Protecting your computer with good anti-virus software is very important as malware today is extremely sophisticated. Even if you have good backup in place, if you were unlucky enough to be infected with something like CryptoLocker it could encrypt your backup as well as all your files leaving you in a very difficult situation. So install good anti-malware software and keep it updated.

In the past anti-malware software tended to slow your computer down and whilst that is still true a bit, all modern PCs can easily accommodate the demands of protection software. Some free anti-virus software is good but there is now a gap between free software and paid-for versions. Unfortunately AVG free isn’t as good as it once was so if you have that installed it would be worth changing to something else.

Both PC Pro and Computer Shopper recently reviewed all the major software and the overall winners were Norton Internet Security 2015 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, achieving top detection rates. ESET put in a good performance too. At the other end of the scale, the once excellent Bitdefender performed badly as did AVG, Microsoft and McAfee

Avast Free was the best free product, with its detection ability putting it in 4th place just behind Norton, Kaspersky and ESET. Avast is also lightweight so it won’t slow your computer down as much as some other software.

Macs aren’t immune to infections and whilst it still isn’t such a big risk right now, it’s getting steadily worse. Intego has been providing high-quality Mac protection for many years and still remains the most capable product. Sophos, Avast and Bitdefender all perform well too.

On the subject of cost, even if you’re not changing anti-virus provider it’s often cheaper to buy a brand new boxed version of software and not upgrade through your existing package. Take a look an Amazon’s prices in the first instance. Many vendors charge a higher price on their website than is available from independent resellers.

Shortlands Computing is independent of all hardware and software providers, so you can be confident we’ll always recommend what’s best for you, not what’s best for us!