“Protecting my computer from viruses, what do I use?” is probably what I hear the most. Here is what I suggest to everybody and why.
No matter what your doing on your computer in today’s world you need to be protected from virus’, worms, malware, adware, etc. It can come in the form of an e-mail from a friend who has been infected, searching the web and picking the wrong site, or just maliciously make its way into your system other ways. Some versions of Malware contain keystroke recorders which is bad news for those of you who shop and bank online. Could you imagine a complete stranger watching you type in your credit card #’s, bank log-in, facebook log-in, and nameless other personal things?
I am currently using Avast! (Free) on one computer and Eset NOD32 (Paid) on another and both of them are great, run fast, and so far I am protected… But I really don’t seek for ways to become infected. Lets get to protecting your computer from viruses.
Microsoft System Sweeper – This new tool from Microsoft will help you with Rootkits, Malware, and Viruses that are preventing your computer from starting. This turns a blank CD, DVD, or USB drive into bootable media that is able to boot on its own that can repair problems and get you back to a bootable condition again. This can be ran otherwise to find rootkits that may be unknown to your current anti-virus. (Not a replacement for Anti-Virus software)
Suggested Malware/Antivirus Resources (They all test great by AV Comparatives also):
- Avast! Free – One of the highest rated free Antivirus Programs
- Avira – One of the highest Rated Paid Antivirus Programs. There is a free version but appears its manual scan only)
- Eset NOD32 – Highly Rated for Home Office, business/corporate environments, although a little slow on the scanning but not the slowest.
- Microsoft Security Essentials – Free, Highly Rated, but slow!
- MalwareBytes Free – Must be manually ran, but hey its free! Install this for safekeeping and keep it updated. You would use this alongside your Anti-virus for quick checkups. It will sometimes find the bad stuff your Antivirus didn’t.
What You Should NOT be running, but its better than nothing though (based on my observation and my interpretation of AV Comparatives Testing):
- Trend-Micro – Many False Positives, really high on missed samples.
- AVG – Many False Positives and Many Missed Virus Samples.
- Norton – They test well and all except for speed but they have left a bad taste in my mouth after updates. An update can make a good thing to bad, fast.
I have recently been testing AVG on a laptop and it had been accumulating viruses as well as 1 rootkit while searching the net during normal daily use. AVG also degraded the performance even after being properly cleaned of AVG’s missed malware.
I have never had a good experience with Trend, AVG, or Norton but I see them being used extensively. If someone is suggesting these to you, ask them why, and then ask them if they are familiar with AV Comparatives test results. I recently watched a so-called “Information Technology Specialist” insist that Trend was the best of the best despite the test results (but he also told me 1.5 mbps was faster than 54 mbps). My suggestion was Eset NOD32 (I always suggest Eset when it comes to business Antivirus Solutions and home solutions if your protecting multiple computers.)
Protecting Your Computer From Viruses Or Salesmen that is…
If you are purchasing a new computer or laptop, please keep yourself protected by the Salesman wherever it is you go as they all have a ‘favorite’ anti-virus they want to sell and install for you, usually for a hefty price. You can easily install your own from the links above from my suggested (tried and tested) list above. Please contact me if you need assistance with AV solutions while purchasing a computer or any questions about a AV software I didn’t mention here.
If you would like to read the current AV Comparatives Report here it is: AV Comparatives August 2010 Test Results PDF