Your computer is probably the most valuable asset in your home, even if it’s not the most expensive. Gaining access to your computer can make a lot of money for the creators of spyware, malware, and ransomware. For example, recently there has been a new ransomware program called CryptoWall that encrypts everything on your hard drive and won’t give you the decryption key until you pay them money.
Many systems get infected when someone opens an email attachment that appears to be safe but is actually malicious. To protect yourself from situations like this, you really need a real-time monitoring program to stop the malware from installing immediately.
I’m going to mention a couple of great free anti-malware programs, but most of them don’t include real-time monitoring in the free versions. Whether you should buy the premium version or the pro version depends on what kind of computer user you are. If you haven’t gotten infected with viruses or malware for years, you probably know how to avoid these types of scams, but if you are unsure whether something is legal or not, it is probably better to have additional protection.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is one of the best tools for eliminating malware infection. The free version includes protection against malware, spyware and rootkits. The big disadvantage of the free version is that it does not include real-time protection or automatic scanning, so the malware installation will not be blocked on your system and will only be removed after you manually run the scan.
Overall, this is a great product that can really help you remove all the pre-existing malware on your system. However, the real value of the program lies in the real-time monitoring and protection available only in the premium version ($ 25).
Spybot Search & Destroy
Spybot has been around for a very long time and has a very good reputation for detecting and removing spyware and malware. It is trustworthy and updated regularly.
When installing Spybot, you will be asked if you want automatic protection or if you want more control and feedback from the program, so choose the option that suits you best.
After launching the program, you will need to click the refresh button in the second window to download the latest signatures.
Once completed, you can return to the main window and perform a system or file scan. Again, there is no live protection in the free version. In addition, the free version only provides protection against malware and rootkits, but not against viruses. They have a home version for $ 14 and a pro version for $ 26.
It has a feature called Immunization, which is basically blocking sites with known malware. It is not enabled by default, so you need to enable it manually.
Ad-Aware has also been around for a very long time and is one of the best antivirus programs out there. When installing the program, be sure to uncheck the two check boxes for SecureSearch, as it’s not worth it. Google is great at protecting your searches.
The best thing about Ad-Aware is that it supports real-time protection in the free version! Almost all other programs require a paid version for real-time monitoring. They have several paid versions ranging in price from $ 24 to $ 50, but you get a lot of protection at no extra cost.
In the paid versions, you can also get email protection, which is really useful for preventing unwanted attachments that could infect your system.
SUPERAntiSpyware is another spyware / malware removal program with a long history. Many of these old programs have gotten better and better over the years, so you hear the same names all the time.
Again, the free version does not include real-time protection, scheduled scans, or automatic updates. The paid version costs $ 20, but this is an annual fee. I’m willing to pay companies like Kaspersky an annual subscription fee because they are doing a great job, but I really don’t think SUPERAntiSpyware costs $ 20 a year. If you are planning to purchase anti-spyware software, it is best to choose one of the above.
AdwCleaner is probably the only program you might not have heard of yet. This program mainly targets toolbars, browser hijackers, adware, etc.
The program is very easy to use and there are no parameters to configure. Just click Scan, then look through the tabs to make sure any checked boxes are not unwanted and then click Clear.
The program detects a lot of malware that other programs sometimes miss, which is why I mentioned it here. In my opinion, after using malware for the past 15 years, these are the best options in terms of free software. However, I highly recommend purchasing the full version of one of the real-time protection software. Enjoy!