“Antivirus” is a name that came about during the 1990s when viruses were making headlines. But viruses aren’t the only threat to your computer.
Malware—any form of malicious or harmful coding—can include viruses, spyware, adware, nagware, trojans, worms and more recent PUPs and nasty code meant to take personal information from a person’s online accounts.
Tech writer Alan Henry explains what’s on the market to protect you:
- Avast! Free Antivirus. Jiri Sejtko of Avast says the company’s user base consists of more than 184 million people around the world. Each of them is connected to the Avast cloud. As soon as malware is found in the user base, an almost-real-time update is sent to all users, providing almost immediate protection.
- McAfee. McAfee targets viruses and malware, including trojans, worms, spyware, rootkits and keyloggers. Keep in mind that the level of protection depends on which software package you buy: The $35 McAfee AntiVirus Plus is going to be different than the $63 McAfee Total Protection. Additionally, the pricier packages include protection for Facebook and Twitter accounts and protection from identity theft.
- Norton. This company breaks down what it protects against into four categories: infectious malware (viruses and worms), Web threats (keyloggers, spyware, adware, bots and ransomware), concealment malware (trojans, backdoors, rootkits and fake antivirus software) and mobile malware that affects smartphones and tablets.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. As malware industry analyst Adam Kujawa says, “Malware that we don’t target is usually older types that might not have been seen for a few years—we leave that protection up to the antivirus software vendors. This allows us to target specifically the new malware that constantly changes and poses the biggest threat to the average user, who faces possible attacks directly from the Web.”
— Adapted from “The Difference Between Antivirus and Anti-Malware (and Which to Use),” Alan Henry, LifeHacker.