School of Engineering IT - Safe Software Initiative
Other IT Services
What is the Safe Software Initiative?

A frequent cause of computer issues is the installation of rogue software by a user with good intentions. The installation may happen because the user may either not know which software names to trust or which download locations to trust.

The School of Engineering Safe Software Initiative, inspired by VALO-CD, seeks to reduce this problem for School of Engineering faculty, staff, and students by providing a portal to download software that has been verified to be of high quality and free of malware.

How Can I Trust the Safe Software Initiative?

Good question! It may seem counter-intuitive to educate users on trustworthy software and provide a safe software download portal by providing software anonymously on the Internet. Fortunately, if you are part of our target audience-namely faculty, staff, and students in the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi-we are not anonymous. You may come to our office in Carrier 104 and throw pineapples...please don't :(...at us if you are unhappy with our provided software.

What is “High Quality” Software?

Software is selected for inclusion in this list using the following criteria:

  • Price - Only software that provides full functionality with no financial obligation or nag screens is included.
  • Safety - Only software that does not include malware in either the program, the installer, or via in-program update functionality is included.
  • Platform - Software that can be run on multiple platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Mobile, etc) is favored over software bound to a single platform.
  • License - Open source software with licenses permitting source modification is favored. Software with other licenses is considered when no reasonably equivalent open source solution exists.
How Can I Get This Software?

I am an undergraduate or graduate student in the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi.

I am a faculty or staff member in the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi.


This is my personal computer or device. The police would not be called if I sold it on Craigslist.

This computer or device belongs to the School of Engineering or one of its departments. There is a silver University of Mississippi sticker on it.

Unsafe Software - Keep Away from These
System Cleanup Malware
Claims to Improve Your System

A large majority of software claiming to cleanup or improve your system is malware. There are a few legitimate projects but they are for advanced users. There is no such thing as a button you can press to make your computer better. If something seems wrong with your computer, file a ticket on the Helpdesk and let IT look it over.

Java JRE
Enables Execution of Java Programs
  • Price: In-program updater is essentially a nag screen.
  • Safety: In-program updater attempts to install a potentially unwanted program. Potentially a vector for malware.
  • License: Does not permit source modification.

Disclaimer: Java is not inherently bad. In cases where a user utilizes software written in the Java programming language such as Eclipse, it is necessary. In the more common case where a user does not utilize such software, it is problematic. It is frequently out-of-date, acts as a vector for malware, and attempts to install a potentially unwanted program (Ask Toolbar) each time it updates. Install only if required.

Safe Software - Feel Free to Install

Writing and Drawing

LibreOffice
Comprehensive office software suite

Internet

Mozilla Firefox
Safe and fast web browser

Multimedia

VLC media player
General video and sound player

Tools

7-Zip
Versatile compression program for various file formats
Software with Restrictive Licensing
avast!
Antivirus
  • Safety: Installer attempts to install a potentially unwanted program.

avast! Free Antivirus may be installed on any personal device. Be careful during installation, avast! will install a potentially unwanted program (Dropbox) if a box is not unchecked in the installer.

The School of Engineering has a license agreement with avast! to provide avast! Enterprise free of charge to all computers on inventory. We cannot distribute this license online, but we can install it for you.

Students must coordinate this installation through their advisor.

Faculty and staff may coordinate the installation of this software through the Helpdesk.

Microsoft Office
Comprehensive office software suite

Students may purchase a 4-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 for up to 2 devices via Microsoft's Office 365 University program for $79.99.

Computers on inventory will require a license purchase through FTDC.

Faculty and staff may coordinate the purchase of these licenses through the Helpdesk.

Students must coordinate this purchase through their advisor.

AutoCad 2019
Program used for design and design documentation

Students, Faculty, and Staff may acquire a license for three years via the AutoCAD website free of charge. A detailed installation guide can be found here.

Computers on inventory may have Autocad installed using a license provided by Autodesk Software for Institutions program.

Faculty and staff may coordinate the installation through the Helpdesk.

Students must coordinate the installation through their advisor.

MATLAB
Used to program in the MATLAB language

Personal computers may have MATLAB installed using a standalone license provided by the School of Engineering.

Detailed instructions for employees can be found on MyOleMiss at this link(must be logged in).

Detailed instructions for students can be found on MyOleMiss at this link(must be logged in).

Computers on inventory may have Matlab installed with a site license provided by the School of Engineering.

Faculty and staff may coordinate the installation through the Helpdesk.

Students must coordinate the installation through their advisor.