Antivirus software, also known as anti-malware, is a computer program used to prevent, detect, and remove malware. The software was originally developed to detect and remove computer viruses, but with time, the antivirus software started to provide protection from other computer threats. It can safeguard computers from malware such as viruses, computer system worms, spy ware, botnets, rootkits, keyloggers. These malware programs function to scan, discover and remove viruses from your computer.
With the frequent use of technology, viruses have also become common.Today, there are more than 27 million different types of malware floating around online. With 74,000 new viruses and malware strains taking over computers every day, the problem is only getting worse.
The world wide web has become a part of our everyday lives, which brings with it a number of dangers. Hence, it is highly important for you to safeguard your computer from malware dangers. There are also a variety of free antivirus utilities that work solely to clean up existing malware contaminations.
Free antivirus software
On the free side are some solid and reputable antivirus programs for Windows machines. Avast Free Antivirus, Avira Free Antivirus, AVG AntiVirus Free and Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition are just a few. If you are on a tight budget it may be helpful. But as you know, there is no such thing as free lunch, and free antivirus software often comes with its own baggage. Many services will provide you the basic level protection needed, that means you may have to upgrade to the paid software version to get comprehensive coverage. Users looking for extra protection can instead get decent stuff for free, but it’s a tricky proposition.
One such free offer is Kaspersky Free, the makers of which claim that it “automatically blocks dangerous downloads – and automatically warns you about malicious websites.” That software, which, interestingly, The New York Times reports is in the process of being booted from U.S. government computers over alleged (and denied) ties to the Russian government, has received high scores from security professionals according to PC Magazine. That’s just one example of many.
Free programs generally offer no telephone technical support. This can be a deal-breaker for any small business, or a family with multiple computer users. Free programs don’t offer parental controls that can keep kids off inappropriate sites or warn them about cyberstalking and bullying. They often also include advertising. This can be negligible, but ceaseless pop-up boxes pestering you to sign up for the paid version of whatever you’re using can be quite distracting. Some free programs now try to change your web browser’s homepage and default search engine, which is extremely annoying.
Paid antivirus softwares
Paid antivirus software solutions often have a lot to offer. Many services feature not only the latest threat protection and excellent customer support, but also defence against hackers, viruses, spyware and malware, as well as safeguarding your identity and online transactions. The best defence is to invest in a trusted security suite that offers comprehensive protection and excellent customer support.
There are many well reputed paid antivirus programs such as Bitdefender, McAfee, Norton/Symantec and Kaspersky Lab. Paid programs offer additional features, which can be helpful, depending on what kind of computer owner you are — cautious or geeky.
Avast’s Internet Security package ($49.95 for one PC for one year), for example, has several features lacking in the company’s free version, such as a sophisticated spam filter. It also opens particularly sensitive activities, such as online banking or trading, in a new desktop so that other programs can’t purloin passwords or account numbers.
McAfee’s Total Protection package ($89.99 for three PCs) is another example of a complete package, which also includes parental controls, online backup, home networking security features and spam filtering. It also lets owners encrypt particularly sensitive files to secure them in case a PC is stolen — ideal for laptop users.
What’s best for you?
When it comes to cyber safety, buying an antivirus security suite is a small price to pay. With the potential to spend countless hours and incur a large financial cost trying to fix what was lost due to security oversight, purchasing a reputable security suite seems like the best option. Letting the experts use state of the art technology to fight new threats for a small amount seems like the logical thing to do.