As a copywriter you are constantly scouring the web looking for ideas, sources and rich media to use in the formation of your opinions. That puts you at risk of encountering viruses. A slow computer is the scourge of any professional writer, so you need to get adequate protection to ensure there is a barrier between you and those that would like to infect your computer. Our writers often ask us about anti-virus software, so we thought it was about time we did a comprehensive guide to the best software out there on the market right now.
There’s no point in me telling you about the best antiviruses available if you aren’t clear on what computer viruses are and what an antivirus is.
A computer virus isn’t all that different from a virus that infects a living organism. It attacks, it multiplies, and it tends to spread from one infected computer to another (like the T-Virus).
The virus itself is a malicious program or code designed to infiltrate and influence the normal workings of your computer. They are usually either designed to be able to spread by jumping from one computer host to the next during transfer of data via the internet or plugged in storage devices. The virus accomplishes the transfer by attaching itself to a regular document or program, just as a living virus would attach itself to its host’s cells.
Once a computer virus has made itself at home on a system, it has the potential to wreak havoc or be a nuisance. Depending on its design, a virus can cause mischief on your computer by deleting files, disrupting programs, or even reformatting your computer’s hard drive.
Mind you; computer viruses didn’t suddenly appear out of some unknown abyss. They were deliberately designed by programmers to be the pests and the threat they are today. The threat is real and constant to anybody or any company with its own website, especially if that site deals with e-commerce and sales. That is why it is imperative you have a reliable web hosting service such as https://www.freeparking.co.nz/web-hosting/, which can give you confidence knowing it is providing the best security against a virus attack on your site.
Evolution of computer viruses
Some suggest the first computer virus was created in 1986 by two Pakistani brothers. The virus was christened Brain and was designed to infect files. Then came the Michelangelo virus in 1992, and Melissa in 1999 to attack servers and memory banks.
Another version of history claims a high school student created the first virus in 1981. This virus was named The Elk Cloner, and it was spread via a floppy disc.
Nowadays, we have a wider range of viruses such as malware, rootkits, spyware, and so on that can hijack your system and online accounts to benefit their manipulator or source. There have even been cases of viruses merging with worms to create a super virus.
What’s an antivirus?
To battle the scourge of the ever-evolving viruses, programmers began to develop antiviruses to protect computer users from the rising virus menace. Norton was one of the first in 1991 to develop an antivirus software to protect computers from the invasion.
Antivirus software is a program that’s engineered to search, detect, eliminate and bar viruses, worms, Trojans, adware, and others. The development of this program has been a lifesaver as it has shielded millions of users from the threat of viruses.
As viruses have evolved to become more intelligent and dangerous, so have antiviruses. The average antivirus should at least be able to;
- Indicate your computer’s health
- Scan all files and directories for suspicious software and patterns.
- Schedule antivirus scans to run automatically
- Initiate a scan on a particular file, storage device or whole computer.
- Remove any and all malicious code detected
Present day antiviruses are critical to both domestic and commercial computer users because they protect them from the following types of viruses and more;
- Boot Sector Virus
- Direct Action Virus
- Resident Virus
- Encrypted Viruses
- Companion Viruses
- Network Virus
- Multipartite Virus
- Polymorphic Virus
- Stealth Viruses
- Sparse Infectors
- Overwrite Virus
- Spacefiller Virus
This list is not exhaustive, but you can be confident that present day antiviruses have been engineered to deal with them. That is also why when deciding on a website host you need to choose a company that is experienced and has a strong policy on client website protection.
Below is a list of antiviruses that have excelled at protecting computers and even mobile devices from the danger of viruses.
Best antiviruses of 2017 for your computer
- Avast free antivirus: The best things in life can be free. This freeware is useful and effective and comes with a vast range of protection features. It is also fast and efficient with its scanning and detection. On the downside, it seems independent antivirus testing labs have mixed opinions about Avast’s software. Some rate it as excellent, while others as midrange. But all the labs do agree that while working, the antivirus doesn’t negatively impact your system’s performance.
- The Kure: With The Kure, you can rid your system of malware simply by rebooting without affecting your own documents. It also has the amazing ability to reverse effects of encrypted ransomware.
- Avira Free Antivirus: The top antivirus (AV) testing labs score this package highly and put it on par with high-end competitors like Kaspersky and Bitdefender. The package is also lightweight and hardly affects system performance while it’s running
- BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2017: Its results are accurate and reliable. While it’s on the expensive side, it is still money well spent since major independent AV testers keep gushing over it. It protects your system from malicious sites and secures your online financial transactions while performing other core antivirus functions.
- Kaspersky Antivirus 2017: It’s even more expensive than BitDefender, but it is a top performance security package that focuses on core security essentials such as; blocking suspicious URLs, accurate searching, detecting and removal of threats, smart tracking and reversing of malicious actions. Kaspersky as consistently passed with flying colours across the boards of top AV testers.
- Norton Security Standard: Another expensive package that justifies its price tag with its efficiency. It is excellent at preventing your system from getting infected by offering an URL blocker, browsing protection, a firewall, and more.
- Panda Antivirus 2017: This freeware provides satisfactory protection and is certified by AV testers in this regard. This package also offers a bootable Rescue Kit that helps rid your system of viruses that have managed to infiltrate it. Not only that, its interface is good-looking and easy to use.
- Webroot SecurityAnywhere Antivirus 2017: This exceedingly lightweight package takes seconds to install and takes up hardly any space on your hard drive. But it’s lightness has no effect on its effectiveness as it consistently delivers core antivirus protection, a firewall monitor, network connection monitor, enhanced anti-ransomware, surprisingly accurate real-time antiphishing, and smart behaviour monitoring. The only downside is it is quite expensive.
Other notable mentions are; AVG Antivirus free, F-Secure Antivirus 2017, Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic, McAfee AntiVirus Plus (2017), Check Point ZoneAlarm PRO Antivirus + Firewall 2017, Emsisoft Anti-Malware 11.0, and ESET NOD32 Antivirus 10.