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Sophos av not updating

Every day new malware attacks of various descriptions target Windows PCs, and 2017 saw two huge ransomware attacks hit organisations including the NHS, highlighting the importance of protecting your PC.It costs nothing to ensure your software is patched and up to date, and installing a decent antivirus package needn't cost you a penny either.

Don't expect to get extras such as spam filtering, improved firewalls, parental controls, password managers and support for mobile devices, although some of this can be had for free.

The free offerings from Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender and Kaspersky all offer basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, giving you a good chance to keep your PC free of threats which could lose you data and take a lot of time to put right.

If you think a paid-for antivirus might be better for your needs, find out more about what they can offer and see our pick of the best in our best antivirus 2018 feature.

Since testing antivirus software with real malware requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention extremely specialist knowledge, we don't do this ourselves. For example, AVG’s privacy policy, showing what rights it takes over your personal and non-personal information when you download and use its free product, caused quite a furore when it was published.

Instead, we use the latest results from several well-respected independent test houses, including SE Labs, and AV Comparatives. You grant it the right to share some of your (non-personal) information to third parties, which may include advertisers.

Some have said ‘Well, this is just AVG being more upfront about its policy; they all do it’, so we checked at what each company says in its privacy policy.They’re not all the same: some require you to opt out to prevent sharing and some ask you to opt in, but will respect your decision if you don’t, and some don’t share your information at all with third parties.Best is Bitdefender, which claims not to share information with anybody outside its own company or subsidiaries.We think this is as it should be with a security product, but second-best is the assumption not to share, with an opt-in, should you want to receive ‘relevant’ offers. Panda does the same as AVG, requiring you to specifically unsubscribe to avoid security-related emails.Antivirus software is designed to prevent damaging programs from infecting your PC and laptop.All the free products here do that, but not all are as effective as others.As a secondary task, though, the full paid-for products should reduce the amount of unwanted advertising and offers that get through to you, and they usually offer quite a few other features as we mentioned above.But without further ado, here are reviews of the leading free AV programs – you really can get something for nothing.We’ve already mentioned AVG’s controversial privacy policy above, but in terms of the protection this free antivirus package offers, it’s still decent, though not currently the best.AV-Test found that it protected against and detected 100% of threats in its December report, and that performance and usablility was on par with Avast's good scores.We agree that AVG runs transparently in the background, and that you won't really notice it.

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