The news is full of stories of millions of Internet devices being hacked or taken over. While a significant portion of these hacks are a result of the hacker’s expertise, there are also other factors at play, including the absence of security tools. There are a lot of free antivirus programs to pick from that offer strong protection against the most commonly-spent threats.

Choose a free antivirus that has a strong malware detection. The ability of an antivirus to distinguish malicious intruders, such as viruses, worms, phishing attacks and ransomware from legitimate programs is the most critical measure of its effectiveness. Look for a program which can recognize all types of malware, including rootkits trojans, phishing attacks and more, and has near-perfect or perfect rate of detection of viruses.

Also look for applications that don’t slow your system excessively. During a scan or other activities that require a lot of power, certain applications can drastically affect your computer experience, making it difficult to stream videos or play games. Look for a lightweight antivirus that is easy to install, works quickly and requires minimal resources.

Extra features are also important. Certain antivirus software offers cleaning tools that are designed to improve OS performance, speed up startup times and remove junk files, while others include the virtual private network (VPN) that allows you to hide your online activities to shield against prying eyes. The majority of paid antivirus software offers 24/7 email or live chat support. However this isn’t always the case with free products.

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