So what is a virus? A computer virus, much like a flu virus, is designed to spread from computer to computer and has the ability to copy itself. Similarly, in the same way that viruses cannot reproduce without a host cell, computer viruses cannot reproduce and spread without programming such as a file or document.

How can you stop these from affecting your computer? One option is by using free virus scanners. Antivirus (anti-virus) software is a class of program that will prevent, detect and remediate malware infections on individual computing devices and IT systems.

What are the benefits of using one of these? When you install the anti-virus software on your computer you get protection against the viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, rootkits and keyloggers. Many people click on the suspicious links or the attachments in emails, they visit untrustworthy websites and they install the questionable software, so, having the anti-virus program can decrease the likelihood of getting infected. The antivirus software can protect you from the spyware and identity theft, the spyware is a kind of software that is specifically designed to infect your computer and spy on you, the spyware seeks and steals all your personal information stored on your computer, this can include financial data, passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers and anything else the spyware can detect.

What are the disadvantages of having a free virus scanner?  When you install anti-virus, it is not a firewall and it will not prevent you from getting hacked, you need to install firewall software also or install a full internet security suite. Anti-virus software can slow down your PC or network, installing and running anti-virus software can use up a lot of computer memory and hard disk space, so be sure to check the system requirements compared to your PC before installing.

Conclusion. With so many vicious threats roaming the web these days, it would be nice to save a little money while arming your system with solid protection.  There are hundreds of anti-virus solutions on the market; several of them offer exceptional results, but will cost you a pretty penny in the end.