1.3.1 the next time your client does a background server check. (You can force that check by right-clicking the Ida icon in the system tray and selecting Check Server.)


After installing Ida 1.3.1, you will be offered SEP if you have no antivirus protection or have SAV. In the latter case, installing SEP will automatically remove SAV. Ida will not recommend SEP if a third party antivirus product is installed. In this case, you should manually uninstall that software before asking Ida for SEP as two installed antivirus programs will interfere with one another. SEP is available for both 32- and 64-bit operating systems, and Ida will install the correct version automatically. In addition, Ida configures SEP to automatically download the latest definition files every day.


Ida 1.3.1 offers benefits beyond SEP, most notably a Hide Recommendations feature, which lets you tell Ida to stop showing recommendations you don't want, and an improved interface which makes job submission more intuitive. Ida 1.3.1 offers the latest version of Adobe Reader, which patches a critical vulnerability that could cause that application to crash and could potentially allow an attacker to take control of your system.


There will also be changes to Queen's email this summer. On July 6, the limit on message size for both sending and receiving will be increased to 18 MB, from the current limit of 12 MB, which will enable sending and receiving of larger attachments. Also starting on July 6, messages in the Trash folder will be deleted automatically after they are 30 days old. This will assist in managing mail storage use.


Questions? Call the IT Support Centre at 613.533.6666 or fill out the online help form.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6 613.533.2000