Long-time Windows users are well aware of the importance of installing and actively using an antivirus program to protect a PC from damage and security breaches. The hackers and other nefarious software developers know the vulnerabilities in the operating system, and use this as a basis for exploiting users. Luckily, reputable antivirus software developers, such as McAfee, Symantec and Trend Micro have come along to offer consumers protection. There are actually dozens of antivirus software developers, some small and medium sized, when compared to major developers. However, they all may work together in some form to make the computing environment a safe and enjoyable place.
Fast forward to 2009, and there is a new player on the antivirus program landscape -- the Microsoft Corporation, itself. For nearly a decade or more, the company did not offer any type of comprehensive antivirus solutions. During this time there was and probably still remains a high presence of malicious viruses that crippled both personal and professional computer systems. Relieved and thankful consumers and businesses had little choice but to obtain antivirus software from a third-party developer, usually paying for a yearly license for permission to use the program. Needless to say, customers aren't happy when a product has problems and technical difficulties.
If you are looking for a list of free antivirus programs, look no farther than the same company that develops and maintains the operating system that you are trying to protect.
Uninstall any existing antivirus programs before installing a new program for Windows that is free. For example, if you use Norton Antivirus of McAfee Antivirus, uninstall these programs using the "Programs" utility from the Control Panel in Windows.
If you aren't sure if a program is an antivirus, you can leave it installed. The free program recommendation can recognize other installed antivirus programs and then ask you to uninstall the files.
Open your Internet browser. Navigate to the following web address to download the files for the Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus program, free for Windows:
Click the "Free Download" button to begin downloading the free antivirus program for Windows.
Double-click on the downloaded installation file from your hard drive to begin installing the free antivirus software for Windows.
Read and follow the instructions on the screen as they appear, until the process of installing the free antivirus for Windows is complete. If the installation was not successful you may have to perform additional troubleshooting.
Activate the free Windows Firewall utility to supplement the protection provided by the antivirus program.
Sources and Citations
- " Remove spyware from your computer." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Remove-spyware-from-your-computer>.
- " Understanding security and safer computing." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Understanding-security-and-safer-computing>.
- " Update your antivirus software." Microsoft Windows. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Update-your-antivirus-software>.
- "Security firms blast Microsoft for free antivirus offer | InSecurity Complex - CNET News." Technology News - CNET News. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20022148-245.html>.
- Bott, Ed. "Microsoft vs. McAfee: How free antivirus outperformed paid | ZDNet ." Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/microsoft-vs-mcafee-how-free-antivirus-outperformed-paid/2614>.
- Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian. "Windows 8 will ship with built-in antivirus protection | ZDNet ." Technology News, Analysis, Comments and Product Reviews for IT Professionals | ZDNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/windows-8-will-ship-with-built-in-antivirus-protection/14757>.
- TE. "Microsoft Free Antivirus: It's About Time - Windows - Microsoft news - Informationweek." InformationWeek | Business Technology News, Reviews and Blogs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://www.informationweek.com/news/windows/microsoft_news/229205917>.
- TE. "The End Is Near For Paid Antivirus On PCs - Security - Antivirus - Informationweek." InformationWeek | Business Technology News, Reviews and Blogs. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/antivirus/231000191>.
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