Aug 262015
 

Now that you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, you might want to review what computer security apps (programs, software) you’re using. If you’ve followed my blog, you already checked that your previous anti-virus / anti-malware apps are running okay. And you’re also using two apps: a top branded app and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free or premium).

Just because a security app came pre-installed on your PC does not mean that it’s the best one for you. At the very least, check that it’s one of the top choices in independent reviews. And if your anti-virus subscription is expiring, it might be time to try something else. (And if you’ve got auto-renew enabled, check your credit card bill, eh.)

Each year I revisit this topic — what’s the best anti-virus app (PC security suite)? I’ve installed several of the top products on different PCs. I generally don’t use the free versions, although many of my clients do. All are annual subscriptions. Some subscriptions (licenses) allow you to install the product on more than one PC and on your mobile devices.

None of theses products are perfect. Each has its pros and cons. All generally have a crisp design using the “traffic light” red-yellow-green color scheme and large buttons. Some allow you to schedule automatic scans; others use “real-time protection” to continuously monitor activities on your PC without the need / ability to schedule scans. Some make it easy to check scan reports; others require several clicks to get to reports (which vary in value).

Computer security companies appear to have concluded that the typical consumer just wants to “set and forget” anti-virus apps, trusting the factory settings and trusting that malware will be detected and removed automatically. As a result, access to technical details has been increasingly reduced or hidden. As a design philosophy, this approach is much like you hiring one or more security guards for your home or business. You assume guards will keep their “bad guys” lists up-to-date, as well as attend ongoing training classes for their security skills. “Handy guard” version 1.0, 2.0, etc. And they only bother you when something exceptional occurs.

Well, even the most trusted guards and butlers may have a bad day or experience a lapse in judgment. A “set it and forget it” approach can be flawed. (Completely delegating or outsourcing responsibility has its limits, eh.) That’s why I recommend two security apps, the second being Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, which is exceptional at detecting unwanted items that other branded apps do not.

Anyway, PC World’s recent “The quick and easy way to find the best antivirus software” article may help with your choice.

It’s enough to make your head spin, but there’s a really easy way to figure out which antivirus program is right for you. An independent testing organization called AV-Test spends its time figuring out the best antivirus programs for Windows, Mac, and Android users.

The company publishes its results a few times a year, and for Windows users it breaks down results by operating system version. AV-Test has yet to publish any results for Windows 10 since the latest report came out in June, but you can probably rely on the Windows 8.1 results for now.

Oh, another tip — if the app is available on Amazon.com, you might want to read the customer reviews as a reality check.

  One Response to “Best anti-virus app for your new Windows 10 PC?”

  1. PC World’s January 20, 2016, article “Kaspersky and Bitdefender get top marks from independent testing firm” updates test results by independent antivirus testing lab AV-Comparatives for the year 2015.

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