Spyware has become a problem that affects almost everyone that owns a computer at one time or another. It can not only be a very big annoyance, but it can also lead to bigger problems like losing all your stored information on your computer and even lead to identity theft. When a malicious virus is inadvertently downloaded or installed on your system, it can scan your computer for such things as your credit card numbers, banking information, passwords and other personal information.
The positive out of all this is that although the spyware threat is on the rise all over the world, so are the people that build these antivirus and antispyware software programs that are designed to help you not only fix current problems, but also help prevent further attacks on your system. Here are the top 3 free antivirus and antispyware tools that are available today, in my opinion.
- Avast antivirus (Free Home Edition) is one of the best, free antivirus software programs on the market today. It provides all the strengths and protection of almost any paid software product. It can protect you computer along with the network because it has multiple shields that scan not only your files, but also any executables as well.You have the ability to set your own parameters for a custom scan. You can also adjust the security sensitivity level which is good when downloading files, emails and a lot of P2P’s. The updates are also a neat little feature as it will speak to you telling you that your system has been updated. With the Avast antivirus and antispyware tool, it will tend to slow down your system somewhat, but it usually isn’t enough to deter people from using it.
- Ad-Aware is one of the most popular and trusted antivirus and antispyware software programs. However, the Free edition is only an anti-spyware program, not an antivirus. Although you can upgrade to a paid version that has more bells and whistles and provides also antivirus functionality, the free version will do nicely to start with. You won’t have as many options such as custom scheduled scanning, but there’s no skimping on the quality of its adware defense.You will also have access to all the updates for the software, just the same as a paid user. You get two options for scans; a smart scan or a full scan. The smart scan only focuses on the critical areas of your system. A full scan will take longer, but it will also do a more thorough job. You may need to disable or remove other programs such as the Alexa tool bar in order for Ad-Aware to install properly.
- Although AVG Antivirus free edition only offers the basics, it is very capable of giving you complete protection for your system. It comes with a real time shield, a link scanner and also an antivirus and anti malware packaged together. This program is scheduled to run automatic searches for viruses and spyware, and you can also set your own scheduled scans. It won’t slow down system like others tend to do, and with its brand new interface, it’s easier then ever, for anyone, to navigate around.