In part one of Protecting Your Digital World, I wrote about the need for an antivirus program to constantly check your systems for viruses, bots and other malware trying to control your computer. Now, let’s look at some of the applications that will help protect your system. Check each product carefully to see how it is licensed before spending your money. Some license their product by the computer while others require a license for each user. Many require annual subscriptions for virus definition updates. Be sure you understand all the costs before making your purchase.
- Windows Security Essentials is a free download for Windows 7, Vista and XP users. Once installed, it automatically checks for updates daily. It’s notification system will tell you if a trojan or spyware app is trying to install itself on your system and you can perform both on-demand and scheduled scans of all or parts of your file system.
- Symantec offers several security packages in its Norton product line. These services are priced as an annual fee covering three PCs. The Norton 360 product also includes backup features and its PC Tune Up package for maintaining system performance.
- McAfee also offers a number of security products ranging from basic antivirus protection for one computer to products total protection for all your computers and devices and even some with identity protection. Most products are priced as an annual fee for one PC.
- Kaspersky offers a broad range of options in both security packages and number of devices covered. They also offer a Mac application. Like the other companies, these services are licensed annually, but there are purchasing options for multi-year licenses.
- ClamAV is an open source antivirus engine with supporting apps for both Windows and Mac systems. It is a very functional system, but not as high performance as the commercial products. Windows download. ClamXav for Mac.
You’ll find many more software options on the Antivirus page at Open Directory.