Antivirus software protects your computer against malicious software designed to damage the system or compromise your security.

New computers are often preloaded with a trial version of antivirus software – for example, Norton or McAfee antivirus. This will protect you for about three months, but then you’ll need to either pay a subscription to continue using it or install one of the popular free programs.

If you decide on having a free program, you’ll need to make sure that you uninstall any existing antivirus software first. It’s best to do this by visiting the appropriate manufacturer’s website and downloading their ‘removal tool’.

In Windows 8 versions and Windows 10 there is a built in antivirus and firewall protection through Windows Defender. You can read about its features and check your computer is up-to-date at this link.

Last updated January 2023