The HGSE IT department cannot overstate the value of using an up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware program. Antivirus software will help keep your computer free of malicious software such as viruses, worms, and trojan horses. You also need to protect yourself against spyware and adware, which can gather your personal information or create an opening for more serious threats.
Freeware antivirus software is available on the Internet which will provide you coverage, but may show some ad/banners as well. Generally, HGSE recommends Bitdefender Antivirus Free, Avast Free Antivirus, ESET Antivirus, and Sophos Home, as they are well-rated by independent security researchers and are available for both Windows and Mac). You can also see a list of the other top-rated options from the independent security researchers at AV-Test (updated monthly), along with reviewing the University's guide for Choosing Personal Anti-Virus Software:
Regardless of from whom you obtain your antivirus and anti-spyware software, make certain it is configured for daily updates and active monitoring. New viruses, malware, and spyware threats are identified everyday, and your protective software is only as strong as your most recent update. See our Patching & Updates section for more information about how you can enable autoupdates for your operating systems as well as your software.