How to choose the best free AV for your computer

There are a lot of free AV products on the market right now.  Some of these products are actually malware in disguise. Some of these products are essentially tools for selling adverts.  Only a few of these free AV products will do a really solid job of protecting your computer. With that in mind, here is a guide to choosing the best free AV for your computer.

1.Look for free AV products for your exact operating system

You can potentially save yourself a lot of time if you search on your specific operating system rather than just typing in something like “free AV Windows” or “free AV Mac”.  That way you should just get results for free AV products which will actually work on your specific computer rather than ones which either only support really old operating systems (but may not actually have been updated for years, thus making them effectively useless) or which only support the newer operating systems (thus making them useless for people with older computers).

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2.Look for free AV products which are hosted in the cloud

All AV products rely on databases of malware definitions.  Basically these are descriptions of the different types of malicious software with instructions as to what to do about them.  These databases need to be updated on a very regular basis to keep up with malware creators who are constantly developing new cybernasties.

In the days before the cloud, security companies had to create updates which people would download and install on their own computers.  These days, the best security companies much prefer to host these databases in the cloud. There are three main reasons for this.

First of all, it’s faster.  This is a major issue in IT security because some malware creators focus on a strategy called “zero-day attacks”.  Basically this means that they analyze new software or newly-updated software and try to find security flaws which have been missed in testing.  If they do, they attack them and do whatever damage they can before the vendor patches the issue.

Such attacks tend to be brief but can cause a lot of harm, for example, it was a zero-day attack using Stuxnet which gained privileged access on systems in Iran's uranium enrichment plant at Natanz.  Reputable cybersecurity companies take them very seriously.

Secondly, it makes sure that the updates actually happen as they should, or, in other words, it eliminates the possibility for user error.

Thirdly, this approach vastly reduces the burden on local computers.  This can be a significant benefit for anyone with an older machine. It’s also good news for people with laptops, even modern ones as the more work a laptop has to do, the hotter it gets and this heat can end up damaging the components.

3.Look for free Antivirus software which offers robust protection against all malware

Even though everyone uses the term “antivirus”, it’s been many, many years since viruses were the only form of malicious software in existence.  Now there are several other forms of malware including spyware, adware, lockware and ransomware. You need protection against all of them. You also need to be sure that the security company behind your AV product will be quick to respond when new forms of malware are created, which why almost certainly will be.

4.Look for free AV software which also blocks adverts

Adverts used to be a minor inconvenience which helped to pay for creators to produce free content.  Now they are a way to transmit malware. This is known as malvertising. It usually relies on tricking viewers into clicking on a link, but there has already been at least one instance of a virus being activated just through an advert being shown on screen.  Sticking to “safe” websites doesn’t help here as websites typically sell advertising space to agencies and so have no real control over what adverts are displayed.

5.Look for free AV software which has an integrated firewall

A firewall checks your incoming internet traffic for signs that someone is trying to breach your security.  It checks your outgoing internet traffic for signs that you may be about to do something questionable. Getting free AV software with a firewall not only reduces your costs, it also ensures that the firewall will work with the other features of the AV rather than potentially coming into conflict with them.

6.Look for free AV software which is backed by a reputable brand

Never take chances with your security either online or in the real world.  Stick to AV products which are backed by an established brand you know you can trust.  Click here right now to download Comodo antivirus for your computer and get all the protection you need from one of the leading names in IT security.

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