Six features you need to see in your free anti virus protection

Both Windows PCs and Macs come with inbuilt security software. This is better than nothing but you can get a lot more functionality (read protection) by downloading a proper antivirus from a company which actually specializes in security. Even the best free anti virus protection solutions have more to offer than the default offerings from Microsoft and Apple. Here are six features you need to see in your free anti virus protection so that you can be sure you can rely on it.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection is hosted in the cloud

There are several parts to anti virus protection solutions. One of the most important parts is their database of virus definitions. Basically, these are descriptions of viruses and instructions about what to do to deal with them. These databases have to be updated very regularly because cybercriminals are always coming up with new viruses.

Free Anti-virus Protection

In the old days, cybersecurity companies had to have users download the database of definitions and every time it was updated, users had to download the updates and apply them to their local computers. This was slow, inefficient and resource-intensive for the host computer.

For this reason, the best free anti virus protection now does as much as possible in the cloud. This reduces the time it takes for updates to become effective, makes sure that they actually happen (i.e. eliminates the possibility of user error) and it vastly reduces the burden on the host PC. This last point is becoming increasingly important as more and more viruses are being created all the time and so databases of virus definitions are getting bigger and bigger.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection is effective against all malware

On the one hand, using the term “anti virus protection” is very simple and convenient. On the other hand, it does make it sound like viruses are the only problem there is (which, in the early days of IT was the case). In actual fact, viruses are just one, specific, form of malicious software. Other forms include adware, lockware ransomware, spyware, trojans and worms. Then there are hybrids of all of the above and malware which can work without the use of files.

That’s just what’s available in the mainstream right now. It’s probably safe to assume that new types of threat will emerge over time and you’ll need protection against them.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection uses a sandbox

A sandbox is basically a quarantine area where malware goes to die. Malware is becoming increasingly sophisticated and there is now a distinct possibility that it will put up a fight before it finally gives in to a robust free anti virus. You want to ensure that fight is kept contained so that your computer as a whole is protected from any damage it causes.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection has an ad blocker

Viewing adverts used to be a (fairly) painless way of helping generate revenue for your favorite websites and/or content creators. These days, however, adverts are increasingly becoming a security threat and now, by far the safest approach, is just to block them completely.

The reason adverts have become a security threat is because cybercriminals are now buying up advertising space and using it to show fake adverts with links to malicious websites. This is known as malvertising. Sticking to reputable websites is not enough to keep you safe as websites generally have no control over the adverts which are displayed on their pages. They simply sell advertising space to third-party agencies and the agencies determine what adverts are shown, where, when and to whom. As a result, some very high-profile sites have been used to host malvertising attacks.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection has an integrated firewall

A firewall checks your internet traffic for signs of suspicious activity. There are two good reasons for preferring anti virus protection which comes with an integrated firewall. The first is that it saves you some money. The second is that it ensures that the firewall will actually work with the other security functions, instead of misreading them as potential threats.

You need to see that your free anti virus protection is backed by a reputable brand

A lot of the “free anti virus protection” you see on the internet is actually malware and a lot of what isn’t has a very high ratio of adverts to functionality. Stick to reputable, established brands like Comodo. You can click here right now to download free anti virus protection from Comodo and get all the protection you need to stay safe online!