Free and Most Effective Anti-virus for Windows PC: Microsoft Security Essential

You know that the web is rife with viruses, Trojans and other nasty pieces of malware, but for whatever reason, you still have the virus protection installed on your PC.

Well, here's the thing: stabbing our heads in the sand and hope for the best is no deterrent to the latest viruses and spyware.

The good news is that with a few clicks you can protect against viruses are up and running on your Windows system in about five minutes and it costs you a dime.

Free Microsoft Security Essentials package, naturally enough, drawn fire from for-pay competitors such as Symantec (maker of Norton Antivirus) and Trend Micro (Guardian Online) for its "basic" and "average" protection against viruses, while some recent studies criticized the software for "a little light in the tool belt. "

Well, maybe. But for those of us who are not security experts but want a solid, low-maintenance protection against viruses and other malware, OneCare remains a fast, easy way to defending your PC and at least buttress, it's better than nothing.

Go to Microsoft's Security Essentals website of the software that runs on PCs with Windows XP or higher installed to download. (If your purchase of your Windows desktop or laptop in the last ten years, you should be fine.)

Once installed, the Security Essentials control panel, complete with tabs for updating virus definitions (a constantly updated database of the latest online threats) and walk fast or full sweep of the hard drive of your PC.

Your first step should be to a full system scan to run. Click the Home tab and select "Full" under "Scan Options" and click the big "Scan now" button. A full scan of your PC for a while, maybe an hour or more, but at least you will be able to do other things while OneCare scours your hard drive.

After you finished your first scan, go ahead and click on "Quick" under "Scan options" for future scans, click the Settings tab and a schedule for regular virus checks set.

Last but not least, keep an eye on the security icon in the system tray (in the lower right corner of the screen). If the small fort with the flag icon at the top is green, you're good, if not, click the right mouse button to perform the necessary updates.