Currently comprising more than 90% of the market share of operating systems usage,  the Windows operating system has always been a target of virus makers and other malwares (malicious software). Even the security-heightened Windows 7 is not cleared from these security issues. Recently, Microsoft pointed out that the “Black Screen of Death” may be caused by malware. According to their blog, the malware families such as Daonol may be causing this behavior to some Windows users. There was a fix given out by PrevX. But according to them, not all black screen problems may be fixed by their method. If malware is the culprit of this problem, then the adage “Prevention is better than cure” still applies.

There are many security softwares available in the tech market. But I’m going to present three free apps (free versions I’m currently using) that you may use to protect your Windows system at home.

1. AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

Now on its 9.0 version, AVG Free is a very effective anti-virus especially for home users. According to TopTenReviews,

AVG Anti-Virus

AVG Anti-Virus

AVG managed 95% detection efficiency. It has less false positives, easy to install and use, and there’s the free virus definition updates. This separates AVG from other anti-virus apps. Others might be as effective as AVG but they don’t offer free updates. Others might give you the freebies but not as effective as AVG.

One problem I have with AVG is the LinkScanner. Yes, this feature protects you from code exploits as you do web searches. The thing is, it slows down your computer during the process. If you think your browser can handle the link checking, you may do a custom install of AVG then deselect the feature from the installation menu.

More reviews of AVG from TopTenReviews and CNET.

2. Malwarebytes Antimalware

Malwarebytes Antimalware

Malwarebytes Antimalware

This app is one of my two-punch combination against malwares/spywares. After running an anti-virus scan, the next thing to do is to run an antispyware scan. What my anti-virus didn’t detect will be swept by Malwarebytes. Spywares are not detected by anti-virus apps and most of the time, spywares bring the virus with them. That is why it’s just essential to run an antispyware scan after a virus scan. Malwarebytes is easy to use, fast, not a resource-hog, and offers free regular updates.

One drawback is that it doesn’t offer real-time protection as this feature is offered only on the paid version. Just do a regular scan basis – twice a week or every other day. That wouldn’t hurt.

More reviews from CNET and PCWorld.

3. Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free

Having one antispyware will not help you solve your problems with spywares. Most of the time two or more scans are

Lavasoft Ad-Aware

Lavasoft Ad-Aware

needed to make sure your system is clean. I paired Ad-Aware to Malwarebytes to protect my system from spywares. Lavasoft Ad-Aware is one of the best antispyware and has been in the business for a long time. It’s so reliable, easy to install and use, and now protects your system from rootkits. This app also offers free updates of its spyware definition files.

Like Malwarebytes, Ad-Aware doesn’t offer full real-time protection. This feature is offered in the Pro version.

More reviews from CNET and PCWorld.

You might want to share your own freebies for computer security. Please do so by commenting.

Sources:

MSNBC
Microsoft Technet
Prevx
CNET
PCWorld
TopTenReviews

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