Antivirus software is a generic term that harks back to early days of computer viruses, when programs were first created to remove computer viruses and prevent them from spreading. In the years since then, different kinds of malicious software have emerged, often called malware. Malware, which describes all types of malicious programs including computer viruses, threatens personal and work computers worldwide.We believe it’s worth paying for Windows antivirus software, because even the Best AV Software leaves out protection features we consider essential.
Unless you’ve got some sort of security software installed, your Windows PC or laptop is vulnerable to viruses, malware and ransomware. The latter is particularly important right now, given that the second huge ransomware attack of 2017 has just hit the headlines. But you don’t have to spend a lot — many antivirus products are sold online for much less than their list prices. Antivirus software is used to detect, prevent and remove viruses and spyware, stop hacking and phishing attacks and protect consumers from identity theft. This software is essential to prevent loss of data and personal information and to keep computers and mobile devices running effectively.
Windows PC users need a strong antivirus program to ward off malware attacks, to keep their computers running efficiently, and to safeguard their online identities and personal information. Paid antivirus suites have many features to protect children online, manage security on mobile devices, and monitor a computer’s firewall, software updates and other features. But some users just don’t want to — or can’t — pay a yearly subscription fee for those extra features.
Most antivirus software programs target the most common types of spyware and adware. The term spyware covers a few main categories. Trojan horses, key loggers, tracking cookies, and system monitors are all forms of spyware. These programs are designed to gather information about a user without their knowledge and then send that info to an outside entity. Some spyware is knowingly installed by the owners of public computers in order to monitor users. Possible examples of this include computers at libraries, computer cafes, and shared computers in office buildings. These key loggers record every key struck on a keyboard. This can potentially compromise credit card information, personal passwords, and private messages sent. Should antivirus software find a key logger, the program can quarantine it and ask for your permission to eliminate it.
The key part of any antivirus software is its detection engine. Such engines use a vast library of data on known threats and compare it to the files on your computer and web pages to see if they look like, or behave like, threats. Detection engines are at the core of most antivirus companies’ business, and you’ll generally find that a company’s free product uses the same engine as its paid-for version, although the latter may be equipped with additional features, such as firewalls and system optimization tools.
Whether it’s browser hijackers grabbing your search page, or the latest ransomware encrypting all your files, every PC needs a sterling antivirus package to keep threats at bay. Don’t rely on Microsoft’s very own Windows Defender to keep you safe. Sure, it’s free and easy to use, but independent tests show its protection rates can dip to 95%, sometimes even lower, compared to 99.x% for the leading competition.
Antivirus is important because these days you have to watch out for more than just run-of-the-mill viruses. While common sense is still the best antidote to the most common online threats, things like ransomware, identity theft, phony tech support scams, and social engineering can cost you thousands of dollars. There’s no subscription for common sense (unfortunately), but paid A/V suites often come with extras like password managers, tech support, and identity theft protection.
As an IT support business, we know virus removal, malware and how to prevent it. Check out our top picks for the best antivirus software! We recommend you to install at least one of the products enlisted in Best AV Software as a protection against malicious attacks, annoying popups and identity theft. Buying and comparing the top antivirus software online is as easy as picking it up in the retail stores. All antivirus products below allow you to purchase and automatically renew online.If you need help walking through this minefield then trust in us – we’ve reviewed all the best antivirus programs and our expert reviews will tell you everything you need to know before picking the right software to match your needs.