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Community Member

does canvas scan attachments for viruses and malware?

I had students post attachments in a discussion board rather than just type their post for the first time ever, and I'm really hesitant to download and open the files. Does anyone know if Canvas does any type of virus/malware scan of attachments?

2 Replies
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @rbzostek .  This is a good question and arose earlier in the year (see Security/Safety of Attachments).  This previous post has links to some information that may be helpful in your situation.  I would think that any files would be scanned by the antiviral software someone has installed on their computer during the download process.  Most institutions will provide some type of antivirus/malware program for faculty/staff so it may be worth this individual's time to contact IT at your institution to see about computer-level protection.  You might also contact Canvas Support to see if they have more information than what is provided in the links in the other question.

If the instructor does not want students to submit attachments in discussions, you might let this individual know that this can be tuned off in either individual discussions (see information here, How do I allow students to attach files to a course discussion?) or for the entire course under the course settings and "more options".

I hope this helps and best wishes!


Can we get a direct, YES or NO, answer from Canvas on this? Does Canvas scan user uploaded documents for viruses or malware; yes or no?

I've been looking for a little bit and can't find any clear resolution. Too many people are saying, "that's a good question" and "we haven't encountered any issues so far". These are not the answers we need. My university's IT department wasn't able to provide answers, there's doesn't appear to be any mention of file scanning in Infrastructures security reports, and there are only two mentions of file scanning on this board.