When most people think of cybersecurity tools to identify and neutralize malware, antivirus software is at the top of their list. Antivirus software has been around for decades. And during that time, it’s helped countless consumers and business owners protect their devices from malware. There are several alternatives to antivirus software, however, that you may want to use, instead.
#1) Online Virus Scan
An online virus scan is exactly what it sounds like: an online tool that’s designed to scan your computer for viruses and other forms of malware. Online virus scans are similar to antivirus software. They will both scan your computer for malware. The difference is that online virus scans are performed online, whereas antivirus software is typically locally installed and locally executed.
A firewall is an alternative to antivirus software. You can deploy a firewall on your business’s network. Once deployed, it will monitor network traffic while filtering potentially malicious traffic based on a set of specified rules. Firewalls won’t neutralize viruses and malware, but they can protect your business’s network from infection — just like antivirus software can.
#3) Registry Cleaner
You may come across registry cleaners when researching cybersecurity tools. Registry cleaners are a class of software that, as the name suggests, is designed to clean up the registry of the Windows operating system (OS). Registry cleaners work by removing redundant, invalid or otherwise “bad” entries. Some forms of malware specifically target the Windows registry. As a result, registry cleaners may neutralize them.
#4) Patch Management Software
A lesser-known alternative to antivirus software is patch management software. Patch management software is designed to help users manage their software updates. Rather than checking each program and app on your computer manually to see if there’s a new version available, you can launch the patch management software. Most types of patch management software will also allow you to download and install the updates when they are available. Malware infections often involve outdated software. By using patch management software, you can protect your computer from infection.
#5) Windows Defender
You can use Windows Defender as an alternative to antivirus software. It was originally released as an anti-spyware tool. Windows Defender, though, has since been upgraded with malware-fighting capabilities. It’s included in most new versions of Windows. If your computer has a relatively new version of Windows on it, chances are it has Windows Defender as well. You can use Windows Defender to scan for malware. If it detects any malware, Windows Defender will neutralize it.