The Right Antivirus

Many times my clients ask me which is the best antivirus protection for their computers. So first, let’s define the threats. Malware, short for malicious software, is any software used to weaken the security, disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information, destroy data, gain access to private computer systems, or display unwanted advertising. Malware is a term used to refer to a variety of forms of hostile or intrusive software, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, spyware, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs.

It can come cloaked in a fake version of a popular application, for example, the setup file of a browser. In this case, the malware tricks the user into giving it full permission to modify the system configuration to disable the security settings and prevent the user from re-enabling them. After that, the malware can download more malicious code from the internet with unrestricted access to the system and sensitive data.

What you need to know is how to protect your computer against any threats. So, which antivirus is the right one to prevent all these kinds of malware? First of all, it is crucial to have your operating system updated because it is the OS that will run your antivirus, your browser, and any other software you use. An updated OS brings the most advanced security features and fixes to all known flaws from the previous versions. An outdated OS contains known bugs exploited by hackers. The same advice goes for browsers and applications: always update all of them.

If the system is updated, you can rely on your default OS security software. Apple MacOS has an excellent reputation for security, and Microsoft Windows 10 has a comparable level of protection. When we talk about malware, both MacOS X and Windows 10 do a good job to avoid and stop them. MacOS relies on Gatekeeper to block suspicious applications, and Windows 10 comes with the built-in protection Windows Defender that takes care of everything. The newest version of both systems comes with protection against malware and firewall to block unauthorized external connections.

You can also add an extra layer of protection against Malvertising (Malware in Advertising). Malvertising loads a fake ad with malicious code in your browser, and it can crash, slow, or infect your computer. To prevent this, you should use an ad blocker. I recommend the Ghostery extension. It offers straightforward customization, easy to set up.

Another way to protect yourself is to uninstall unnecessary plugins. You probably don’t need that Java anymore, and it is unsafe. The same goes to the Adobe Flash Player that had more than 300 bugs reported in 2015.

It is important to note that no security solution will stop all threats. If you download an application with a virus and install it, then you are giving the virus access to your system. The best advice is always to update your system and security software, avoid unknown and suspicious files and websites, and make sure the program you are about to install is essential to you and comes from a reputable brand.

Related: Google Chrome engineer says Windows Defender is the only well behaved AV

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