Windows/Mac: Avast, one of the more popular free antivirus providers, unveiled Avast 2014 this week. The product sports a newly designed interface that's easier to navigate and get around, and a few new tricks such as a "hardened" protection mode that uses crowd-sourced data.
The new "Hardened Mode" is designed for novice users who get themselves into trouble or for administrators looking to lock down settings without restricting accounts. This mode only allows known, whitelisted software to be installed, drawing on Avast's community database of safe apps as a resource. The new Rescue Disk feature lets you create emergency bootable media in case of a serious problem.
The new interface is smoother and more functional, and makes getting to those the app's features and settings easier than before. Avast 2014 is a free download.