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An antivirus is a computer security software that is developed to detect and remove various types of viruses and malicious software’s (like Trojans, spyware, adware and rootkits).

Antivirus software usually used two basic methods for detecting, blocking and removing viruses. These methods include:

• Signature based scanning
• Behavioral Scanning

Because it relies on signatures and patterns, anti-virus software can only detect viruses that have signatures installed on your computer. As new viruses are written every day, anti-virus vendors provide regular updates to their product. Therefore it is necessary to keep the option to automatically receive updated virus definitions “Enabled”.

Some of the consideration for selecting the best antivirus for your computer are :

• Ability of antivirus software to detect all types of malware
• Ability of antivirus software to remove that malware
• Effect of the software on performance of computer and its efficiency
• Price of the antivirus
• Compatibility
• Features
• False Positives (Lower number indicates better performance)

Recommended Anti-Virus Programs


Many new computers come with trial or demonstration versions of antivirus software. These trial versions do not meet SU requirements. Students need to verify that the antivirus software installed on their computer is a fully licensed version. The following free anti-virus programs are recommend by ITS.


Microsoft Security Essentials


Windows 8, 8.1 and 10


Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 come with Microsoft Security Essentials in the form of Windows Defender. It is possible to disable the program, however, any non cloud based antivirus could cause performance issues if installed on Windows 8, 8.1, or 10. It is the recommendation of ITS that any Windows 8, 8.1, or 10 computers utilize this software.


Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac



Additional Anti-Virus Programs (Windows)

  • McAfee
  • BullGuard

  • ScanGuard

  • Norton

  • Avast

  • AVG

  • TotalAV

  • PC Protect

Additional Anti-Virus Programs (OSX)

  • Bitdefender

  • Norton

  • Avira