Cyber Security

5 Free and Convenient Virus Scanning Tools

August 18, 2015

Guest Author

Free and convenient are two words that sound too good to be true. I was taught you should be skeptical of “too good to be true” things, but in the case of these antivirus tools, it’s the truth.

1. VirusTotal’s Online Scan

For the quick scans, small files, and no price attached, the VirusTotal online scanner stands at the top of the list as the easiest antivirus tool to use. I suggested this tool over and over again throughout older posts such as “Is Malware Hiding in that Twitter Image?” and an intern referenced it in the “Paid vs Free Antivirus Software (For Dummies)” blog post.

2. ClamAV for Linux, Windows, Everything

You may or may not have heard the good news about ClamAV. This tool boasts rich features, powerful scanning abilities to thwart the likes of malware, viruses, Trojans, and other foul cyber creatures. ClamAV may be one of the best antivirus tools available for Linux and Windows Systems Admins alike.

3. Sophos’ Virus Removal Tool

Sophos, a standout in proprietary antivirus security tools, provides a free removal tool for file, user and kernel memory scanning and virus removal.

4. Avast Free Edition

Do you remember the days of Norton and McAfee antivirus software creating a significantly noticeable lag on your Windows PC when working? Well at least it’s protecting me, right? Then the paid subscription lapses and you’re stuck with that annoying popup that says renew subscription or suffer the terrible consequences. I haven’t used those or any of the major proprietary antivirus tools in years. Why?

The free tools, specifically from Avast, give you fully-featured software that offers great protection. I’m sure the paid product is leaps and bounds better, but the free version gets the job done and it doesn’t really create the lag as it protects your PC.

5. Bitdefender and Malewarebytes for those Windows Users

The combination of the two protects your computer against viruses and malware. The free versions of both software suites gives Windows users viable options for protection when they don’t want to spend the money on more advanced antivirus software.

With all these free tools, why would you ever spend a dime on antivirus software? There are a number of reasons why you need more than the free baseline protection from malicious software and hackers. Depending on personal or business use, the target on your back varies in size. This is why having seasoned and aware cyber security professionals is essential, since they can realistically determine the type of protection necessary for you or your business.

P.S. Don’t forget about installing antivirus software on your mobile device. If an iOS or Android device is your number one used device, it needs protection from mobile malware

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