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One of the biggest tools that can help keep your computer out of our shop is a good anti-virus program.  Anti-Virus software always comes in two different categories:  paid-subscription based anti-virus and free anti-virus.  Now, paid subscription-based software will almost always be more protective than their free counterparts, but that is not to say that there aren’t some great free anti-virus programs out there as well.  Currently, our favorite of the free anti-virus programs is Microsoft’s Security Essentials.  Security Essentials is currently the top of our list for two reasons, its protection abilities are quite formidable for a free anti-virus and most importantly the software doesn’t use as much of your system’s resources as some of the others, preventing the software from slowing your computer down as much as other anti-virus programs.  When it comes to the subscription-based anti-virus our current favorite is Norton’s Anti-Virus 2012.  However, there is a bit of a catch with Norton’s software.  Their most popular versions of their software are their Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security, however both feature multiple other components that protect you, that, while are good in theory, we do not feel the trade off that these programs tax on your system worth it.  Simply put, these two programs can really slow your computer down.  Nevertheless they do offer their Anti-Virus as a stand alone product, which isn’t as much as a resource hog and really does a great job protecting you.  No matter what anti-virus you settle on to protect your computer keep in mind you never want to have more than one anti-virus program on your computer at one time so remove your current before you add a new anti-virus tool.  Two anti-virus is akin to no anti-virus, but to keep yourself safe and secure browsing on the Internet today make sure you have some kind of protection.