These days, the risk of virus infection from browsing the Internet is very high. This is mostly due to genuine websites selling space to advertising brokers who then sell it on to third parties. The third parties can be anyone willing to pay for the space including people who don’t have our best interests at heart. The recommended software in this blog post will help you stop infections transmitted to your computer this way before they do any harm.
The most common way for your computer to catch a virus from the Internet is through malicious code injected into images and animations. The most common way in general is actually when we install software and blindly hit the ‘Next’ button without reading what we’re doing. A lot of free applications contain third party software installations to earn a small kickback from every time we unwittingly install it alongside the application we wanted.
This software is often not technically a virus but an unwanted application which adds a browser toolbar, hijacks your browser’s home page or sometimes even installs other applications. It’s very difficult to protect against this software so the best practice is to read everything before clicking ‘Next’ and if additional software is offered, click “Not interested” or “Do not install” when asked. If you find yourself infected, software within this list should help you clean your computer as well.
I’ve personally been using this software for years and I haven’t been infected by a virus for a very long time. I’ve decided to create this list in order to improve your computing experience as well.
1. Avast Antivirus
I know everyone has their favourite antivirus software and it’s hard to sway anyone from what they like. All software developers strive to make their application better than the rest but from my personal experience, Avast has always come out on top based on number of infections prevented.
For home users, I would recommend the free version of the application which does basic real-time virus scanning. The only downside to it is that you have to register for a free annual license every year, which means that you get notifications asking you to purchase the premium version or premium add-ons.
The home user software can be obtained here:
To disable most of the pesky premium add-on messages, simply open ‘Settings’ by pressing the gear icon:
Select ‘Components’ and turn the sliders to the ‘Off’ position for the following items:
- Software Updater
- Browser Cleanup
- Rescue Disk
- SecureLine VPN
For business users, Avast also does a free Business antivirus suite. The business antivirus is managed through a web portal which allows you to remotely run virus scans and schedule tasks without even needing physical access to the affected machines. Unlike the home version, the business software can be installed on servers, PCs and Macs.
To get the free business software, sign up at:
The next little gem of an application is called Admuncher. It’s an ad blocking application which works with most browsers except the newest Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. The software works by intercepting advertisements and removing them from websites completely. Websites load more quickly due to image-laden advertisements being excluded and the risk of catching virus infections from rogue ads is drastically reduced.
The software has until recently been a paid product but the Australian developers have made it free.
You can download the software here:
Up next, we have the Opera browser. In my opinion, this is a very underrated browser. Everyone uses Google Chrome because it’s bundled with just about everything and has a lot of extensions and apps available. Unknown to most people is the fact that Opera is developed from Google Chrome roots but with a few perks thrown in.
For instance, Opera has a built-in ad blocker which is so powerful it even removes video ads from YouTube. In conjunction with Admuncher, there are almost no ads at all that can get through unless you specifically add them to the exception list.
Opera also has a free VPN service built in to the browser which allows you to surf the web anonymously and also appear as if you’re in a different country if need be.
Once the VPN is enabled, you can select your ‘Virtual Location’ from the menu:
You can download the Opera Browser from here:
4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
If you happen to get infected by malware or unwanted applications, there’s a great application to help you clean it right off. Malwarebytes Anti-malware is available for free with premium options available. The freeware version is a stripped down version of the premium software and does not offer support or real time protection. However, it allows you to run a scan any time you think you might have a problem and it finds anything potentially unwanted or malicious, which is perfectly adequate in my opinion.
It’s best to have the software installed before you need it because a lot of viruses block your access to the Internet or prevent you from downloading helpful programs such as this one. I would recommend getting it right away in case it’s ever needed.
You can get the free software from here: