Young people may be surprised by the fact that computer viruses were a common thing years before the internet was available. In these dark times, they were usually spread via floppy discs and could do severe damage, which sometimes meant the loss of all the data. Antiviruses were available back then, but it wasn’t easy to update them, so most of the times they were outdated.
Today, the situation is better and worse at the same time. While we have pretty good free antiviruses that are automatically updated, it’s easier than ever to get infected by viruses, malware, or ransomware. One thing to know is that there is no universal app that will save you every time. There are a few free antiviruses that will get the job done, but never forget their limitations, as they don’t deal with spyware/malware. Even though they can detect some of it, you should be aware that you are still vulnerable. Some of the free antiviruses we recommend are Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky, Avira, and AVG. While all of the programs have pro versions, free ones are simple to use, and you’ll be happy with them if you use them in combination with common sense.
When it comes to malware, it has become a threat since the rise of the internet. Unlike viruses, they may be hidden deep in the system and cause different problems. Sometimes they will show you unwanted ads or will install as browser plugins you can’t remove easily. Sometimes, the situation is much worse if we are talking about spyware, where you are data is collected and sent to someone who could use it to his gain. That includes your passwords and even credit card data which might get stolen. Malwarebytes is the most popular solution, especially as there is a free version which is updated regularly and does a thorough search. The only problem is that you won’t get full-time protection, as you’ll need to do manual scanning. Again, with a bit of common sense, you’ll be fine.
Common sense is something you’ll need whatever software you are using, as you can still get infected if you manually install suspicious apps. They usually trick users, so you don’t even know you permitted them to find a place on your hard drive. That’s why you should have a list of safe locations. There are locations which list daily updated xxx sites, gaming sites, and other places where you can go without worrying that something terrible might happen. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the internet and discover new places, but try to take your time, as the worst decision happen as you are rushing to get the information as quickly as possible so that you might click somewhere you shouldn’t.
To sum things up, choose an antivirus that is reliable and simple to use, combine it with antimalware software, and be smart!