Recommendations for Security (antivirus) Software
Always restart your computer whenever you install or uninstall any Security (antivirus) app, program, or Suite!
You might ask. Just what do we expect a good antivirus program to do? It should protect our PCs from antivirus intrusion of course. But antivirus software should do so much more.
See Neil Rubenking's excellent article Viruses, Malware, or Spyware: What's More Dangerous? for an in-depth explanation.
Don't allow your PC to go unprotected.
Choose one of these antimalware programs and install it Now!
Free antivirus programs:
Also: Where to find free on-demand antivirus scanning software.
For low-resource PCs - Microsoft Security Essentials (for Windows 7, now unsupported) or Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which is preinstalled on Windows 10 PCs. Microsoft Defender has been improved substantially over the past few years since its introduction as Windows Defender. Malware detection rates are close to being on par with other free commercial antivirus programs. In addition Microsoft Defender is the only free antivirus that includes any kind of Ransomeware protection.
Note: Microsoft Defender will not activate if any other third-party antivirus programs are installed on a Windows 10 PC. Remove any installed third-party antivirus program(s) and restart your PC if you wish to use Microsoft Defender.
However if you would rather install a free commercial antivirus program for most PCs, Ad Aware Free, Panda Free antivirus and Kaspersky Free Cloud are all excellent quality programs.
Note: Free Antivirus software is licensed for home (non-commercial) use only.
For more powerful PCs. Avast Free Antivirus, Avira Free, and AVG Free antivirus are okay. Any of which can be installed very easily with ninite.com.
My two favorite free third-party antivirus programs are BitDefender and Kaspersky.
Paid antivirus Suites:
If you're paying, be sure your choice includes ransomeware protection!
For most PCs - BitDefender Total Security, Norton Security Premium, McAfee Total Protection, Eset Internet Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere, and Trend Micro Maximum Security are all highly rated and effective programs. If none of these suits you there are others with trial versions you can test for free, including Kaspersky Total Security
Note: Even though no testing was cited, the FCC Warns That Kaspersky Poses National Security Risk
Free and Paid Antivirus Scanner Software:
Malwarebytes (Free trial and Premium versions available)
Norton Power Eraser (If you include the Rootkit scan your PC must be restarted after scan.)
Comodo Cleaning Essentials is also pretty good and can be run from a flash drive, and is free!
Also, SuperAntiSpyware Free is great for cleaning out some spyware that even Malwarebytes can miss. As with Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware also has a paid version.
Antivirus software reviews:
If your PC is hit by ransomeware what should you do?
Should you pay the Ransomeware Ransome?
Or should you try to Decrypt using two free tools you can use to decrypt your files without paying?
No More Ransom
Note: Just as the crooks may or may not send you a valid decryption key that may or may not decrypt your files if you pay them, these tools may work or they may not.
Nothing is sure with Ransomeware except that you are much more likely to get your files back if you back them up properly.
*Finally, many people, including the guys at How-to-Geek are recommending SafeDNS as effictive Ransomware protection. For both business and Home users. The downside is that SafeDNS is not free. But there is a 15 day free trial.
Device Theft Remedy
What are you to do if your PC (laptop, ipad, iphone, android phone, etc.) is stolen? If you have installed software that tracks the device you may be able to get it back and catch the thief as well. (Assuming your local law enforcement has the resources) But, if you haven’t installed any such software then you will probably be out of luck.
Related Apps and Programs - Virtual Personal Networks (VPNs)
What is a VPN and why do you need one? From ZDNet
When you decide you need a VPN (Virtual Personal Network) to avoid being tracked while you surf.
How should you evaluate VPN's
If you value your internet security DON'T DEPEND ON A FREE VPN TO KEEP YOU SAFE! Free VPNs tend to leak information much more than the ones you pay for. Pick a good VPN!
Top VPN's by PC Magazine
Best VPN's by CNET
Best VPN services by PC World Magazine
Best VPNs from Toms Guide
Top Ten VPNs from ZDNET
Why You Should Choose a VPN With Diskless Servers from How-to-Geek
Here are the webpages of some of the top VPN Services: