Anti-virus software is software that you install on your computer so that you can be alerted when you have a virus. Anti-virus software will help to keep your computer safe against worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and other uninvited programs.
The software can also help you clean your computer if you should happen to have a virus. The important thing to remember about anti-virus software is that you make sure to update it often so that you get the latest computer virus definitions installed into the software program. There is no point in having the anti-virus software if you're not going to update it. You'll be able to get updates from the vendor that sold you the anti-virus software, such as Norton.
Many times you may already have anti-virus software on your computer in which case you be sure to uninstall it before installing your new software. To find out if you have virus software check under your Start menu to see if you one listed, such as McAfee or Norton. Keep in mind that just because you have anti-virus software already installed on your computer that it (1) might not be working, and (2) hasn't been updated for a long time.
Once you've installed anti-virus software on your computer you're going to want to make sure that you use it correctly. Make sure that the settings in your computer automatically turn the anti-virus software on when you boot up your computer. You always want to be protected. If you're downloading something off the Internet your anti-virus software will let you know if there is a problem.
You can also use the anti-virus software to specifically scan any downloads, or files, that that have been sent to you via e-mail. If you are alerted that you have a virus your software will guide you with the right steps to removing it. Make sure that you don't continue to use your computer until the virus, or worm that you have, is removed. You don't want to send e-mail to friends and help in the spreading of the virus.