Windows 10 comes with powerful antivirus tools that make it Microsoft’s most secure operating system ever. However, there are still things you should do to help keep your data safe. First, you should follow several best practices to prevent putting yourself at risk online. (We will go into more detail on what these are later on).
Next, there are a number of free tools you can download to keep malicious software from infecting your computer for complete protection. The best free antivirus software will have real-time scanning, automatic updates, protection for various apps, auto-clean, and it will combat all types of malware.
Therefore, there are two parts to protecting your Windows 10 PC from viruses, following best practices for safe internet browsing and using antivirus software. Let’s explore these concepts in more detail.
Best Practices to Keep Your PC Safe
To keep your PC safe you should follow some best practice advice.
● Be Wary of Pop-Ups
Whenever you visit a site you’ve never been to before, you need to be on your guard. Make sure to take notice of any pop-up adverts that appear. While most pop-ups are safe, some may try to trick you into downloading files. The most common pop-up ruse is to make the advert look as if Windows is asking you to download an antivirus program because your PC is infected. You should never click these.
● Be Careful About Opening Email Attachments
If you don’t recognize the sender of an email attachment, you should be wary about opening it. If something appears too good to be true, it probably is. Therefore, if you get a message saying you’ve won something in a competition you never entered, it’s probably a trap. Use your common sense and only open email attachments from people you know.
● Keep Your Software Up to Date
Out of date software is vulnerable to being hacked. Therefore, you must turn on automatic updates in Windows Update so that Windows, Microsoft Office, and other Microsoft applications are kept updated. You should also enable automatic updates for other applications, especially browsers, Adobe Acrobat Reader, and other apps you use regularly.
Antivirus Software for your Windows 10 PC
● Windows Defender
Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender pre-installed. It works behind the scenes to keep your PC secure. However, if you suspect that you’ve picked up some malicious software, you should run a manual scan. You can customize this scan to can scan all or only specific hard drives. Furthermore, you have the option to view quarantined files before they’re deleted just in case a harmless file has been flagged as malicious.
● Avast Free Antivirus
While Windows Defender is quite robust, you may want to enhance your security by installing an antivirus program. Avast is popular free antivirus software that specializes in anti-malware capabilities. If Avast finds a new threat to your device, it will forward the files to their threat labs for analysis. Then they will send out a patch. However, you can’t run it in conjunction with Windows Defender. So you have to decide whether you prefer to use Avast over Windows Defender.
This free tool finds and eliminates viruses and malware that get missed by other antivirus scanners. It can run alongside Windows Defender and is best used when your PC behaves strangely, and Windows Defender hasn’t detected anything. However, it doesn’t have real-time protection. This means it won’t prevent you from getting malware on your computer. Instead, it works to root out malware after your system has been infected.
There are two ways to protect your Windows PC from viruses. The first step is to adopt best practices for keeping your PC safe. These include being wary of pop-up adverts, especially on sites you’re not familiar with, and being cautious when opening email attachments. You should never open an email attachment from a sender you don’t recognize. Finally, you must keep all your software up to date. Out-of-date software is vulnerable to being hacked, so you have to ensure that you’ve updated all the programs you use. The second step to protecting your PC from viruses is using antivirus software. Your PC comes with Windows Defender already installed, and it is very good at detecting and eliminating viruses. However, if you prefer, you can use Avast Free Antivirus as an alternative to Windows Defender. Alternatively, you could use Malwarebytes in conjunction with Windows Defender for more robust security.