Anti-virus software protects your computer from software viruses, and prevents you from accidentally passing them to people you work with.
Computer viruses get into computers:
- via email
- by clicking on infected links (on social media sites or compromised websites)
- from infection by other people's compromised computers
- through the network, especially if you have not kept your software up to date
Anti-virus software doesn't only protect your computer from viruses. It can help prevent transmitting malware to others.
What does anti-virus software do?
Anti-virus software scans a computer's memory and disk drives for viruses. If a virus is found, the anti-virus software will notify the user. It can then clean, delete, or quarantine any infected files.
New computer viruses are being created all the time. It is important to keep your anti-virus software up to date so that it is able to recognise them.
Anti-virus software recommendations
For Windows devices:
Microsoft Defender is a pre-installed (on Windows 10) and free anti-virus software. You can check if your device has this installed, from the Security Centre on your device.
For Mac devices:
Sophos is an anti-virus software suitable for Mac devices. You can see more information on their webpage here