The Straightforward guide to Secure Windows PC from Viruses

how-to-secure-windows-pc-virus

You’ve somehow stumbled over here in search of something straightforward to secure your windows PC from viruses. Till now you may be totally confused of which security software should you choose, with already many sites recommending with big lists, making no sense to you at all and you just pick the software that looks pretty or the one your friend has downloaded. And you’re just blindly protecting your PC.

Before you read further I just want you to clear that this guide will not contain any all-in-one package security suites. (Those all-in-one softwares are just lame. I’ve myself have found problems with them, sucking too much memory space, slowing down your computer and sometimes are unreliable for protection against viruses and malware.) Microsoft is not a dumb*** that it’ll do nothing to protect it’s OS from viruses and malware. They’ve got windows defender their hero to secure their OS. So, in this straightforward guide I’ll show you some real simple steps to secure your PC and some security softwares that I’ve found reliable for my PC.

So, let’s start with the basics. The basic protection you can give to your windows PC without any download.

The Four Step Basic Protection 

  • Use a router that’ll work as firewall for your computer. Routers work as hardware firewalls. They prevent other malicious networks from accessing your computer. They set a firewall between your computer and internet. But, in case if the router allows some malicious code to go through your network, then all the computers on network will get infected. So, in such cases use the next step.
  • Activate windows firewall during travel and at home. It’s a software firewall and it protects vulnerable services from getting affected by malicious code. They set firewall between computer and the network. So, if any computer gets infected by a virus it’ll not be infected to other computers on the network. Even you’re on a router a software firewall will be much more safer. Software firewalls manage network trafficking on software basis. So, it’s called software firewall.
  • Use Windows Defender. The windows defender is the built-in antivirus and anti-spyware for windows 8. If you’re on windows 7 you’ll have to download Microsoft Security Essential (Both are same, just name is the difference). 
  • Turn On Windows automatic updates. It’s necessary because the windows defender’s virus definition updates will come alongside other windows updates.

These are the basic steps for PC security that you can apply without downloading and installing anything.

Little more about Windows Defender

It’s the best antivirus utility for an average user. By average user I mean, who doesn’t frequently open the software for security checks or scans. If you really want defender to work for you. Just obey it. If it alerts you of the software that you’re installing has virus or malware, respect defender and don’t install it. 

Reasons to use Windows Defender:

  • It’s Free.
  • Real-time Malaware Detection.
  • Easiest to use. No configuration settings needed. It’s all default.
  • Catches most of the spyware and malware.

The defender does the work as it has promised. It’s dedicated for antivirus and anti-spyware. Also it’s not loaded with many features like others which makes it stand apart from other security suits. 

Alternatives are must!

Sometimes the windows product may miss a malware. And also you can’t rely on just one thing for security. So, alternatives should be used to track out those missed malware. Below is the list of recommended alternatives for windows security.

Malwarebytes(MWB)

I’ll not say it’s an alternative but it’s like a supportive hand. The software company itself recommends users to use antivirus besides this software. It’s just like a gate(antivirus) having a gatekeeper(malwarebytes). It flushes out all the remaining malware that the antivirus missed during the scan.
It’s a must install security software no matter what antivirus you may be using. It’s got two versions: Free and Paid. The free version contains all functionality of anti-malware including standalone full scanning, except the scheduled and real-time scanning which is in the paid version. I highly recommend it as an additional tool.
(While I was writing this article I made a scan on MWB. And it found more than 30 malware. As before I had already scanned the whole computer with AVG antivirus. So, it’s working as expected. Also, while the scan was running on MWB, AVG popped up a message of threat. That was surprising for me, it’s like both software are supporting each other. Below is the screenshot.)
malwarebytes-and-avg

AVG Antivirus Free

Yes, I’ll talk only about the free version. The free version contains antivirus, scheduled scans and real-time scan. Which is enough! No need of additional features like link scanner and firewall. Link scanner can eat up the RAM while browsing internet and about Firewall, windows has already built such thing for us(which you need to activate). Malware detection is very well. Not that well as I stated above in MWB section.
I recommend it if you’re not comfortable with windows defender. After it’s installation it’ll become the default virus protection software and you won’t be able to open windows defender. It’ll replace with defender. Also take care while installing AVG as it comes with unnecessary toolbars and safesearch type of stuffs. So, don’t go on clicking the train of ‘next-next-next’, have patience and just read what’s written on the screen. (Or else you can use Unchecky that automatically unchecks unnecessary stuff.) 

Offline Scanner

Being offline is one of the worst feeling for me(By the way being online doesn’t give that “yeah!” feeling, as any time any malicious bits can try to access system.) But, there are many situations that can make you go offline. And being offline means no virus definition updates or may be even you can’t run the antivirus at all. In such cases the offline scanner such as Windows Defender offline can be used. 
You have to download it and store it on USB flash drive, CD or DVD. And run the offline scanner through the storage media as portable version. The defender offline will guide you through the burning of the software on the external storage and how should you use it. The virus definitions will get updated automatically whenever you go online. Just plug-in the storage media, run the software and scan for viruses.

Conclusion

Let’s summarize of what you just read. First you learnt the four basic steps for PC security, which were pretty simple as you had nothing to install or download. Those steps should be followed if you’re too casual with security. Then I introduced windows defender the built-in antivirus in windows 8. Also the Microsoft security essentials for Windows 7, Vista and XP. 
Then we jumped over to some nicer alternatives for windows defender. Starting with Malwarebytes the supportive hand for antivirus, then the AVG Free antivirus software and ended with windows defender offline scanner. I presented you everything straightforward. It’s better to recommend something specific than to provide a big list of tools and confuse you more.
So, first apply the four basic steps. If you’re not comfortable with windows defender. Download AVG Free antivirus with Malwarebytes as backup for leftover malwares. And use windows defender offline scanner for offline malware detection and removal.
Hope it helped. If any queries mention them in the comments. I’ll try my best to give you a satisfying answer.(NOTE: I am no security expert. The tools and steps I’ve given here are something that I’ve practiced and learnt with time. These are my opinions and experiences and may be contrast of what you’ve experienced. So, please be fair in the comments.)

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