Though viruses have become scarce and malware is on the rise, there is still a chance that downloading files from the Internet can infect your computer. The silliest phrases you may have ever spoken are “Do you want cheese on that” and “I only open attachments from people I know.”
If you’re looking for just a free antivirus, I would recommend Avast!; not necessarily because it is “the best”, but many of the other “free” antivirus are “freemium”, sometimes meaning they give you a hobbled version of their software in return for nagging ads and sketchy search engine redirects.
While Malwarebytes is perhaps the best I’ve seen at preventing and removing infections after-the-fact, at $40/year the cost may still be prohibitive to some.
There are also other paid solutions which work well, such as Kaspersky and Bitdefender. Some also offer a bootable version so you can clean your computer if it’s been heavily infected with nasty boot-sector viruses.
Though prevention is the best medicine, If you’ve already been infected, use the free edition of Malwarebytes to clean your computer, then purchase it to keep the nasties away with real-time prevention.
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Former owner of an I.T. consultancy business in Southampton, NY, Carl gave up the hustle-bustle of I.T. to live his dream of becoming a full-time application developer. When not busy blogging or programming, you might find Carl out taking a ride on his motorcycle or hiking off in some woodland trails.