Antiviruses & Anti-Malware Software

Viruses are malware that can infect your computer and cause havoc, and make you lose more than just sleep. You can potentially lose your data and your identity if a hacker can get through your computer’s defences via a virus.

What Is An Antivirus Program

Antivirus

An Antivirus program is designed specifically to prevent any virus from entering your system, detects any virus located in your computer and resolves any issues by removing the unauthorized viruses from your computer. Antivirus programs have now been designed to combat a large range of malware instead of only viruses.

Why Do You Need An Antivirus Program

It is important for users to have antivirus tools and programs installed in their computers as without one, your computer will be riddled with viruses within minutes of getting connected to the online world. Viruses are never ending, bombarding your computer in an endless barrage.

Can you imagine that thousands of new viruses are created on a daily basis? This is one reason why antivirus programs have to be up to date and relevant. This is also why there are regular updates so that the database has the new viruses on record so that they can identify and remove any viruses that may enter your computer or network.

How Do Antivirus programs Work

Antivirus programs offer certain basic features and protections like:

  • Scanning files for any viruses
  • Automatically running scheduled scans
  • ​Allowing scans of any files or drives at any moment
  • ​Removal of infections, viruses and malicious code
  • ​Display the status of your antivirus scans
  • Malware are malicious code that can illegally enter your network or computer with the intent of destruction, ransom or theft of confidential data.

What Is An Anti-Malware Program

Anti-Malware

An antimalware program is software that prevents, detects and removes malware from your system. Your computer is sure to get infected with viruses, Trojan horses, worms, ransomware, key loggers and more, if it is not protected.

Why Do You Need An AntiMalware Program

Malware or malicious software can install itself on your computer without your knowledge via suspicious emails, dubious websites and more. This malicious code can then wipe out your hard drive; can cause identity theft, get access to all sensitive private information and more.

Your computers should have their own antivirus tools, but antimalware programs are much powerful and act like a strong barrier against all the cyber threats that would be bombarding your computers. With all of us being more connected online than ever before, it is time we paid more attention to cyber threats and online protection.

AntiMalware programs work on the same principle as antivirus programs, but as malware is an umbrella term under which viruses fall, it is safe to say that antimalware programs are a lot more powerful and reliable when it comes to dealing with many forms of malware.

Different Types of Malware

There are so many malware programs out there, that you could get dizzy just thinking about them. This will help break down what malware is and the various malware there are, for easy understanding.

Short for malicious software, malware is software that contains malicious code that carries the intent to compromise your confidential data and causing harm to the host computer. Various types of Malware include:

Virus:

This is the most commonly known form of malware. It self replicates and can be transferred via infected programs, security loopholes in web apps, infected documents and downloads and more. They can harm your computer and do much more damage.

Worms:

Worms exploit security faults in your system and in comparison to viruses and other malware, they are seemingly harmless. They’ll use up your bandwidth, which is why your speed may seem slow, but they can also damage the host computer as they can contain certain ‘payloads’ that can steal confidential data and more. Worms can self replicate and spread without human intervention (like opening files etc), and can send out mass mails with infected files attached to all user contacts in the infected host computer’s list.

Trojan Horse:

If you have a computer, chances are high that you may have come across this term. This is a bit of a tricky thing, and it tricks you into thinking that it is a useful program that you need, so that you will download and install it. Trojans can give access to hackers who can then steal confidential data, take control in your system to monitor computer activities, file modification, installation of other malware programs and more.

Spyware:

As the name suggests, this type of malware monitors and ‘spies’ on you, without your knowledge. They can accompany a Trojan, or can get through security crack sin your system.

Adware:

Get ready for annoying pop ups on ads you just don’t want to see. Adware is sponsored ads that generate revenue for the advertisers – but not in a legit way. They can cause annoying pop ups and can also contain spyware which is harmful for your computer.

Ransomware:

This type of malware can hold your computer ransom as it steals confidential data, or locks down your system so you cannot access it. It can spread like a worm or can get through a security loophole in your system.

Rootkit:

Rootkits are really stealthy malware that are virtually undetectable with simple security measures. Rootkits hold a wide array of malware tools that can be used for malicious intent, making them hard to remove. In the mean time, they can tweak your security software (uh oh), modify system configs, control your computer, remotely access sensitive data and much more.

Best Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software

Avast:

Avast is a well known antivirus software program that remains as one of the best to download and use. Avast antivirus and anti-malware software programs tend to have a complete program that will help keep cyber threats at bay. It protects all online threats via your incoming email, IMs, P2P connections, local file transfers and more.

You can also opt for a free Avast Home version, which works just as well, and is a great replacement for other antivirus competitors. It’s easy to set up and install, has a good reputation backing it up, and works on all Windows versions and more. All you have to do is register it to use it more than a month, but hey – it’s free. The home version is great and free, but it is also great antivirus software for your business, offering different tier plans according to your budget.

AVG:

AVG also has a solid fan base, and the reliability of its antivirus software has continued to increase the number of AVG users. However, for those who didn’t know, AVG was bought up by Avast. We all know Avast has a solid reputation as well, but both companies don’t layer each other and operate separately.

The AVG antivirus software includes AVG Zen, which allows you to check AVG security on all your devices. The free version offers a basic security plan, but if you really want to protect your computer, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid version which will offer full protection.

The full protection includes extra security when making online payments, added security against hackers and authorised access to your confidential data.

AVG is still a pretty good antivirus software, but it doesn’t have a quick scan option, which is great for those times when you suspect something may be up with your computer, but don’t have the time for a full scan. This feature is present in Avast and Bitfinder. However, if you do the upgrade, you’ll have access to enhanced firewall, dedicated ransomware protection, encryption software and much more, including its file shredder. Overall, AVG has a great array of customization options for any antivirus program.

Avira:

This is one of the oldest companies in this list, and the free version is great, but with many features missing, it’s better to upgrade to the paid edition so you have access to Web Protection, Game Mode and Mail Protection which is part of the internet Protection panel.

It has an improved malware Protection and with regular updates, Avira is an option to consider when thinking of which antivirus or antimalware program to get for your home or business. It can detect different types of malware very well.

The only downside we could think of is that it takes simply ages to do a full scan. Even if you do a repeat scan, things won’t go any faster, it will still take the same amount of time as the firsts can which is hours more than any competitor. This of course, in turn, makes your computer a little slower than usual.

Eset:

Eset is more than just an Antivirus program. It teaches you how to handle your security through a series of educational modules so you end up smarter and more knowledgeable about online security than ever before with its cyber security Training. It is also geared towards social media users, scanning your social media accounts for any malicious code or content that could potentially harm your computer.

Kaspersky:

This is also a top favourite amongst many users. It helps keep your digital experience danger free. Kaspersky is a company that has specialized in antivirus and antimalware programs and tools that prevent ransomware and other forms of malware attacks from targeting you and your computer. This internet security suite handles not only viruses, but also other malwares that could enter your system.

McAfee:

If you have a large family and each of your family members is glued to the internet in some form or the other, helping them keep their private data private is more important than ever before. McAfee turns out to be a steal deal, as a small amount can have your whole family and all connected devices covered under its protection plan. This offers a way better deal as the fast scanning can rest your mind at ease, especially if you suspect foul play at work. Just remember that every action has an equal or opposite reaction – and for this reason alone, your computer system will slow down. This is the economical version of any antivirus or antimalware program.

Norton:

Norton is a world leader in the antivirus and antimalware segment, and even years down the line after its launch, it doesn’t disappoint. Its Malware detection feature is simply amazing, and we have to give a thumbs up for the simple and easy UI. You have the choice of a myriad of features that will leave your devices and computers in safe hands.

The only downside to this is that you may be stuck with a certain pricing tier according to the amount of connected devices.

Bitdefender:

Many more of us connect with loved ones far away via video calls or handle work meetings via video conferencing. This has lead Bitdefender to create a feature that protects your privacy of your webcam. It offers great malware protection. While it lacks in VPN and backup software, it takes the top lead for PC protection with additional security features, excellent malware defences, super quick scans and much more.

MalwareBytes:

As our technology evolves, so do hackers. Many malware have been created to imitate real programs which fool the person into downloading, thinking it is something they need. This antivirus and antimalware program helps disguise itself so that it can counteract the malicious code stealthily. While many other companies’ programs kind of turn a blind eye to annoying pop ups, adware and the like, MalwareBytes manages to address all issues, while effectively protecting your computer form cyber threats.

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