When we think of malware or malicious software, our first thoughts focus on file corruption or PC damage. However, there is more to it than that. Malware can pause more dangerous threats, and it is wise to protect yourself.
Fortunately, most Windows PCs come with in-built software that offers scanning and firewall management, while Macs are known to have the best security system. Though this is great, it is not enough. You need extra protection for your PC, yourself, and your loved ones.
What Does an Anti-virus do?
Anti-virus software is a machine learning tool that is used to protect your PC from different malware, including viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware, and ransomware.
Features found in anti-virus software
Finding the best software for your needs can be difficult if you do not know what options are available or what you are looking for. Anti-virus software has evolved over the years, and most now come with additional features.
At its core, great anti-virus software should offer some level of protection. This protection by scanning and removing malware from your PC. Other features include:
Online protection as you surf. Some offer protection against harmful pop-ups.
A firewall to protect against unauthorized entry.
Parental control to help keep your kids safe online.
Online privacy using virtual private networks (VPN).
Ability to flag suspicious links and block content with potential malware.
A great malware scanner should be able to work in the background protecting your PC.
Common Anti-malware Software
There are many anti-virus software options to pick from, both free and paid for. Some software offers both options or includes packages with different protection features. Some scanners may also require local installation, while others connect to the cloud to scan your PC. Clearly, there are many options.
Norton has been around for a while and offers 360-degree protection through its various plans. It uses artificial intelligence to find and identify malware through its real-time scanner. It supports both Windows and macOS.
Norton currently has 4 plans- Antivirus Plus, Standard, Deluxe, and Select with LifeLock protection. These plans cost between $19.99 and $99.99 and have different features. Some of the features include:
Lifelock identity theft mitigation
Dark web monitoring
TotalAV is a fast and easy-to-use software that offers protection against malware. It offers three packages-Total Security for $59 per year, Internet Security for $39 per year, and Antivirus Pro for $19 per year. Though pricier than some software, it is one of the best protection software and boasts features such as:
Real-time malware detection
A safe site browser extension to protect against phishing
A 30-day money-back guarantee.
Bitdefender is a leading anti-malware software with proactive malware and spyware scanning that is fast and silent. It uses machine learning to detect malware, making it very accurate.
It also has game, work, and movie modes that help in scheduling malware notifications.
It also has different packages that cost between $29.99 and $49.99. The packages offer different features like:
Boot scanning whenever your PC starts.
Cloud scanning to protect PC performance
Secure browser for online finances
30-day moneyback guarantee
Offsite backup for macOS
Malwarebytes is a game changer. It is one of the most effective and efficient malware protection software. It is updated regularly and can identify new threats as they come. It comes with a 14-day trial upon installation and reverts to the free version once the 14 days are up. However, you can choose to upgrade according to the number of devices you want to be protected.
It recently bought Adwcleaner, which removes programs that hijack your browser and change or reset browsing defaults. Other features include:
Play mode for scheduling alerts
When you think about antivirus software, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Kaspersky since it is a popular brand. It is easy to use and comes with different packages, which you can find on their website. Kaspersky offers:
A data leak checker
Avast is also another veteran that has been in the antivirus software game for a while. It has both a free and a premium version. It is more famous for its free version, which is just as good as the premium one. It detects malware in real time and also offers:
Flagging fake sites.
AVG is free antivirus software that comes with a paid version for small businesses. It offers scanning and removal of malware and includes features such as:
Security updates in real-time
Email protection against phishing
All operating systems are susceptible to malware, and it is important to choose one that is easy to set up and use and one that scans and protects your system from malware. If you can, get software that protects against all forms of malware, not just anti-viruses. It is a small but worthy investment.
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