In recent years, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding antivirus and “system clean-up” applications that have gone rogue. In an epic twist of irony these programs have started becoming malware themselves, deliberately slowing down your system and causing more harm than good. This has resulted in many worried users who have been left unable to trust any new antivirus applications.
So, the question is, are there still any antivirus programs that are worth downloading and even paying for?
Why Have People Lost Trust?
This generally only applies to Windows and Android devices as they are most susceptible to these malicious applications. These two platforms also have the largest user bases, which is why they’re targeted more often than say Apple devices, which are generally much more secure as well.
With Android, developers tend to focus more on “clean up” apps that promise to speed up your phone and clear up the RAM, when they’re actually trojan horses that take up those resources themselves and then stop running when you choose to clear up background processes, giving the illusion that you’ve just made your phone faster.
In the case of Windows, most antivirus programs tend to hog all system resources in the background and constantly force their users to upgrade to the usually overpriced full version.
How Do I Know If I’m Affected?
We can never know the entire list of applications that are now not worth using and the list of known ones is extensive to say the least. Here are a few of the most well-known ones: Antivirus Pro 2017, Cleanator, Disk Doctor, PCKeeper, Personal Security and the My Security suite, which includes Wall, Shield and Engine.
There are dozens, if not hundreds more. If you’re worried that your system is affected, be sure to utilize a service such as Best Buy’s virus spyware scan which will check your device for any vulnerabilities.
Who Can I Still Trust?
Luckily there are still a variety of trustworthy applications that are supported by a community of enthusiasts, at least for Windows. There are no trustworthy apps for Android that are worth your time to begin with. As long as you don’t spend all day visiting malicious websites on your phone, you don’t need one anyway.
That said, the following apps are still great for Windows devices: Avira, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and Microsoft’s own Defender application that comes built-in on every Windows 10 device, which won’t be going rogue any time soon.
As long as you do your research and stick to reputable software, you shouldn’t have to worry. In the same light, be sure that your browser and email client is secure as this is where you’ll obtain the vast majority of malware in the first place. Whether you’re using Firefox, Edge or Chrome, ensure that the highest security settings are turned on and any malicious websites are automatically blocked.
Useful extensions such as uBlock Origin will block ads and malicious websites at the same time, providing an additional layer of security. Stay away from useless system clean up apps and scan every external storage device you connect to your PC and you should be just fine.