10 Tips for Choosing the Right Antivirus

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Antivirus

Whether it is for your business or your personal computer, choosing the right antivirus software is extremely important. Losing your data can be a major setback and getting your system infected with a virus can do exactly that. But the problems don’t end there; in addition to viruses, there are various other malicious programs that can cripple your system. Malware and spyware programs can track your keystrokes, steal your passwords, and record your data. Protecting yourself from these risks should be a top priority, and the right antivirus software can help you accomplish that.

Antivirus software usually comes in the form of a package with various features bundled together. That said, when purchasing one, it is important that you consider all the features that are offered to ensure the best possible protection for your system. Here are 10 tips that can help you choose the right antivirus program.

1. Cost

Antivirus programs can be quite expensive. The price factor becomes even more important if you are purchasing a plan for a computer network and not for a single device. It is important for you to realize that the most expensive software isn’t always the best, and which price point is right for you will depend on the kind of security you need. It might be best for you to select from one of the many free options available, or you might be better off with a program that costs hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, most programs also offer a free version with limited features or a free trial period with the full version. It is to your advantage to try out the software before buying it.

2. Spyware and Malware Protection

You should choose an antivirus program that includes spyware and malware protection. Protecting your computer from malware and spyware is an essential part of securing your data and privacy. Some antivirus programs also offer the feature of scanning a webpage and warning you if that webpage is likely to infect your computer with malicious software. While you can, in theory, install a dedicated anti-malware or anti-spyware program, it is always better to have it bundled in a single package since separate programs can interfere with each other.

3. Privacy Policy

When selecting an antivirus program you should carefully read the privacy policy and documentation that comes with it. To scan your files, antivirus programs, unlike other programs, have complete access to the data on your system. That said, you should make sure the program that you select does not share your information without your consent.

4. Real-Time Protection and Updates

Some antivirus programs scan your system only when asked or scheduled to, while others run continuously in the background. Such antivirus software that offers real-time protection can warn you about any malicious programs or online threats if and when they occur. Real-time protection is a good feature to have. Such programs are optimized to scan only certain files in real-time, which helps minimize resource usage.

5. Reliability

Some antivirus programs can clash with other system processes. Such conflicts can cause the antivirus program to malfunction or temporarily stop running, which can put your system at risk. The reliability of the antivirus program plays an important role in its ability to protect your system. A good way of learning about the reliability of the antivirus software is to refer to online reviews or test it using its free or trial version

6. System Resources

Antivirus programs can require a large fraction of your computer’s resources in terms of RAM and processor usage, and they may slow down your system considerably. While this won’t affect the level of protection offered, it can certainly make your regular tasks a pain to execute.

7. Customer Support

As a personal computer user, you may not have to utilize the customer support of an antivirus program frequently, but if you are a business owner, it becomes an important factor to consider.

8. Update Frequency

It is imperative to select antivirus software that offers frequent updates. New viruses, malware, and spyware are developed at an alarming rate, and to be able to keep up with all the new types of threats, an antivirus program must be updated frequently. As long as it is constantly developing to stay one step ahead of hackers, you can rest assured that your data is in safe hands.

9. Usability

Usability and user interface are the heart of the experience of using any software. Antivirus programs are no exception. The best antivirus program for you is the one that you have to install only once and never go back to again. The ease of using an antivirus program increases if it can automatically schedule scans when the computer is idle or not being subjected to heavy demands. Further, it should be able to offer you detailed reports on any malicious software that has been detected and quarantined, or any online attacks that have been prevented. The user interface of the software must also be intuitive so that wherever some feature has to be customized or certain settings have to be changed, it is easy to do so.

10. Virtual Private Network Service

The popularity of virtual private networks, or VPNs, has been on the rise. Accessing websites through a VPN allows you to visit geo-blocked websites. In addition, it provides you anonymity while browsing the internet, ensuring your privacy by preventing internet services from tracking your usage and recording your data. Some antivirus programs come bundled with a VPN service, and this is a feature that must factor into your decision when selecting an antivirus program.

10 Tips for Choosing the Right Antivirus (1)

There are a plethora of antivirus programs on the market, and they can be bought and installed with the click of a button. Although installing an antivirus program hardly takes time, you must spend enough time researching the available options. Money plays an important role; however, your main goal should not be simply to spend as little as possible, but rather to get the best bang for your buck. Keep these tips in mind, and you will be able to get the right antivirus program for your needs.

Author: Gus Barge

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