Antivirus software isn’t as “divine” as you think?
Whether you’re on a Windows or Mac PC, tablet or phone, one thing’s for sure, the internet is pretty scary these days.
There are many hackers looking for opportunities to break in and steal your personal information, make your device a victim of a botnet, or encrypt your drive for ransom.
According to a report by cybersecurity firm SonicWall, worldwide computer users were subjected to 2.3 trillion interruptions in the first half of 2020 alone, up 19% year-over-year.
That’s why it’s important that devices connected to the internet are protected with anti-virus software. A 2020 survey commissioned by antivirus software company Webroot found that 83% of Americans have installed such a program.
With at least a dozen anti-virus products on the market, you’re always wondering which one to choose. Do not be ignorant and spend money recklessly choosing anti-virus software that is not suitable for you.
Here are five things to consider before making the decision to choose an antivirus.
1. Cloud Antivirus is very useful
Unlike traditional antivirus software, cloud antivirus programs do most of their processing on the internet, not on a computer’s hard drive.
Cloud antivirus programs not only consume less resources, they can respond more quickly to emerging malware threats, not having to rely on manual or scheduled downloads of malware lists to protect your machine.
A cloud antivirus suite that offers a comprehensive range of protection against threats from ransomware to adware, in addition to preventive measures such as enforced file virus checks.
2. Choose the right operating system
One thing that is clear is that you need a program that is compatible with your device’s operating system. This isn’t as much of a problem as it used to be, as many antivirus software manufacturers offer products for multiple platforms.
For example, AVG Antivirus has a full-featured free version and a paid version, available on PC, Mac, Android and iOS (for iPhone and iPad) versions.
Another consideration is how much memory and storage space your device has, as anti-virus programs can sometimes eat up resources. If you need a product that uses fewer resources, PC Magazine recommends Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus.
3. Expenses incurred
If your budget is limited and you are not a heavy computer user, you can use one of the many free antivirus programs available.
If you have a Windows PC, the easiest and cheapest way is to enable Windows Defender Antivirus Feature, a security application included with the Windows 10 operating system.
Another popular choice is Avast Free Antivirus, which has received high praise from security researchers and is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices.
But if you can afford the feature-rich paid versions, security suites like Bitdefender Total Security offer more advanced protection, such as file splitting and webcam and microphone protection.
Usually, after purchasing anti-virus software, you will pay an additional yearly fee to update the service.
4. Risk and security level
If you mostly just use your computer to write emails and watch Netflix movies, then most flashy and expensive full-featured security suites are likely down the drain.
If you use the web in more areas or run your ecommerce business from home, you may find that the premium features in the paid plans are well worth the money.
For example, GDATA Antivirus has technology specifically designed to prevent “drive-based infections” from malicious code installed on websites – a huge risk these days.
Norton 360 with LifeLock Select is a suite of anti-hacking features—such as protection designed specifically for remote learning children—with cloud file backup, virtual private networks (VPNs), and features designed to protect your identity and personal data .
5. Knowledgeable or general
If you’re someone who finds a lot of technology overwhelming, you’ll probably feel most comfortable with an easy-to-use program.
Trend Micro Antivirus + Security, with the slogan “Simple protection against complex threats”, is appreciated for its user-friendly interface.
But no matter which anti-virus program you choose, online security expert Bruce Schneier says the most important thing is to have it installed and let it update automatically.