Trojans, viruses, spyware… Not with our free malware removal software
Visiting websites and downloading files makes you vulnerable to threats and attacks. Protect yourself with the anti-malware powers of our award-winning free antivirus.
Avira Free Security is a powerful malware removal software that includes a wide range of tools for security, privacy, and performance.
What is malware?
Malware is shorthand for malicious software that infects your system. It’s developed by cyber-attackers in order to steal personal data, gain access to your device, or cause damage to it. Rootkits, viruses, trojans, spyware, adware, worms, and browser-hijacks are all malware.
Malware is typically spread through email attachments, phishing websites, malicious advertisments, malicious software disguised as utility software, and even GIFs or text messages.
Here’s why we ALL need reliable anti-malware every day
Hackers are continuously finding new ways to steal your data or just wreak havoc. It’s not just about security… but also preserving your freedom and confidence, and giving you peace of mind. If you surf the internet, browse, bank, shop, or connect devices to your computer or laptop, you risk malware infection every time.
For comprehensive protection:
1. Install antivirus/anti-malware software.
2. Be diligent about keeping that software updated.
Why choose malware removal software from Avira?
It’s part of our award-winning Avira Free Antivirus, so it’s technology you can truly trust for more than just malware scanning and removal. Plus, it’s made in Germany and backed by our 30 years of expertise in protecting your digital world.
The anti-malware feature in Avira Antivirus offers real-time protection against viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and more. Fast and reliable, our security software provides instant protection against all types of malware.
Easy to use
Our malware protection software is automatically activated in the background and can be manually started to scan a device or folder. With one click, you can scan your entire system for malware and easily remove dangerous files.
Virus definition updates mean that you always have the most recent software. More than 10,000 new virus strains are added daily to our ever-growing database.
Fast—and so are you
Our antivirus software doesn’t slow you down because files are checked in our Protection Cloud, well away from your system. AI technology protects you from known and unknown threats, blocking even zero-day attacks.
Award-winning technology that helps protect millions of users.
Learn more about malware threats
New malware is being developed every day, making its way to a wide range of devices, from PCs and laptops to smartphones and even smart home devices. Cybercriminals are quickly adapting their malicious software for the latest operating systems. Here are some helpful tips for protecting yourself from malware threats.
Detect and remove malware for free with this free anti-malware.
Are you a typical digital “citizen X”? From gaming to box sets and groceries, our every need and whim is catered for online. You scroll through your emails, before remembering that you need a last-minute birthday gift. Thank heavens for Amazon Prime! And, oh look, is that a video of a dancing goat? We’re always online and always distracted. The digital devices on our desk and in our hands offer endless usefulness, fun…and a possible doorway to our data and private lives. Yet beneath the glittering façade of e-shopping malls and Instagram filters, lies a shadow world, where malware and online scams lurk. On the Dark Web, cybercriminals peddle illicit programs and stolen data. Is your online security and privacy the real-world equivalent of standing at an open window, at night, with the curtains open? Are you an unwittingly helping hackers, and what steps must we all take every day to shut those virtual curtains?
Malware refers to ‘malicious software’ that secretly installs itself on a computer to harm the user in some way. It aims to disrupt your system or to give cybercriminals access to your data and bank accounts. Some malware can even log your keystrokes to give cybercriminals your login details. They can then use your identity to access online stores and go on a shopping spree!
Meet the three usual malware suspects: Viruses spread by replicating themselves. When a device meets an infected device (e.g.: through open Wi-Fi networks or a USB flash drive), it too becomes infected. Think of chicken pox. Trojans are masters of disguise. They look like real programs, tricking users into opening them. They then collect data or delete important information. Worms are stand-alone applications that wriggle between systems by themselves, and don’t need an unsuspecting human helper to connect their device to an infected one. Submit suspicious files to the Avira Virus Lab here. It helps these security pros grow their endless database of nasties.
Did you know that the AV-TEST Institute registers over 450,000 new malicious programs every day? Also consider these stats from the Norton cybersecurity threat review: From 2015 to 2018, there was a 680% increase in fraud transactions originating from mobile apps. 2020 saw a 40% surge in global ransomware, which is a particularly lucrative e-weapon. Ransomware encrypts a hard disk and won’t release the data until a ransom is paid.
We’re facing a malware epidemic. It spreads via emails, websites, downloads, direct ‘vectors’ like USBs and…you! Do you look before your finger leaps to that link, email, or attachment? Read on to explore whether your online behavior makes you a hacker’s best friend.
Prevention is better than a cure: Don’t be a hacker helper
We can be our own worst enemy. Put your digital habits to the test with our quiz and explore the consequences of a single careless click.
You do a Google search for a bargain and a great deal appears in the search results. Do you click on it?
Yes? You could infect your device with malware by clicking on malicious links or surfing on an infected website. Bogus sales can trick you into paying for something you’ll never receive, or your credit card and bank information may be stolen. Always stop and check. Is it a reputable website?
You’re sitting in a coffee shop. Would you use online banking because your bank has state-of-the-art security?
Yes? Oh no. Banks may be careful with their security, but what about the loopholes in your system? Is all your software up to date? Connecting to unprotected Wi-Fi can expose your personal information to cybercriminals. Also, be careful of copycat websites and fake (phishing) emails that pretend to be from your bank.
Look, it’s Kim Kardashian doing…what? Do you click on the Facebook video?
Is it worth the risk? Social media is teeming with click bait. Ads and posts may be a potential malware delivery vehicle.
You’ve just received a WhatsApp from a friend, with a link. Do you click on it?
Check that your friend has not been hacked first. Did they mean to send that message? Just because your mobile is password protected, doesn’t mean it’s inaccessible to others. Always keep your operating system updated and only download official apps. Other apps may mine your data and send it to a remote server.
A COVID-19 vaccine reminder from your local health service arrives via text message. Do you click on it to book that long-awaited jab?You may end up getting only a dose of malware. Cybercriminals often exploit real-life tragedies like the pandemic to scam people. Know what to look for and how to shield yourself from COVID-19 vaccine scams with this handy blog.
Yes, anti-malware can be both effective and free
It’s not all doom and gloom. Technology may compromise our security, but it also provides the tools we need to help keep our digital lives safer and our data secure. The backbone of any online security strategy is a trusted, independently verified antivirus, like Avira Free Antivirus. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, so none of your devices will be left out in the cold—and it won’t cost you a penny! Here’s why hackers hate it:
It helps protect and repair: Ransomware, Trojans, worms, and more, Avira Free Antivirus offers powerful, free malware protection. It’s also built with advanced repair functionalities and can help fix broken files.
It’s up to date: Devices with antivirus protection act as ‘sensors’. If a new cyberthreat is identified on one machine, the Avira cloud is updated and all customer devices receive protection. That’s herd immunity in action!
It’s light on its feet: Avira malware protection has a low performance impact on most devices or system resources, so it treads lightly. Think Rocky crossed with a ballerina.
Responsible users give their internet-enabled devices regular TLC. In fact, running security scans and installing the latest updates should be as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth! So, how often should you be scanning your PC for malware? Avira is set to scan your system once a week, which is the schedule most recommended by experts (so less often than you brush your teeth, hopefully).
Keeping the promise of online privacy and protection
Since it was founded in Germany in 1986, Avira has been helping its customers stay safer online. In today’s dynamic world of evolving cyberthreats and fast-changing devices, these e-security experts work to continuously stay a step ahead.
Did you know that Avira was an original pioneer of the free e-security model in Germany? They have stayed true to their original promise of providing online safety for everyone, not just those who can afford it. For more comprehensive security, Avira recommends complementing its free malware protection with a multi-layered security and online privacy suite, like Avira Free Security, which also includes a Password Manager, Software Updater, and PC Cleaner. For free (of course).
Cybercriminals use many different types of malware to break into systems. These include viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, rootkits, malware bots, cryptomalware, spyware, and adware. Hybrid forms, i.e. combinations of different types of malware and attacks, can also be used, which is why it is difficult to distinguish between them in some cases.
There is also fileless malware, which is not stored on your hard disk but exploits apps installed on your device as well as native, legitimate logs. With this, the malicious code is written into the memory, registry, or integrated system tools or utilities. One common method to do so is to also use script-based malware as well as document exploits in rarer cases.
Most often, you download malware onto your device via malicious attachments in phishing emails, infected or phishing websites (drive by downloads), seemingly legitimate software, malicious banner ads, P2P networks, or external devices such as USB sticks and hard drives. Malware is often hidden in Trojans that disguise themselves as useful apps but perform other functions in the background. Cybercriminals also frequently use exploits which take advantage of security flaws in programs or operating systems to inject malware. Malware can also get onto mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets via the described routes as well as through malicious apps or text messages with malicious links.
Viruses and worms usually inject their malicious code into a device via a program, executable file, or macro-enabled document where it can reproduce and spread. Unlike worms, viruses are activated by opening or executing the host file and need human help to spread to other devices.
Depending on the type of malware, you can suffer different types of damage of varying degrees of severity. For example, viruses and worms can destroy critical system components and files; affect the functionality and performance of systems and programs; steal, manipulate, corrupt, delete, or destroy data and files; and even flood and paralyze networks.
Ransomware encrypts all files on a device or locks access to the system to extort a ransom. Cryptojacking uses the processing power of a third-party computer to mine cryptocurrency. Malware bots can perform malicious actions or add the device to a botnet that criminals can use to launch large-scale attacks. While spyware can track your online activities and siphon sensitive data, such as messages as well as log in and credit card information, comparatively harmless adware simply displays unwanted ads and can slow down your browser. Since it usually does not cause any major damage, adware is often considered a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).