With computers and smartphones being more popular than ever, computer viruses are also at their height in popularity. With almost every person having some sort of online presence, there are an abundance of opportunities for viruses to infect your device. Viruses are able to find their way onto your computer through many different methods. Most popular are through malicious emails and dangerous websites. With over 26 million types of malware active on the world wide web we got to ask if we should be paying for antivirus software.
Antivirus software is one of the best tools in order to protect us from viruses. If they were free we would all opt to use this service, being seeing that it’s not free we often wonder if it’s worth the cost. In short, the answer is a clear YES.
What kind of viruses will Antivirus Software Protect me from?
All viruses share the same mission. Their goal is to get into your device and then hurt you in some way. This can be them stealing your personal information for monetary gain all the way to simply deleting all your personal photos for no reason other than they can.
Different antivirus software will protect from different levels of viruses. Luckily most antivirus software will protect you from the most common types of attacks. This is a great starting point as most hackers and criminals are not masterminds trying to hack into the pentagon. They are typically using pre-built viruses and trying to attack users who are not doing enough to keep their device secure.
For this reason protecting from the most common attacks otherwise known as the “low hanging fruit” attacks is the single most important thing we can do.
Although most antivirus software will protect you from the above, where they differ is in where they focus or even how strong their protection is. So perhaps you feel that you are more at risk for a certain type of virus. In that case you will be able to find an antivirus solution that puts more focus on protecting you from that threat compared to others.
Below are a few types of antivirus software for you to consider. One thing to keep in mind is that antivirus software is not perfect and can never 100% protect you from all risk out there, but using these tools will drastically reduce the chances of you becoming a victim.
1. Standalone Antivirus Software
Standalone antivirus software are often tools that are free but limited in their capabilities. Security companies will often provide this free tool in hopes that you upgrade to the paid version of their product.
This tool can allow you to find and remove viruses from your device. You would run a scan in the background while on your computer and this tool will be able to locate and help you remove the virus. One thing to note is that this software typically helps you remove a virus vs ensure you don’t get it in the first place.
2. Security Software Suites
Security software suites are where we really start to see the power of antivirus software. These are typically an all inclusive solution that has traditional antivirus programs like the one we mentioned above (standalone antivirus software). These suites will include additional protection that can help to avoid getting the virus in the first place. Some of the tools that will provide this protection will be anti-spyware, firewalls, and user/parental controls (to avoid sketchy websites).
3. Cloud-Based Antivirus Software
The new solution quickly gaining popularity in the tech community is Cloud-Based Antivirus Software. For many years antivirus software was something you had to pay for in one shot and download on your device. These new Cloud-Based solutions often allow you to pay a very modest monthly fee in order to use their product.
One of the main advantages of Cloud-Based is the fact that these softwares are often upgraded in order to handle new viruses and threats. Like this you are confident that your antivirus tool is always up to date.
This helps one of the main issues with older types of antivirus software. Since these tools are paid for in 1 bill and downloaded on your device, they do not provide updates for free. This means you can end up using an antivirus solution that is 10 years old and isn’t protecting you from the most current threats. This is why we personally recommend Cloud-Based Antivirus Software.
Antivirus Software is More Affordable than Ever
Antivirus software was extremely expensive, overly complicated and was only suitable for companies with a dedicated IT department. This software could easily cost upwards of a few hundred dollars per year.
Antivirus software is now affordable and can be used on all devices (computer, tablet, phone, smartwatch, etc). There is a solution out there for every budget.
A great place to start is with McAfee solutions. These are often not the cheapest on the market but are still affordable for the great product you get.
Every Computer Should Use Antivirus Software
If we like it or not, all of our devices are connected to the internet at one time or another. For this reason all devices need some level of antivirus solution. What level will depend on what you personally do on your devices and what specific device you use.
Computers that use the Microsoft Windows Operating System are the most at risk. These computers are more at risk than Apple computers. One of the main reasons for this is that there are many more users on Windows. This means that a criminal looking to maximize the value of their work creating a virus is better off making that virus for windows as it will reach more people.
With Apple computers only gaining in popularity, viruses are now starting to target them more than in the past. Once upon a time Apple computers were said to be Virus proof. This is not the case anymore.
People seem to think that their smartphones are at less risk for malware. But both IOS and Android devices are able to be infected with a virus. So if you don’t have a computer and only a smartphone, you can still make use of antivirus software.
Technology is only becoming more integrated in our lives which means new threats are only going to increase. We feel that as time goes on the landscape of these threats will change to be more mobile vs computer focused since many people in the world don’t even own computers anymore.
Regardless of where those threats are pointing, getting started on Antivirus software today can save you from a huge headache in the future. Remember, even if you have a small budget, any antivirus software and better than no antivirus software!
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