OK, just a short question. For now, I have risk of my PC being attacked or hacked by someone unauthorized. What is the software / antivirus / security / etc that I should install to minimize the chance or ease of my computer being hacked, or files being stolen ?
hope for free options because it's home use only. THank you
Microsoft has a built in AntiVirus in Win10. It's not the best and there are much better options out there from 3rd party companies. For a free 3rd party Anti Virus I'd look at Bit Defender. They're engine has one of the best detection rates for free and paid Anti-Virus.
For anti Malware, I second what Cherry Blossoms said. Pick up Malware Bytes. They have a free and a paid version, with the difference being the Free version is on demand scanning (you choose when to run it) and the paid version is a resident scanner (runs all the time like you Antivirus).
Avoiding sketchy websites, legal or otherwise, is always a good idea for general protection. But it's not a guarantee as you can get infected from an ad on a website that's been compromised. The stuff can come from a number of unexpected areas, so good AV and good Malware protection is important.
Beyond that, the best protection you have of being compromised is having strong passwords in your accounts. You personal computer is less likely to be attacked than a company that hosts your email or various online accounts. A good website to check for something like that is
They track a bunch of the various companies that have had data breaches and can check if your account is listed.
I'd also recommend running GLasswire, a software firewall supplement that works with WIndows Firewall, and gives easy to use. plain English descriptions of all connections to your system, ease of blocking suspicious connections, etc...
Common Sense Antivirus 2017 August 01 Patch If I am very honest here, before any further recommendations, I have to point out one thing. No antivirus software will protect you 100% no matter what. You need to be aware of what you are browsing, which files you are downloading, from which sources and what are you doing on the internet in general, otherwise no matter the security, it might not be enough. And now, onwards to biased answer.
You need 3 layers of security: Antivirus, Anti-malware, and in-browser.
Antivirus to protect you from initial infections, trojans and similar issues, anti-malware to protect you from deep threats and various forms of malware, in-browser to reduce the risk of getting infected. From each category as follows
These might contain full package (including anti-malware) and not full package solutions. My favorites go to Kaspersky (Is going to have a free version soon, excited), Bit Defender, Comodo, Avira, Avast and Norton. Or the best of all, Windows natively has Windows Defender which has proven to be very formidable, comes with Windows 10 and uses the least amount of resources, so if you have that, use it. I know it is a lot of choices to make, but each company does one or another slightly better, I would recommend doing research on which you chose, but I honestly wouldn't bother and just use Windows Defender.
Malwarebytes, Hitman Pro, AdwCleaner and may be Zemana. If you are running free versions of these, it won't clash with any antivirus. You will need to do fairly regular scans, and I would recommend having AdwCleaner by hand so that you can do multiple scans. Multiple anti-malware solutions will ensure that you are safe from that form of threat.
The longest list goes to this category: uBlock. All you need is uBlock. Just make sure you support your favorite websites as you won't be seeing any ads anytime soon. (Protects you from ad-spread malware)
I like this https/www.bestvpnrating.com/hide-ip-guide pretty much. It really shows how build and protect your privacy online. Today it's really important thing because you never know who is watching you right now hidden by "shadow codes"