COMPUTER 101–Antivirus Protection Review

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Check out all of my archived articles from the Sylvania AdVantage HERE.

Cyber threats have been on the rise lately. Individuals and organizations are regularly losing information due to computer-related attacks.

Some of the attacks can cause documents to be corrupted. Others may make them disappear completely and cause system malfunctions. In some instances, the documents could be encrypted with ransomware.

Whether you have experienced any of this or not, it is important to protect your devices with antivirus applications. Antivirus programs can shield your documents and entire system from hackers. They can help protect your privacy, protect your systems against ransomware, and generally maintain integrity.

Microsoft Defender, which many users still dub as Windows Defender (its initial name), is a built-in antivirus that comes with MS Windows. The program promises to deliver comprehensive real-time protection against viruses, spyware, and malware across apps, email, the web, and the cloud. Let me tell you one thing, Microsoft understands the threat posed by viruses. That’s why the organization ensures that every Windows system has Windows Defender pre-installed in it. The application delivers real-time security protection against ongoing threats such as spyware, malware, viruses, and lots more. The antivirus is pre-installed already if your PC is currently running on Windows operating system. Microsoft offers it for free as a built-in security tool. The new version, also known as Microsoft Defender Antivirus, is made to operate impeccably on Windows 10 computers. This allows it to detect and eliminate threats without affecting system performance.

A PC without antivirus protection is vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and a virus can inflict severe damage on your computer and can also destroy your reputation. When your PC gets attacked, you can lose your files, your system may get formatted, crash beyond repair, or you can be held for ransom and so on. Not having a protective mechanism in the form of antivirus is like providing a clear pathway for hackers to gain access to your PC. If you wish your files and system to not get damaged, then you must install a third-party antivirus or enable Microsoft Windows’ built-in Defender on your PC.

Kaspersky Security Cloud is Kaspersky’s free version that offers more advanced cybersecurity features than Windows Defender. Its malware scanner is cloud-based and continuously updates the database with the newest malware threats.  Although Windows Defender has a cloud protection feature, it cannot match Kaspersky Security Cloud.

TotalAV is a user-friendly antivirus that actively protects your PC from malicious malware and viruses. The free version comes with a range of essential features better than what the Windows Defender offers. We used the Junk Cleaner to scan our computer and freed nearly 5 GB of our hard disk space. The paid subscriptions offer premium features such as Safe Browsing VPN, Ad-Block Pro, and password manager. Although Windows Defender does not provide these features, other free antivirus programs like Kaspersky offer them for free.

TotalAV offers a lot of functionality, more than the Windows Defender. The PC optimization feature will help to enhance the performance of your device. Although it does not provide real-time protection on the free version, you can upgrade to the paid version to access it and many more features.

Bitdefender malware scanning engine performs better than Windows Defender. While the free version is lightweight, it is very powerful with real-time protection. The premium version comes with crucial features such as a VPN and parental controls, which Windows Defender does not offer.

Lately, Microsoft has significantly invested in Windows Defender, and this has ensured greater efficiency. Research carried out by independent labs in 2019 found that it blocked 99.9 percent of the known malware programs successfully. As per the 2020 tests, Windows Defender Antivirus blocked 100 percent of all new viruses successfully, which is greater than the detection rate of other major antivirus programs.


If you are looking for a top-notch antivirus program and fancy simplicity, too, then the built-in Microsoft Defender is the answer. But it is not the only top free antivirus program out there. For your antivirus, we recommend you not to settle on Windows Defender only. 

You should not use two antiviruses at the same time. I would use built-in Defender, which gives adequate protection, best Windows performance, least issues, and is from Microsoft, which knows how to protect their OS best. If you want the best on-demand scanner install and run Malwarebytes free scanner. Even better, pay annually so Malwarebytes is always running. That is important.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes
Many classes are open by reservation only. Computer classes are not scheduled yet, but you are welcome to use the computer lab Mondays and Wednesdays 1-4. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information or call Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. I hope to hold classes this year. We are getting there. Check the Sylvania Center Newsletter to see what is happing.
I Make House Calls (I am vaccinated and wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades including software, tutoring or printer issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570.

– It’s not if, but when you will lose data!

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away.


Leave a Reply