Virus & Malware protection … Which one?

mb-logo[1]I get a lot of people asking my recommendations on virus protection these days. I think people think as I am a web developer, that loosely means I am available to chat about anything tech related.

I tend to try a few different virus scanners, mainly free ones, but have noticed a trend with the free virus protection available. Free scanners tend to pop up annoying ads or other products that they wish to on sell to you.

It really gets to the point where you wonder whats more annoying, the viruses or the software that is meant to protect you from them?

Another annoyance is speed. Is the virus protection is going to slow down my laptop and prevent me from getting work done, then what’s the point!

For a few months I surfed the net sans-virus protection. All the sites I visit are currently safe, so I should be fine, right?

I wasn’t till a few months later I had to fix a computer of a friend who managed to get a particular nasty piece of Malware on their machine. These new nasties are referred to as ransomware. They corrupt all of your files and then give you instructions on where to pay the ransom to get a key to recover your files. If you don’t pay their ransom within a specified time the amount doubles. The files are encrypted making them virtually impossible to crack without the key.

What troubles me about this, is if you do pay the ransom, you have no idea where the money is going to. You could be funding terrorists without your knowledge! If you are reading this, one important tip for right know is to use online storage such as OneDrive and Dropbox for all your photos and documents. This way if you ever get something like this you can get your files back from the cloud as it saves a revised copy.

After seeing how many things my friend lost due to carelessness I got back into using a virus scanner. The one I picked was a free one which is ad free and runs seamlessly with Windows 7. It’s no surprise that the virus scanner I picked is Microsoft Security Essentials!

But that alone just doesn’t get the job done. I am also using MalwareBytes. It is by far the best protection for Malware and Spyware that MSE misses. I started with the free version, but swapped to the paid version as it ticked all the boxes and was very cost effective. Plus the paid version gives you the real time protection to stop Malware at the source.

Using the two combined has worked for me and I haven’t noticed any real drop in the speed of my laptop.

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