Protecting your computer from viruses is the first step to cyber-security.
Credit: Antivirus image via Shutterstock
Business owners know much of their success depends on their computer operations always being up and running. Consequently, it's critical that businesses find the best anti-virus 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 BusinessNewsDaily. "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 critical since malware, spyware and viruses all 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 anti-virus 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 said there is nothing wrong with 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 anti-virus software. Here are the Top 3 recommendations for anti-virus software:
TopTenREVIEWS rated this year's Bitdefender software tops for its rock-solid security, simple usability, effective resource usage and an enticing price point. It offers superior protection and performance for both advanced users looking to control the whole process manually and average users who simply want Bitdefender to make the choices for them with its Autopilot feature. The software provides protection and peace of mind without taxing a PC's performance or user's paycheck.
Features: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus covers users from every angle, protecting them from such threats as viruses, worms, Trojans and other malware, on the Internet, over email and via instant messaging. The software scans all Web, IM and email traffic for malware, encrypts IM chat conversations and protects users' privacy on Facebook and Twitter. The software also keeps an eye on suspicious file behaviors. Its Active Virus Control is a feature that detects and demolishes stealth threats using measures to monitor all application activity. Should a threat, such as rootkits, breach all other defenses and burrow deeply into the operating system, users can reboot in Rescue mode, which places them into an environment where they can perform cleanup and restoration. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus also offers special features for gamers and laptops.
Help and Support: Help is available 24/7 via phone, email or online live chat. There is also a dedicated help section on Bitdefender's website that includes articles, a knowledge base, help files, troubleshooting and video tutorials.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus earns the TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award for its protection from not only bots, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware and viruses, but also new threats that could easily 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 installed 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 to schedule scans, adjust security levels, toggle specific features and change 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 anti-virus 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 crucial security updates. The tool also identifies settings that users might want to adjust for optimal security. Additionally, there are a virtual keyboard and gamer mode for extra protection.
Help and Support: Technical support comes in the form of a searchable online knowledgebase, 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 TopTenREVIEWS 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 terms of ease of use, ability to protect against malware and ability to disinfect machines that are already infected.
Features: In addition to protecting computers against 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 updates that are not essential so that they 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. It also provides useful articles about security. Additionally, Symantec hosts is a Cybercrime Index that puts a measurement on the risk levels on any particular day with advice about how users can avoid becoming a statistic.