Every computer today needs antivirus software, however the possibilities are endless and often confusing. Like everything else in life unfamiliar to you, guidelines and tips could become highly beneficial when looking for the right antivirus software. You need to be sure that what you choose is suitable for your system requirements and needs. In order to ease and shorten the process for you, we have assembled and prepared 5 features to look for before you decide which antivirus is best.
1. Scanning and Cleaning
Preventing threats is very important in an antivirus software, but being able to detect and remove already existing threats is just as important. Once you install your new antivirus, you’ll want to scan your computer to make sure that there are no existing threats. If a threat is detected, the antivirus program should be able to quarantine it and delete it. The really good antivirus programs will have a “rescue” or “cleanup” mode which will allow you to scan and clean up your computer in a trusted environment.
2. Signature Detection
Historically, Antivirus software had to rely on signatures from within the malware in order to detect the virus. Once the antivirus software identifies a trace of this signature, it would prevent the infected program from being installed. The online world has since changed and evolved and new viruses appear constantly. As such, signature detection is far from being enough, the major drawback being its reliance on having identified signatures from existing viruses only. Nonetheless, Signature Detection it is still very much needed and should work together with behavioral detection.
3. Behavioral Detection
This is where things get challenging. Behavioral detection is a feature that searches for certain behavior patterns on your computer based on what it “knows” to be malware behavior. Instead of identifying a specific signature, the antivirus software finds programs or files on your computer that are suspicious based on what they do (e.g. try to access the internet or install files without your permission). On occasion, this leads to false positives, or warnings in cases where a desktop software you are using is supposed to access the internet (like Skype) or download files. In cases such as these, you’ll usually be warned that something is behaving suspiciously and you’ll be asked if it should be allowed or not.
Hopefully you won’t need backup, but if you do and it’s not there you’ll be sorry. Some antivirus services provide a secure online space where your backup data is encrypted and protected against malicious threats so that if some threat did manage to sneak past your security, your information can never be lost.
5. Two-Way Firewall
Nearly every security software today has its own firewalls, protecting you from threats before they get anywhere near your computer. Firewalls can also be found in your operating system and even your router, but that doesn’t always mean that’s enough. Look for firewalls that monitor your internet connection and prevent uninvited people from accessing your Wi-Fi while also preventing important data from “leaking out”. A good firewall is constantly updating itself to keep up with constant changes.
There are many more features out there, such as anti-spyware, child-protection and filtering, and more. Read as many reviews as possible and look for something that has all of the above features and additional features specific to your needs.