To browse the internet safety, antivirus software can be the extra boost you need to keep your devices secure. There are certain important factors to bear in mind when choosing one.

A good antivirus software can help protect your information and to keep your devices  more digitally secure

Viruses may damage or destroy data files or spread to other computers. Malware, also known as malicious software, may be used to install unwanted programs without your knowledge or consent.

The main goal of antivirus software is to detect, block or remove any malware, which could put the proper functioning of your systems at risk. 

To do this, the software analyses and scans files and the memory of the devices connected to the network, constantly looking for suspicious patterns, just like a security scanner does at the airport. When it’s put like that, why wouldn’t you have one? 

How does an antivirus programme work?

Not all antivirus programmes respond in the same way when they detect malware in a device. So, it is important to familiarise yourself and see how it works when installing the software. Some for example ask what we want to do with the threat before deleting it. Whilst others delete the threat without asking beforehand.

Like any other program or application, antivirus software should always be kept up-to- date. Otherwise, it will stop working properly and won’t identify new malware circulating online.

Which antivirus programme should you choose?

There are many available, free and paid to choose from. According to a Consumer Reports article free programmes should adequately protect most computer users from malware. Consider paying for software mostly for convenience and some extra features that can best suit your needs. 

You should check the many online articles that rank the best antivirus programs based on their technical test results. AV Comparatives an independent anti-virus software testing organisation, publishes their findings on The Virus Bulletin or also collects users’ opinions.

Here are some of the differences between free and paid-for antivirus software:

Free antivirus software:

  • Offers basic protection.
  • Includes pop-up advertising.
  • Uses more CPU resources and more RAM memory than paid software.

Paid antivirus software:

  • Offers more advanced protection.
  • Protects the device against known viruses and also new threats.
  • Some packages include protection against identity theft and online threats.
  • Has customer service available.

Having antivirus software installed does not guarantee that 100% of the threats found on the internet will be detected. Which is why it’s advisable to develop safe habits when browsing the internet, always keeping your software up-to-date, and never let your guard down on phishing emails or social engineering attempts. If you want to know more about how you can improve your digital life, don’t miss these five simple tips

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