One in 3 UK adults will be the victim of cybercrime this year and the first line of defence is Antivirus protection. The first thing to know about Antivirus Software (AV) is that these days we are all unlikely to get hit with an actual computer virus and much more likely to be hit with malware. This is because malware is all about making money for the fraudsters, that is why ransomware and data stealing Trojans are today’s common risk. We all need AV to stay protected from nasty bits of malware such as Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware and more.
The second lesson is that even if you only use your device to read the occasional news article, if you connect to the internet, you are vulnerable.
What should we look for in a good anti-virus software?
Malware is the first nasty word used above. AV need to offer real-time malware protection; the best software will actively block processes on your PC from connecting to internet addresses known to contain malware or phishing pages.
Spyware, a form of malware, is also a serious concern, it comes in different shapes and sizes from hidden programs that log every keystroke to Trojans that appear as valid programs while mining your personal data. So, a good AV needs to cope with spyware.
Extra, but essential features!
Not all AVs have firewalls and spam filtering, but these are definitely features we would recommend seeking out in a good AV as phishing attempts increase every month.
Of course, we want our AV to stop bad programs and leave good ones alone, unfortunately some AVs do interfere with good programs and that is something we need to be aware when choosing which AV to go for.
What’s even stronger than the best AV?
AV keeps your device safe but that doesn’t extent to protecting your data while its in transit on the internet. The first rule of keeping that data safe is to stick to secure websites i.e. HTTPS but for those looking for even more protection some are installing virtual private networks or VPN to offer even more security.
Which AV is the best?
Having looked at recent independent test lab results we would suggest:
1) Kaspersky Anti-Virus
2) McAfee AntiVirus Plus
3) Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
3) Symantec Norton AntiVirus Plus
Am I safe after installing it?
It is very important to regularly check that your AV is switched on and has had the most recent updates to keep you protected from the most current threats. Similarly, we all still need to be vigilant about which sites we visit, which links/attachments we click on and which programs we download.
Antivirus software, or maybe we should call it antimalware software is the modern-day equivalent of having a five-lever mortice lock on your front door and quite simply don’t go on the internet without it!
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