You can keep your computer clean, safe and working at its best by downloading and installing these free protection tools. This collection of free software will keep your system safe while you browse the world wide wild web. For ease of use, this article is broken into two parts: first we'll detail the free protection tools available to Windows users, and then those for use on Macs.
Free Windows Antivirus Protection Tools
First up is an anti-malware tool I've personally used many times to disinfect systems that were being hopelessly slaughtered and slowed by nasty malware that even comprehensive antivirus suites could not remove.
Malware anti-bytes even detected and removed vicious code that was implanted in the registry files of the infected Windows computers, resulting in a successful total system recovery. You can download Malware Anti-Bytes here.
Anti-bytes offers a free version that anyone is welcome to download and begin using immediately. If you still have some control over a badly infected system, you can run anti-bytes on the system to discover, quarantine and eliminate malicious files.
The main difference between the paid version and the free version is that the paid version will give you real-time monitoring and protection against infections while you are browsing and interacting online - which can be of tremendous benefit.
The good thing about the paid version is that it's a one time payment and the license will actually allow you to the use the full software on more than one machine.
However, should you practice safe browsing habits and have proper anti-virus programs in place, you should only need the free version of anti-bytes to run whenever you notice global system slowdowns and other problems indicative of infection.
Most of the time when you end up downloading free anti-virus you're going to be "paying" for the service by entertaining endless upgrade requests. Using Avast is no different, but it's very easy to download and get running and quite effective as free Windows anti-virus programs go.
Avast Free anti-virus works on Windows Xp, Vista and Windows 7. Avast is a good first-install for a yet unprotected machine that you want to get online with. It will detect and prevent, in real time, major and common threats like trojans and back-door attacks.
Once you install Avast and start running it it will update itself daily - and the sound notifications can irritate some users, but it's solid practice for an anti-virus program to constantly download new definitions of recent threats.
Of course, the folks at Avast are hoping you will enjoy the free version of their computer protection software enough that you will be willing to fork over the extra green to upgrade to a paid version. Advanced paid versions of avast software can handle inbox spam and provide extra layers of security when shopping online.
Secunia Personal Software Protection Tool
Especially with new versions of the Windows operating system, the most dangerous vulnerabilities actually come from third-party programs and applications you purchase or download and run on your machine.
Installing Secunia's personal computing protection tool will scan and monitor your system, download files that list known and current vulnerabilities and then give you timely alerts as to known security loopholes and weaknesses your system is currently at risk of having exploited.
If you find yourself installing and running multiple third party applications, you can gain peace of mind by running Secunia to keep a proactive watch on your system and its vulnerabilities.
Although many users wouldn't normally think of this security risk, sending Microsoft office documents can constitute serious privacy risks because of hidden identifying data that is appended to spreadsheets and documents, such as authorship and originating system addresses.
SendSheild is a lite but extremely sophisticated tool that will instantaneously scan outbound emails with Microsoft office attachments like Excel sheets and Word docs to check them for personal information.
You can then reduce the risk to your personal security by deleting this info with one click. Best of all, this advanced tool will only remove the personal data from the copy that is outbound, but it will keep it preserved on your computer.
Free Mac Protection Tools
Let's look into some of the free software protection tools for mac users.
This app has a free version which protects your mac's hard drive against known threats and mac based viruses. It also runs in the background scanning your web browsing activity to further protect your system.
The good news for mac users is that they already have a very stable and secure operating system in the form of their native Mac operating system.
Sophos AntiVirus for Mac
Sophos brings powerful business level security to your home mac. The main benefit of the Sophos for mac security suite is that it can actually detect threats and malware on Mac or Windows systems. This is useful if your home network or office systems include a diverse computing environment.
If you trade Windows and Mac files between two or more machines frequently, Sophos Anti-Virus is a strong choice for the overall health of your entire network.
Bit Defender Free Anti Virus and Malware For Mac
Bit Defender is also capable of protecting your mac computer while also defending against the transfer of potentially harmful Windows infecting files. Another strong option if you operate in a mixed computing environment.
MacAfee Virus Scan for Mac Computers
Although not free, MacAfee virus scan is designed to address two specific problems related to the mixed networking world where Mac computers and Windows machines often have to work together.
The problem is that security suites and protection tools that are designed for mac are not usually known for their ease of management across a whole network.
MacAfee Virus Scan addresses this issue by including an ePolicy Orchestrator functionality which allows system admins to more broadly and efficiently deal with macs on the network.
This is an excellent security solution for business and corporate users that need to address backdoor attacks and keylogger threats in a mixed computing environment.
Each user license of MacAfee Virus Scan will cost $37 but you can get deeply discounted licenses when you buy them en mass.