In 2019 cybersecurity is more important than ever before; last year cybercrime cost the Australian economy approximately 1 billion dollars. Locking the doors is an option to keep the crooks out but, a digital bouncer in the form of antimalware software will allow legitimate access while keeping the crooks away from your files. Some of the software I talk about will detect an infection the moment it begins and stops it in its tracks while other software will only pick up infections afterward during a scan.
No software will protect you from all threats, particularly newly discovered threats, and while some antimalware programs can detect and stop ransomware early in the process, having up to date backups is still required for proper protection from ransomware attacks.
Antimalware programs with plugins for your browser of choice can even protect you from malicious links that try to phish your passwords or redirect you to malware downloads.
Below I will talk about five different antimalware programs in no order.
- Windows Defender – Windows Defender is a free antimalware program that comes bundled with Windows. It won’t beat a paid antimalware suite but, it will hold its own against some of the free offerings. It can have a small to moderate impact on performance, protect all web browsers and has basic parental controls. If you don’t think you have any antimalware software installed and are running a recent version of Windows, then you are probably already using Windows Defender.
- AVG Free Edition – Excellent scores in tests but slower scanning times. AVG and Avast share the same parent company, but AVG lacks in features like browser plugins compared to its sister product Avast Antivirus.
- Bit Defender Antivirus Free Edition – Uses the same engine as the paid version but lacks some of the advanced scanning features. The free edition of Bit Defender does include browser plugins to block known phishing and malicious web links.
- Avast Free Antivirus – Developed by the same company as AVG Anti-Virus but includes more features at the expense of performance and is better for more powerful systems. Some of the extra features include a Password manager and a network security scanner to perform basic audits on your network devices.
- Avira Antivirus – Great scores in testing but has fallen by the wayside over the years since it was the best. Avira is heavy on system resources and does not always detect the latest malware. It does have many features, but often they are just trials for the paid version.
I feel that Windows Defender is enough for most users, but everyone has different requirements. Ultimately it is up to you to research and determine which product, either free or paid, suits your needs the best so, here are some websites that you can use to find a product that best suits your individual needs.
https://www.avg.com/en/signal/best-free-antivirus-software Please note this company owns AVG and Avast Antivirus. I have included them because they talk about rival products.