Computer Protection

McAfee HIPS and SiteAdvisor

ITS installs McAfee's Host Intrusion Prevention system (HIPS) and SiteAdvisor protection tools on most faculty and staff college-owned Windows computers. HIPS is designed to block system-level processes that are known to be associated with malicious computer behavior. SiteAdvisor is designed to block websites that are known to distribute malicious software.

HIPS (Host Intrusion Prevention system)

With the HIPS software installed, users aren't likely to notice anything at all, as it works like an extension of anti-virus software to silently block harmful processes that are detrimental to the computer. Whereas anti-virus software protects against specific, known viruses, HIPS can protect against a wider range of threats by blocking processes that exhibit virus/attack behavioral characteristics.


SiteAdvisor is more visible. Internet Explorer and Firefox both display a McAfee tab in the toolbar. The tab color is either green, yellow or red to indicate the rating* of the website being visited. When doing a web search, the search results page will also show rating indicators next to each result. If a link with a red icon next to it is clicked, the user will see a "this site is blocked" message and the site cannot be accessed. If a website is blocked the McAfee tab will turn red and the tab can be clicked to read the site report.

*It's important to understand that SiteAdvisor is not like a "parental control" and does not evaluate or rate site content. SiteAdvisor will not block a site because the content is deemed "inappropriate". It will only block a site that is known to distribute adware, spyware or other potentially unwanted or harmful programs. 

ITS deploys these tools to bring an added layer of protection to campus computers, thus minimizing downtime and disruptions due to viruses and malware.