Do you want to protect your computer and the information it contains from viruses? See how you can do it both easily and free.
The first thing to consider when it comes to computer security is your antivirus – the most important piece of protection for your computer. Here are the 3 best options for antiviruses depending on your computer and needs:
- Panda Cloud Antivirus: This is the most lightweight option available with solid protection. Panda Cloud Antivirus should only be used if you are connected to the internet whenever using the computer, otherwise it will not function.
- Avast! Free Antivirus: This is a middle of the road option, combining better protection than Panda Cloud and still remaining relatively lightweight to accommodate older systems.
- Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE): Although MSE is the heaviest option of the three, it also offers the best protection by far. If you have a computer with power to spare then MSE is the best option available.
The next things to consider are the browser and add-ons you can use to further protect yourself from a virus:
- Browser Choice: The most secure web browser on the market is Google Chrome. At the 2011 hacker conference the four major web browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari – were all put under attack by hackers; Chrome was able to hold up the best against the hackers while Safari and Internet Explorer were quickly compromised.
- MyWOT: This is an add-on for Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer which rates the safety of websites. It can prevent you from entering websites which may contain viruses or other security threats.
- Ad-Blockers: Ad-blocking add-ons can help prevent unwanted sites from popping up and infecting your computer. Adblock Plus is one of the best add-ons for Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Firefox.
An added layer of protection is a firewall, which can help prevent hackers from retrieving your sensitive information. Here are 2 best:
- Windows Firewall: This basic option is included with Windows by default, and will provide adequate protection for most users as long as you keep it up to date.
- Comodo Firewall: For those who are still experiencing virus problems and are looking to beef up their security, Comodo firewall is the way to go. It is easy to use, provides thorough protection for your computer, and is also completely free.
Aside from basic protection there are 2 often overlooked tools that can help protect your computer:
- Peerblock: This is a useful tool which blocks potentially dangerous IP addresses from accessing your computer. Peerblock blocks both incoming and outgoing connections and can protect you in areas which standard antivirus software does not.
- Windows Updates: Microsoft puts out regular updates to address security threats and holes in their systems. Make sure to check for updates regularly to keep your system secure.
The above tools can all help defend against a virus, but if your computer has already been infected you’ll need to use other software to remove it. Here are 3 of the best tools that will remove almost any virus you will run across:
- Super Anti-Spyware Portable: This program will catch a majority of viruses with a single scan. If you are not using your computer for other tasks you can also use the turbo option to speed up the scan.
- Malwarebytes Antimalware: This antivirus scanner glosses over things such as tracking cookies and adware but is the best product for the heavy-hitting viruses. This software will remove the most dangerous viruses which can steal your information, damage your files, and even take over your computer.
- Kaspersky Virus Removal Tools: Kaspersky provides various programs which will remove specific viruses from your computer. If you are able to diagnose the symptoms to get the name of the virus – a Google search is an excellent way to do this – Kaspersky is the best tool to remove it.
PC security is no laughing matter, but it does not have to be an expensive or difficult one either. Following these steps will improve your computer security so you can protect yourself and your sensitive information from a nasty virus.