There are numerous reports in the news about millions of Internet devices being hacked. While a large portion of these hacks are attributed to hackers’ skills however, there are other factors at play as well — for instance, the absence of adequate security tools. There are plenty of free antivirus programs to pick from that offer strong protection against the most commonly-spent threats.

Find a free antivirus that is able to perform a solid malware detection. The ability of a software to differentiate between malicious intruders like viruses, worms and ransomware from innocent programs is a key indicator of its efficacy. Find a program that can recognize all types of malware, including rootkits trojans and phishing attacks, and has perfect or nearly-perfect rates of virus detection.

Also look for a program that doesn’t slow down your system in any way. Certain programs can have a significant impact on your computer’s performance while a scan is in progress, or when performing other intensive functions. This makes it difficult to play games or stream videos. Choose an antivirus that is light, simple to install and consumes minimal resources.

Another key factor to consider is the additional features. Some antivirus programs offer cleaning tools that help boost OS performance to speed up startup time and remove junk files, while others include virtual private networks (VPN), which allows you to hide your online activities to shield from being watched by the public. Many paid antivirus software suites provide 24/7 live chat or email support, however this isn’t always the case for free products.

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