A computer virus is a piece of software that is man-made and designed to cause malicious effects to an innocent person’s computer.  They have the ability to replicate themselves from PC to PC via networks, email and even media devices like USB sticks.

The most effective way of preventing a virus is to install an anti-virus. One method would be to install a free anti-virus scanner. These are designed to prevent, detect and eliminate virus infections on almost all computing devices and cost nothing.  These kind of scans can be run via some websites, quicker and easy to use but only as a one-off scan. If you want more protection you will need to install a software package, free or paid, they will both offer more protection.

The pros of running a free anti-virus is that for a start it costs absolutely nothing, it also can provide very effective protection against a load of different viruses, from malware and Trojans to worms and spyware.  These types of programs can be easily installed through fake (spam) emails, advertisements and can even be bundled into perfectly legitimate freeware to support the costs of the freeware developers.  Antivirus software is designed to scan your computer for any hostile files and eliminate them by either sending them to a quarantine or deleting them all together.

There are some cons however. Free scanners don’t fully protect you from every nasty on the web. For instance, they don’t always include a firewall so you’re technically still susceptible to hackers. As mentioned earlier, spam is a common way for a virus to enter a computer and so a spam filter is key these days, and this will only come with a fully paid internet security suite. Password managers and Browsing protection are examples of other additional features that come with full-featured solutions and will help decrease your infection rate massively.

To conclude, if you aren’t currently using any protection at all, get a free virus scanner immediately as it will offer some protection. But if you’re after a must safer and long-term solution we recommend upgrading or purchasing a full-featured solution.  This will offer the ultimate in defence for your devices.