Just what is malware.?
I wanted to take some time defining what malware actually is and how it differs from what we refer to as viruses. First of all it is important to understand that all antivirus programs do not handle most types of malware. Many clients I visit believe that because they have an antivirus program they are protected. That is not always the case.
Malware is a combined word from Malicious and Software. If looked at as strictly malicious then virus fall into that category as well but because they interact differently in how they spread and how they hurt the end user lets define malware and anything other than a plan virus.
Trojans, Worms, Rootkit virus, adware, and pups all infect your computer differently. That is the primary reason that I recommend using a "Security Suite" which can prevent virus, and most malware as opposed to just an antivirus program.
If you already have an antivirus program I recommend installing an anti-malware program that will work alongside the antivirus program to protect you better.
Whether using a suite or multiple programs (as long as they are designed to work together) it is important to ensure they are updated regularly and used frequently. If you are using a fully functioning paid version the program most likely has the ability to automatically update itself, automatically run continuously in the background and attach themselves to your browser to ensure monitoring of malicious websites.
However, some of the Free Antivirus or Free anti-malware might not run automatically. They might not automatically update themselves and some do not continually run in the background but require you to scan your computer manually. Both are effective as long as you are diligent.