From time to time, readers will ask me to suggest which security program for their PC is the best. Truthfully, most of the programs out there are pretty decent. Each has their good points and places where they fall short of other programs. The good news is that all of these programs get their key information about protecting Windows from Microsoft. That means every one of them is on a level playing field when it comes to that. (That’s also why no third-party security system can protect an OS like Windows XP after Microsoft stops supporting it.)
Instead of selecting the best security program, I’m going to talk about what you should look for in a program.
Automatic updates: A software that’s not up-to-date on the latest attacks isn’t very useful. You’ll want one that updates regularly and automatically. Even if you think you’re going to remember to run updates, you’ll forget sooner or later.
Real-time reactive scanning: You want your program to check every new file or program before it opens it. You don’t want one that waits until there’s already a problem to do something about it. Real-time is something you want in both an anti-virus and anti-malware protection.
Malware removal tools: The software should be able to run unobtrusively in the background without taking up so many resources that it bogs down your computer.
The ability to remove malware: Your software needs to be able to do more than detect malware. It needs to be able to get rid of it and also repair any damage. This is often the big difference between free security programs and paid security programs. Those with a yearly fee will actually correct the damage done by malicious programs.