A few years ago I had a conversation with a tech-savvy friend of mine named Tony about hidden viruses and malware on his computer. He told me how a big antivirus company who claims to "do-it-all" allowed hidden viruses and malware to infect his computer. Here's his story.
Tony worked for a company who required that his computer be encrypted. After doing some research, he bought an encryption software program and immediatley starting having issues with his computer. After two install tries and countless calls to the tech center he finally reached someone who seemed to be able to help. Tony gave him access to his computer and as he was looking through my friend's files he found a lot of malware and viruses. Tony had NO idea they were even there. He told me his computer seemed to be running fine besides the problems with the encryption software. The tech guy told him that the popular antivirus software programs stinks. He explained to him that since those programs are so popular many times hackers can bypass said programs and that he should try ESET Antivirus. That is exactly what Tony did. After installing ESET Antivirus it discovered viruses that the other top companies' programs just simply missed. He also installed Malwarebytes - Free Anti-Malware because they do malware cleaning on a high level. FYI: Tony does not get paid by ESET or Malwarebytes and neither do I.
I decided to do a little research of my own (see results below). In fact, while shopping at a local Microcenter store I noticed they had an advertisement for the ESET antivirus software. I thought what a strange coincidence. Before Tony told me about ESET I had never heard of them. I took this as a sign of sorts and I downloaded the free versions of both ESET and Malwarebytes after removing my old antivirus program. Needless to say I was very pleased with their results and still use them today. In addition, ESET and Malwarebytes allow free scans and free cleanings for a period that will clean your computer if needed. The reason using both are important is that viruses and malware can run in the background, hidden and can potentially steal your information, hack into programs, emails, find passwords, etc.
Lastly, download an Adware Clearning software to your machine. This will pick up on adware that other programs have missed. On my Window's host file there was adware and this program removed it promptly, after I tried countless ways of resotring the file, cleaning the file, etc. It is called AdWare Cleaner and it is excellent.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE OR TWO:
Antivirus software by itself is simply not enough. You need both antivirus and malware software. Programs that promise to "do-it-all" (antivirus, email protection, firewall, malware, etc.) are simply not as effective as products that do one or two things very well. Many times the "all-in-one" programs leave major gaps in protection.
Before clicking on any link, look at the bottom left-hand corner of your page and you will see a pop-up that shows the url, the page you are going to land on. Make sure it is the page you WANT to land on!
Here is an informative blog from Malwarebytes. This blog does a good job of outlining malware and viruses you are probably not aware of but need to be!