Topic outline

  • Using antivirus software

    In this course you’ll learn about antivirus protection for your devices, including Apple and Windows computers and Apple and Android mobile devices.

    You’ll find out why it’s important to protect against viruses, what protection comes with your device, and how to get extra protection from an antivirus software suite.

    Before you start, take some time to watch this video that explains what antivirus software is, and how it can benefit you and protect your computer and other devices.


    Welcome to 'What is antivirus software?'. In this video, you'll learn why it's important to protect your devices against viruses, what protection comes with your device, and how to get extra protection from an antivirus software suite. You'll follow along with Steve as he uses antivirus software on his computer and mobile. The internet has enriched our lives in many ways, but it can also spread malicious software, such as viruses and malware through links, emails, and even websites.

    These threats can harm your device and access your personal information, but there are ways to protect against them. All devices come with basic protection built-in, and installing antivirus software can add an extra layer of protection. Antivirus software constantly scans your device for viruses and other threats. It will also scan websites you visit and files on your computer, like email attachments. In the event that a threat is detected, it will notify you and safely remove it from your device.

    An antivirus software suite will likely offer other features too. It might include a password manager to keep your password safe and secure, and let you know if any of your passwords have been compromised by a security breach or hack. It might also include webcam security to ensure nobody's able to remotely activate the camera on your device or computer. Free antivirus software provides fewer features than paid antivirus software, and may limit protection to just one of your devices. A paid version will offer more features and provide protection for multiple devices and platforms such as a Windows computer, Apple iPhone, and Android tablet. Most offer free trial periods, but will require your credit card details when you sign up and install the software. If you don't want to continue using the antivirus software, be sure to cancel before the trial period ends so your credit card isn't charged.

    For security, it's a good idea to get antivirus software from the official store for your device. That's the Microsoft Store for Windows computers, Google Play for Android devices, and the App Store for Apple devices. You can also buy antivirus software from a computer store. Now, let's follow along with Steve as he puts antivirus software into action. Although the antivirus installed on his devices is continuously scanning for potential threats, Steve can also run a manual scan. He opens the antivirus app on his phone by tapping the app icon on his Home screen. He taps on Scan now. Good news. The scan is complete and the device is safe.

    Later, Steve notices his computer is running a bit slow and sure enough, he receives a notification from the antivirus software, letting him know that a threat has been detected. He follows the steps to remove the threat from his computer. He runs a manual scan too, just to be sure. The antivirus software reassures him that the threat has been removed - good news. Steve receives an email from an old friend who he hasn't heard from in many years. He's concerned it may not be genuine, and while antivirus automatically scans his emails and their attachments, Steve decides to run a manual check too, just to be sure. He saves the PDF attachment to his desktop, right-clicks on the file, and selects the scan option. The antivirus software confirms that the file is safe, so he opens it. Ah, a school reunion, this should be interesting.

    Antivirus software also monitors web pages you visit and will stop known malicious sites from loading. It's important to remember that while antivirus software can significantly reduce your risk, no antivirus guarantees total protection from harm. Some antivirus can also slow down the operation of your devices or block legitimate files and websites you're trying to access. Luckily, Steve has taken advantage of a free trial, so he can check that the antivirus software doesn't have any of these problems. He feels safer knowing that his devices and personal information are protected.