Protecting your computer from viruses is the first step to cyber-security.
Credit: Antivirus image via Shutterstock
Business ownersknow much of their success depends on their computer operations always being up and running. Consequently, it's critical that businesses find the best antivirus software to ensure they are protected from the daily onslaught of viruses, spyware, Trojans, worms and other malware.
"They may want your contact names, your emails, tracking information, your private documents and/or your passwords," Fellman told Business News Daily. "Individuals, companies and governments have all been successfully attacked with both viruses and spyware and the problem is generally anticipated to get significantly worse."
[For a side-by-side comparison of the best antivirus software, including those mentioned here, visit our sister site Top Ten Reviews.]
Fellman said having a comprehensive security package is crucial since malware, spyware and viruses have different objectives.
When the goal of the malware is to lurk and disclose information, it is commonly known as spyware," he said. "A virus is similar but typically more sinister since it has been programmed to delete and destroy either certain files, specific folders, a specified hard drive or all available data throughout the entire system."
With so many different antivirus software options available, Fellman advises businesses to look for several things before making a purchase.
"Check the reviews, check the number of downloads and check the comments to see what people have said about the effectiveness of each particular anti-malware package," Fellman said. "Make sure to download or purchase the anti-malware from a reputable source or it may be infected."
When debating between two choices, Fellman advised getting both and running them simultaneously.
"You will quickly get an idea of which is better for your particular environment and, chances are, that each of the two will identify unique and separate threats," he said.
Our sister site Top Ten Reviews does extensive in-depth reviews of antivirus software. Here are the top 3 recommendations.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015 is this year's Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for its high performance, top-notch security features, usability and around-the-clock support. In independent lab tests, this antivirus solution consistently sought out and destroyed malware, known viruses and worms. In addition to being able to discover existing viruses and other threats, the Bitdefender software also can detect threats that have never been seen before. To do this, the software inspects everything that looks similar to files known to be malicious. The Bitdefender software does all of this while not compromising a computer's performance. During testing, computers using the software were slowed by just 1 second – three times faster than the average -- while downloading application programs, installing and running applications and copying data files.
Features: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015 has a wide variety of features, including a Windows monitoring system that alerts users when security patches are needed, a vulnerability scanner that warns users when applications are missing or outdated, a USB immunizer and a desktop security widget that lets you drag and drop files for quick scan checks. Additionally, the software provides a rescue mode that helps protect against rootkits gaining privileged access. Bitdefender also offers online search and social media protection. Other features include an online dashboard that allows users to remotely manage the application, an optimizer that speeds up computers and frees up storage space, and the ability to temporarily suspend any applications that might interfere with watching videos.
Help and support: Bitdefender provides 24/7 support via online chat, phone and email. The software's support center also features online product help and information, as well as malware and rootkit removal utilities.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for its protection from not only bots, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware and viruses, but also new threats that could infiltrate a computer system. The software includes real-time security as users surf the Web, communicate via email or IM, and download, access and open files. Its hybrid protection approach identifies threats based on information streaming to Kaspersky Lab's Security Network cloud from the software on the computers of Kaspersky's base of more than 300 million users. Kaspersky Anti-Virus also uses heuristic technologies to detect malware based on file behavior. Overall, it's a great option for protection and peace of mind.
Features: Users can control just about every component of the software, from scheduling scans and adjusting security levels to toggling specific features and changing the appearance of the software. The software's desktop security gadget docks on a system's desktop and provides better access and awareness of the system security at all times. The antivirus widget will change color if security is at risk, and it includes quick links to the most important aspects of the software. Kaspersky Anti-Virus updates itself on a regular basis for continual security. The software's vulnerability scan checks for outdated drivers and keeps users on top of security updates. The tool also identifies settings that users might want to adjust for optimal security. Additionally, a virtual keyboard and gamer mode are furnished for extra protection.
Help and support: Technical support is provided through searchable online knowledge base, FAQs, product manuals and an active form. Users also can connect with a support team member over the phone or via online live chat.
Norton AntiVirus 2014 earns this year's Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for its ability to protect against viruses, worms, bots and spyware. The software scans quickly and is easy to install and use. Norton AntiVirus detects malware based on the behavior of suspected files and also uses the more traditional method of detecting viruses via known signatures. Overall, Norton Antivirus competes at the head of the class in ease of use, ability to protect against malware and ability to disinfect machines that are already infected.
Features: In addition to protecting computers from spyware and viruses, Norton AntiVirus software scans instant messages and email to check for infected attachments, suspicious links and viruses. It also scans Facebook newsfeeds to discover links to unsafe sites or dangerous downloads. Besides checking files against a database of known threats, the software applies behavioral analysis to uncover any suspicious file behavior that could reveal malware too new to be in the database of known threats. To improve computer performance, the software runs in the background and doesn’t consume memory or hard disk space. Norton also detects when users connect to the Internet over a 3G network and stops making any nonessential updates so users don’t have to pay their carrier for excess data.
Help and support: Customer support is available online or by live chat, telephone and email 24/7. Symantec hosts an active user forum for the Norton community. Additionally, Symantec provides articles about security, and offers a Cybercrime Index that measures risk levels on any particular day with advice about how users can avoid becoming a statistic.
Originally published on Business News Daily