Originally Posted by ~mr mixx~
Avast & Avg are the two i recommend, they are both good and work great and are free. The only slight difference i think is that Avg can be a little resourceful but what can you expect for a free software.
I'd agree with this from a third-party point of view, I've always used AVG (on XP) and found them very effective. However...
Originally Posted by briggs&straton
Personally i use microsoft security essentials, great and its free!
Now you're in the Windows 7/8 realm you get Microsoft Security Essentials (MSSE) bundled with your OS. To be honest, there is no reason to buy a third party antivirus anymore since none of them are perfect (in terms of virus detection/removal) and many of the third-party ones require more system resource (RAM/CPU time) than MSSE.
As a beginner, I'd recommend you read a post I made yesterday (Can You Get a Virus from YouTube or Facebook?
) to familiarise yourself with email security. I say this because safe browsing/email practices are much more effective
than any security software ever could be.
I'm looking to pull together a comprehensive website to help people such as yourself understand the dangers (rationally, not paranoid) and educate others on how to protect themselves. Unfortunately I don't get anywhere near as much time as I'd like to do this, so it's slow going. I will post a thread in these forums when this is ready for a 'test run' (provided it doesn't contravene forum posting guidelines).
Good luck and safe browsing!