Free and simple anti-virus software from Microsoft

Microsoft Security Essentials

This simple, easy-to-use program is Microsoft’s first attempt at a stand-alone security application for home use. Given its simplicity and suitability for beginners, it probably isn’t the best choice for more advanced users or professional network administrators, but for the average user, it covers all the bases. Bear in mind, however, that Microsoft Security Essentials doesn’t have a firewall, so you’ll need to take separate measures to cover this area.

Microsoft Security Essentials has a tabbed interface that allows the user to update, scan and toggle settings. There are three types of scans - quick, full or customizable. They can be scheduled to run at a give time or particular location, and can be modified to work when the computer is not actually in use. Handily, Microsoft Security Essentials automatically updates its database.

The program is fully integrated with Explorer and also boasts a system restore point, in case you need to undo any over-enthusiastic cleaning.