If there’s one thing 2016 has taught us, it’s that it’s a scary world out there! Whether you’re a well-loved celebrity, a disillusioned voter, or a giant internet company brought to its knees by massive DDoS attack, this year has proved you can’t afford to be complacent…

I’m going to start by making a couple of assumptions, if I may? First, is that you’re not Brian Krebs, an American journalist specialising in cybercrime and security topics; which means you’re unlikely to attract the wrath of unscrupulous hackers unleashing the Mirai botnet on your ass, crippling your site in the process.

antivirus

Second, unlike cloud-based Internet Performance Management outfit, Dyn, I’m going to assume you don’t control much if the internet’s domain name system (DNS) infrastructure and include the likes of Twitter, Netflix, and CNN as customers. The bonus of not being Dyn, is that you weren’t also subjected to a colossal DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack via so-called Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as CCTV cameras and DVRs, bringing said customers’ servers into meltdown, as a result.

But here’s the thing. You don’t have to be a hot-shot reporter or major internet player to be at risk from all kinds of nasty viruses and malware. No my friend, because increasingly, us average Joes (and Josephines), are subject to an onslaught of trojans, botnets, worms, ransomware, rootkits, rogue security software, and all manner of generally malicious software.

These days ‘antivirus’ is a catch-all word for a tool that protects your computer and your precious data from all of these potential pitfalls. In fact, actual viruses are the least of your worries, since they lay low to avoid detection. There’s a whole host of other malware ready to perform malicious acts – from deleting files and accessing personal data – to using your computer to attack other computers.

But you’re smart, right? You don’t take risks. You’re not some schmuck that clicks on those dodgy links or pop-ups. Well, as How-To Geeks puts it: ‘Whenever antivirus software is mentioned, someone always seems to chime up and say they don’t need an antivirus because they’re careful. This isn’t true. No matter how smart think you are, you can still benefit from an antivirus on Windows.

‘The idea that antivirus software is only necessary for irresponsible Windows users is a myth, and a dangerous one to spread. In an age where zero-day vulnerabilities are found and sold to organized crime with alarming frequency, even the most careful of users are vulnerable.’

So here are three splendid antivirus programs I have chosen from our extensive range, here on FileHippo.com. Of course, it’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will be those reading this who prefer other solutions; and your suggestions are very much welcome in our comments section. But the bottom line is this. The risks posed by malware are only going to increase and with such a wide range of free, and paid, antivirus solutions available, which take just seconds to download, why wouldn’t you protect your computer, your personal data and the wider digital community?

Three to consider:

 Avast! can scan external drives as well as primary drives on your PC.
Avast! Free Antivirus is an efficient and comprehensive antivirus program. It’s proved popular here on FileHippo.com thanks to its easy UI (User Interface), optimised scanning options and continuously updated database of virus definitions. This is helped in part by its large and active community of users, which quickly alert the development team to new security threats, which are swiftly countered and added to the database – meaning your computer will be protected against the latest spyware, viruses and potentially hazardous websites.

avira
Avira Free Antivirus for PC is an industry-leading antivirus software, which secures your data, protects your privacy, and keeps your PC malware-free. Avira Free Antivirus includes a cool browser extension – Avira Browser Safety. Available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera, it means you can browse the web with confidence as it can block infected and phishing websites before they load: keeping you safe online as well as keeping your PC malware-free.

Malwarebytes
Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware can detect and remove malware that even the most well known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to detect. Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware monitors every process and stops malicious processes before they even start. A neat quarantine feature holds threats and allows users to restore them at their convenience. Not only that, but it works together with other anti-malware utilities, maximising your security options.