Antivirus Software to Keep All of Your Devices Secure
Not so long ago, it was possible to use your PC or Mac device without a constant connection to the Internet. As long as you didn’t try to download, copy, or install any software onto your computer, you’d be safe against any sort of malicious software. But now, with greater dependence on the Internet for work, emails, and social media, we’re all more vulnerable to attacks from malicious software. Opening up an email or clicking on a suspicious link can be enough to infect a computer. And unsavory people can access your personal data or sensitive photographs. Fortunately, there are many antivirus packages that can provide protection against viruses, spyware, ransomware, and more, and detect suspicious tracking activity.
We’ll see that the major antivirus companies provide tools that you can install on several devices with Internet access: your desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet, and cellphones. Some of these packages are sophisticated enough to notify you if any of your sensitive data falls into the wrong hands. And they also provide cloud computing services to back up your most important documents, so that you can restore your devices back to the time before they got infected.
Let’s take a brief look at the best antivirus software packages available nowadays. Whichever program you select, you’ll agree that they’re a relatively inexpensive investment, to ensure that you don’t get burned by malicious software that can cost you much more in damages!
Why do I need antivirus software?
There are many categories of malicious software (or, “malware” for short). Antivirus software will protect your computer against the following:
Viruses: These are computer programs that infect a host program (usually an executable program, or a text file). Once infected, the computer will typically run noticeably slower, using up the computer’s resources. Viruses can be spread to other computers when trying to copy or send files over to another device.
Phishing: This can be in the form of a scam email or link that misleads you to reveal sensitive information or login details.
Spyware: This is software that extracts sensitive personal information and relays it to another source, without explicitly asking for this personal data.
Ransomware: This is a form of malware that can make your computer’s files inaccessible until you pay a “ransom” to the source of the malicious software. They can also threaten to reveal personal information unless the ransom is paid.
In what ways can viruses access my computer?
You can infect your computer by opening an email attachment, clicking on a link, or downloading a malicious file from the Internet. There is also the possibility that your personal information can be accessed by hackers or cybercriminals.
How does antivirus software protect me?
Antivirus software can detect and remove these threats before they are installed on your computer. But, since new and more sophisticated viruses and malware are being devised all the time, it’s important to use the latest antivirus software, with the more recent virus definitions, to be able to detect any malicious activity.
Types of Antivirus
Looking at the Best Reviews Guide list of the most popular antivirus software packages, we see a few companies that stand out:
AVG: AVG has a free software package, that provides basic antivirus protection. Even their free software does an impressive job, being able to stop viruses, spyware, ransomware, and unsafe links and downloads. But the paid package will allow you to perform purchases and manage your bank account securely, as well as block spam and phishing attacks. The AVG Ultimate Antivirus also provides a virtual private network (VPN) so that your laptop or other portable devices can access a public WiFi network without any concern that you’re inadvertently revealing sensitive account information.
AVG Ultimate Antivirus
Norton: Norton offers several levels of their protection, Norton 360. Norton 360 Standard is the most basic package, providing you antivirus protection for a single device, as well as dark web monitoring (to notify you if any of your personal information has been compromised and shared on the dark web), and 10 GB of PC cloud backup, to ensure that your data is safe in the event of a ransomware attack that shuts off access to your computer. There is also the Norton 360 Deluxe, which allows you to install the software on 3 devices, and gives you 25 GB of cloud backup storage. The Norton 360 Platinum is their most extensive package, allowing you to install the antivirus software on 20 devices and providing you with 100 GB of cloud storage.
Norton 360 Deluxe and Norton 360 Platinum
Webroot: Besides antivirus and identity theft protection, the Webroot Antivirus Secure Anywhere package scans the Internet three times a day, to filter out only the safe web pages and apps. There are versions that can be installed on a Windows computer, a Mac, a Chromebook, a smartphone, or a tablet.
Webroot Antivirus Secure Anywhere
Kaspersky: Kaspersky Anti-Virus Essential Protection is considered one of the best, in that it runs in the background without affecting your computer’s performance. This provides virus protection for a computer running Windows 7 or higher. It will be adequate for encrypting your data when accessing WiFi in a public place, and ensuring that you aren’t being tracked when you’re online.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus Essential Protection
What reviewers say
Here are some customers’ impressions about the antivirus software that they purchased:
Problems with ads and popups: Some customers said that they were pleased with Norton 360 antivirus software. But they also felt that they receive a lot of popups on the screen from Norton, trying to push purchasing additional products. Also, in many instances, the renewal at the end of your subscription period can cost more than purchasing a new subscription and installing it from scratch!
What to do if switching computers: If you decide to buy a new computer, there are still ways of using your old subscription. For example, if you use the AVG Internet Security package, you simply uninstall the virus protection from your old computer and install AVG on your new computer. You can use the same product code to activate it. The people at AVG will track if you paid to install the product on three different devices, and that you haven’t exceeded that.
Deals on Amazon: Some customers noticed that the antivirus product offered on Amazon can be cheaper than if you went directly to the software provider’s website and bought it there! So that’s definitely something to check before making a purchase.
Here are some tips to help you select the right antivirus package for your devices:
Rogue antivirus programs: Antivirus companies such as AVG, Kaspersky, and Norton are well-established names. But there are also “rogue antivirus” products on the market, which offer to “perform a free scan on your computer” to see if it’s infected! When you run this “free scan”, you’re actually infecting your computer with viruses! Then, the same people who graciously offered you this “free scan” will offer to remove the viruses on your computer–for a fee, of course! So, it’s best to rely on established names, to ensure that your devices and data are safe.
System requirements: Every antivirus program will list the minimum system requirements regarding the operating system, memory, and free space on the hard drive. Make sure that you meet these requirements before making a purchase. This is especially true with tablet computers and smartphones. For example, AVG has a plan that protects tablets, but it is not compatible with the Amazon Fire Tablet.
Installation: When you purchase an antivirus subscription, it will typically come in one of two forms:
Download code: When purchasing the software, you’re given a link to a download. If you purchase the product on Amazon, you will receive a mail from Amazon confirming your order and providing you with an activation code or product key to activate the software after it has been installed.
Key card: It’s also possible to have a physical card sent to you, which contains the product key for the software.
Whether you want to protect your desktop computer, or whether you want to make purchases on a mobile device safely without revealing sensitive personal information, an antivirus software package is an absolute must nowadays. Many of these products will also perform periodic tune-ups on your computer, in addition to ensuring that your personal data and files are all safe. Look over the Best Reviews Guide list of antivirus software, and purchase a subscription plan today!