You’ve heard of viruses but are they the same as malware and what can we do to protect our computers from these types of harmful attacks? It’s confusing and frustrating to be constantly searching for terminology or industry “buzz words” when all we really want is good way to protect our PCs from infection.
What is malware and how do I stop it?
Malware is a generic term and is used to explain the family group of malicious software. So, a virus or adware definition would both fall under the parent category of malware.
The aim of these types of programs is to kid you into thinking you are installing a genuine program or downloading a safe file such as a .PDF or Word document via email or website link where in fact, you are risking giving access to hackers to all your personal information on your PC or in another kind of malware called ransomware your files changed to become locked where only a special key or password can be used to unlock them.
Hackers typically ask for payment in return for this key. In 2017, there have been high profile cases where government systems have been disabled because a rogue file has been opened by accident and left to infect an entire network.
Can I protect myself from malware?
The best way to keep your computer free of malware is to stay vigilant and follow some basic rules:
- Never open an email attachment from an address you do not recognize.
- Keep your Windows operating system updated (you can set to do this automatically).
- Use recommended anti-malware software programs to protect, quarantine and delete nasty files.
So what are the best malware removal programs for 2017? Hillstone recommends three specialist tools that deal with the problem. Each can be downloaded direct and all offer a “free scan” to see if your computer is infected with malware.
Please note: software requirements will be displayed on individual reviews but most require Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 O/S.
Editors Pick: SpyHunter 4.0
For a powerful software program to deal with malware threats take a look at SpyHunter. Not only can it detect advanced malware and adware but also rootkits (these are additional programs that are used to conceal malware making it harder to detect).
We like SpyHunter because of its ability to run a customized operating system in the program itself so it cannot be affected by any rogue software. Another good feature is the spyware helpdesk – simply log in and security technicians can look at your computer and advise on a remote fix. Read the SpyHunter Review for more information.
Recommended: Plumbytes Anti-Malware
A fast and lightweight solution is from Plumbytes. The software has three high detection features: malware, spyware and anti-browser protection. Browser hijacking is fast becoming one of the most popular ways for hackers to gain access to computers – they can redirect web users to any destination website they choose.
The software regular updates itself to include detection against the latest threats from around the world; there is an added function where the software can remove unwanted programs that are no longer in use by your system. This can help improve PC optimization.
Take a Look: Anti-Malware Pro 2017
A compilation of powerful PC security tools rolled in to one handy program is Anti-Malware Pro. The software seems to be part of PC Cleaner Inc. which makes it a little confusing when visiting the website to look at the certifications.
With free live support, capable anti-malware protection and unobtrusive scanner you can try out this program for yourself. (Edit: for 2017 there is also browser protection which kills and neutralizes redirects, searches, toolbars and add-ons).
Overall winner: SpyHunter is our star performer and is awarded best malware removal tool for 2017. It is specifically designed to deal with the latest malware threats and has a good, intuitive interface that makes it easy to use but hot on features.
Can software be an effective defense against malware threats?
A sensible approach to PC security is always recommended. If we downloaded a tool for every threat then our computers would be constantly scanning and flagging up all kinds of changes within the system.
Our advice is to use common sense – if you get a lot of emails with attachments or have fallen victim to cyber-attacks before then try out one of our recommendations. All of them operate on the “free scan” model – if they don’t pick anything up on your system then you could look at something else – maybe you need to optimize and maintain your PC on a regular basis.
For gaming PCs, high powered laptops and business desktop’s that need to run simultaneous programs at once it really is important to look after your computer. A simple scan and fix can often save hundreds of dollars in IT repair fees.