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Are you considering whether antivirus is really necessary? It’s like leaving your car unlocked and the windows down at night, and thinking it will be okay. It may be over a week, but likely not over a year.
How to find the best antivirus software?
Choosing the right software is important, because the reality of identity theft is that it can happen to anyone who uses a computer. All it takes is a shoddily protected system, and a hacker who’s determined enough to deploy a virus.
Fortunately most individuals are immune to targeted attacks; however, small business owners are often singled out because they engage in quite a bit more eCommerce than most. On top of this, the hyper-connected nature of the Internet means that anyone can encounter a random virus at any random time.
Determining which antivirus software to use can be a difficult process. There are endless options, and for the average computer user most of them seem the same.
Free vs. Paid Subscriptions
There are a few noteworthy free antivirus programs on the Internet. Quite a few more are gimmicky. A few have even encountered lawsuits because of false promises they made.
We’re not suggesting you stay clear of all virus protection that is free (as some have been reviewed favorably here), but you should definitely exercise warning.
In general, paid subscriptions to the top antivirus software is the best route to take if you are truly serious about protecting your computer than you should go with the best.
Due to the highly technological society we live in, online predators are very active and constantly trying to stay ahead of the curve compared to what virus protection programs can guarantee.
Paid subscriptions are simply more comprehensive and ahead of th than free offerings.
System Performance and Scan Time
Probably the most important aspect of any software, antivirus or not, is how it runs on your computer. You could have the most expensive and advanced security suite in the world, but it would be completely useless if it didn’t run well.
A good antivirus software is unobtrusive. It should run in the background and not interfere with all of things you do with your computer. It should work to clean your computer up and make it operate faster – not slow it down.
On top of this, good virus removal software should have a reasonable scan time. Running a system scan means checking all of the files on your computer for a virus.
Because most computers contain thousands of files, it can take even the best antivirus software scanner quite some time to run to completion.
Good software is comprehensive and should also give you the option to run a quick scan in the event you think you may have come across a suspicious file and need to know right away.
Virus Detection Capability
When an virus removal software scans your computer for a virus, it is comparing each file on your computer to the files it contains on its signature database.
A signature database is a collection of signature markings associated with common viruses. Like a fingerprint, each virus has its own unique signature that identifies it.
If one of your files has one of these signatures, a system scan will identify it as a virus. Good antivirus software has an extensive signature database that contains all the world’s most common threats, but the database must also be able to evolve as threats change.
Different Types of Internet Security Features
Almost all antivirus vendors sell their software in variety of flavors, or editions. What differentiates one edition from another? It is usually the extent to which the software includes additional features. Here are a few of the most common:
- Antimalware – It’s important to understand that a virus is just one type of malware that can infect your computer. Calling it antivirus software is a marketing remnant from when viruses were the most common type of malware. Today, good virus protection software must be good antimalware software, which means it can protect you from every type of threat.
- Antiphishing– These features will protect you from fraudulent websites that exist solely to “phish” for financial information.
- Antispam – Blocking spam email protect you from fraudulent messages that, like phishing sites, are created with the intent to scam.
- Firewall – A hardened connection that will keep your online financial transactions secure and is essential for any small business owner.
- Parental Controls – These features are not necessarily required for a small business, but they can be helpful to anyone who has kids.
Supported Operating System
Not to be overlooked, one of the most important aspects of virus removal software is its ability to be installed on your computer.
If you own a Mac, it’s no use to have a software than only works on the PC. Also, with the world’s increasing reliance on smartphones, it’s important to choose a software package that works on it as well.
Good antivirus software allows users to install their purchase on multiple machines regardless of OS. Sometimes with unlimited installations with the purchase of 1 license.
Mac Virus Protection
Good Macs need virus protection? Some people report that they’ve been told Macs are immune to viruses and therefore software is unnecessary.
While it is true Macs are considered safer and thus less prone to cyber attacks it certainly does not make them immune. You still need antivirus for a Mac.
When shopping for the top virus protection double check that it’s also compatible for iOS. If for iPhone, double check that it covers that as well.