For more than a decade, Google's VirusTotal has given antivirus companies the ability to detect malware and share information about new viruses. But in a sweeping change meant end 'abuse' of the system, it is limiting access to the widely used database.
10 Essential Smartphone Security Apps
Some data security programs are free, and some cost money. But if they can protect your important data, then they are worth any investment.
- Lookout Mobile Security - I love Lookout Mobile Security because it remembers who you are and locks out anyone who steals your phone or tries to use it without your permission. How does it do all of this? If I told you, then that would take all of the fun out of it
- Avast! Mobile Security - One of the top free data security programs for years has been the Avast! program. Now, smartphone users can take advantage of this program and use it to protect their privacy. The makers of Avast! offer regular updates and a very robust free version of their software.
- AVG Antivirus - AVG is another popular and free antivirus program that sits on millions of desktop computers around the world. AVG not only scans for viruses, but it can also stop programs that are causing your smartphone to freeze up.
- Norton Mobile Security - When it comes to complete data security, I have no problem recommending the reliable and venerable Norton programs. There are a variety of smartphone security apps available with the Norton name on them, and they all do a great job.
- WebRoot Secure Anywhere - WebRoot Secure Anywhere is a bit more proactive than many of the other smartphone protection programs available. This program will not only scan data that comes into your phone, but it can also block you from going to mobile websites that are phishing for data.
- Kaspersky Mobile Security - As someone intimately familiar with the virtual security world, I have been utilizing and working with Kaspersky programs for years. These tend to be higher-end programs that can cost a pretty penny, but they are hard to beat when it comes to protecting your virtual privacy.
- .Security Cam - So far, we have done a lot of talking about apps that protect your phone. Let's take one second to talk about a program that helps your phone to protect you. Security Cam utilizes your phone's video features to capture footage either automatically or when it is triggered using settings you create. The images can be exported to your computer or just used on your smartphone to solve the mystery of who took the last piece of pizza.
- 360 Mobile Security - This is a relatively new security program that has been getting a lot of attention lately, mostly due to the developer's persistent boasts about how effective the program is. To be fair, it is extremely effective at scanning and preventing malware from getting loaded onto your smartphone. Since the program is free, it is at least worth checking out.
- Avira Antivirus - Avira will scan existing programs to see if they pose a threat and is especially on guard when you update your phone. You can also count on Avira to check every new program you download to make sure it is safe.
- AVL - AVL is nice because it does not have all of the bells and whistles that normally come with antivirus programs. It is a stripped-down program that detects malware and warns you. That is all it does. AVL does not slow your smartphone down, which is why so many people are utilizing it these days.
When it comes to computer repair and maintenance, virus removal is the leading reason for seeking out a repair expert. In fact, over 65% percent of our computer repairs relate to virus and malware issues. Having diagnosed and cured thousands of sick computers, we can definitely assert that most computers are infected via a few simple methods.
So today, we list the 3 most common methods of contracting a computer virus. We will also describe the ways that you can avoid exposing their machine to these viral threats.
3 MOST COMMON VIRUS INFECTION METHODS
1. SECURITY VULNERABILITIES THAT HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED IN SYSTEM UPDATES
This is just scary: Only 8 percent of computer users ever remember to update their computers. The temptation to close that annoying little pop-up box that says important updates are available and continue your work or play is common. If you want to keep your system running smoothly though, your will must be stronger. Otherwise, you are broadcasting to hackers, “Please, come attack this computer!”
Security patches are most often released once a system vulnerability has been found. In other words, once a virus has infected some poor soul’s computer. By declining, delaying or closing that notification for system updates, you are opting to ignore fixes developed to protect you. In time, the need for professional computer repair will be obligatory for those who keep putting off updates.
The best method we have found for ensuring you are consistently updating your system is to setup a regularly scheduled nightly computer and anti-virus update. Or just get into the habit of doing it every day at the same time.
2. OPENING INFECTED EMAILS
You read that right – this retro method of contracting a virus still exists. Hackers still regularly use email to send viruses to unsuspecting computer users. And don't fall for the myth: you don’t always need to open the attachment to get infected; you can also get a virus from just opening the email in the first place.
That said, every computer user should be extremely cautious about which emails they open. If you see an attachment you didn’t request, call the sender or email them to check that everything is kosher. Also avoid opening emails from people you don’t know as much as possible. These steps may seem paranoid or overcautious, but they are the ideal solution for avoiding professional computer repair and virus removal.
3. SURFING UNSAFE OR UNVERIFIED SITES
Almost everyone loves to surf the web. But what many of us forget is that the "ocean" of the internet is full of sharks. Some sites have become so infected that you don’t even need to click on anything or download anything to be infected with a nasty virus. Just visiting the page alone can be enough to infect your computer, sometimes causing serious problems with your computer.
The easiest ways to avoid getting infected in this way are to be very careful about which sites you visit, keep your anti-virus software up to date, and use a tool like "Web of Trust", also called WOT. This amazing and powerful tool is available for Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. WOT is a free browser tool that maintains a database of known safe sites as well as malicious sites reported by the WOT community. Attempts to visit a known malicious site and WOT warns you in advance. . Remember that where you see a link to an infected site doesn’t matter. If you’re on a fairly safe site, like Facebook, and you click to a malicious site, you’ll still get infected. WOT is designed to prevent that.
We recommend our Virus Guarantee Program as the best way to avoid a virus infection. This Rethink Associates program automatically updates, scans and protects against viruses, without you having to lift a finger (or clicking down with a finger, as the case may be). If your computer gets infected while it's enrolled in the Virus Guarantee program, we will remove the virus at no additional cost. For those who want a worry-free approach that will preempt the need for computer repair, the Virus Guarantee Program is the way to go.