Choosing The Best Antivirus Software For You
Anyone with a computer these days needs antivirus software. Unless your computer never connects to the internet or any external drives like USBs or external hard disks, you’re going to need a good and reliable antivirus program to protect you against malicious attacks.
There is only so much you can do by yourself to protect your files and identity against potential threats. Internet access has changed the way viruses are spread these days. It’s no longer enough to simply avoid suspicious downloads from unknown sources. By simply being connected to the internet, your personal information and files are vulnerable to possible attacks, and that’s where antivirus programs come in.
What is antivirus software?
Antivirus software is a term used to describe any security suite that protects your files against viruses, trojans, worms, and other malware. These days, the best antivirus software products offer much more than simple virus protection. Plus, they extend their security to online protection against phishing, identity theft, and anti-spam tools.
The basic antivirus product works in the background on your computer, scanning existing files and files you have just downloaded to determine whether they are safe or not. If a computer virus is detected, an antivirus program will either delete it or quarantine it, depending on the settings and the type of virus detected. While the end goal of all antivirus products is the same, the methods used to detect and stop attacks differ depending on the technology used by each security company.
How do you choose?
In order to choose the best antivirus software, you need to understand what features are important to you. There are many different products out there, each different in the many features they provide and each suitable for a different budget.
Before you make a decision, here are 5 features that are always a good idea to have:
- Scanning and cleaning
- Two-way firewall
- Signature detection
- Behavioral detection
Next, look for products that have additional features that are important to you, like parental control and social media protection. Read reviews and try their free trials before making your investment, but don’t waste unnecessary time because until you have antivirus protection, your files and identity are not safe.
Why not use a free antivirus program?
There are many free security products available online, and it may be tempting to simply settle for one of those, but that will leave your files and personal information vulnerable to attacks. Not only do free versions not have all of the added features like parental control, anti-spam, and anti-phishing, their basic virus protection is usually not as advanced as the products available for a yearly subscription fee.
Advanced antivirus programs today use sophisticated technology to detect viruses based on their behavior either on your computer or a virtual environment controlled by the antivirus product. Free versions, however, usually have a list of viruses that they look for. With the rate in which new viruses and threats appear every day, this list does not get updated as frequently as you like and leaves you open to the latest threats.
Most paid products have a free trial, so you don’t have to invest money in a security suite before trying it out, but make sure to invest in a product that is not free for proper protection.
Can a virus really damage my PC?
Yes, viruses will not only steal your information, but they also spread to other devices and files and run a specific command. That command can be to send your information to a hacker or to physically delete your files from your computer so that all of your important information is irretrievable.
The bottom line is that you need antivirus software if you want to safely use your computer or smartphone. There are many security suites out there with various features and perks for any type of user, so you are sure to find the perfect security suite for your needs.