Choosing the Best Antivirus Software

Over 30,000 websites are hacked a day, and approximately half of American adults have been hacked or experienced malware attacks within a 12 month period. And these attacks range from simply irritating, like compromising your internet browser, too expensive and disastrous. The dangers are real, and hackers are only ever improving their capabilities. Antivirus software is a programming software that is needed to protect your computer against most of the viruses, malware, Trojans, hackers etc. These invaders can access your personal files and DATA and can destroy many important things. So isn’t it time you put more thought into your antivirus software? If you’re like most casual internet users, you’re probably just using free antivirus software like Zone Alarm Free Antivirus. Is that enough?

If you’re not very tech-savvy, it can be really hard to know where to start, and how to tell quality software from a poor security solution. There are thousands of antiviruses available which are sometimes free or sometimes paid. And believe it or not, a big and easily recognized brand name isn’t always a good sign of quality. It is paramount to recognize the perfect antivirus for your computer. There are many Antiviruses available which gives a lot of extra safety services and you have to select if you need all these services or you need few of the services. So we’ve taken the time to break down the steps to picking the best antivirus for your computer and comparing your top options.

Factor In Your Operating System

Your operating system matters when you’re picking antivirus software, and it matters a lot. And contrary to popular belief, Apple products are actually just as susceptible to viruses, malware, and hacking Windows machines. But there are far fewer programs available for Apple machines, which will dramatically narrow down your options. So when you first begin searching, ensure that your list is compatible with your OS.


Offering Additional Protection Products

Another thing to look for is a piece of software which combines multiple protection products. Even Symantec, one of the biggest names in security software, released a public statement noting that antivirus solutions alone are often rarely enough to protect you from hackers and malware. Some of these most basic security software packages will offer firewalls, but they may also include anti-malware plugins, anti-phishing protections, and even anti-ransomware software. Generally, the more well-rounded a product package is, the better.

Antivirus Efficacy Test Scores

Perhaps one of the best ways to select the best antivirus product is to research its antivirus test scores. There are several third-party organizations which test the effectiveness of different antivirus suites against computers infected with all the latest viruses and malware. Using this uniform ‘problem’ computer, they measure the effectiveness of all the most popular available products and score them on how many of the problems they identified and correctly addressed. Many of the biggest brands in antivirus don’t regularly break into the top scores, and you might be surprised to find that smaller companies frequently produce some of the best antivirus solutions.

Some of these independent testing agencies include Virus Bulletin and ICSA, which hold quarterly ratings and publicly publish their findings.

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Customer Support

Not all antivirus products will even offer customer support; so if support is important to you, this is another area of concern which might weed many options off your list. A good rule of thumb to gauge a program’s quality of support is to look up reviews for their product and company online. But you can always take that one step further and call the provider yourself and see how quickly you get to a live person and how effectively they answer your support-related questions.

System Footprint

Many antivirus programs can take a lot of system resources to run at their full capability; and if you have an older machine or one without a lot of memory or processing power, you might want to research the footprint of the programs in your shortlist. In many cases, running an antivirus suite can dramatically slow down normal processes and make your computer more frustrating to use for everyday tasks.

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The Takeaway

Security is more important than ever, and you’d be surprised how vulnerable your computer is to hackers, viruses, and malware. But picking a great antivirus program doesn’t need to be a headache! Make sure that you consider options for your OS which have great support and a relatively small use footprint and you’re well on your way, but the most important step is to ensure that the program scores highly on independent efficacy tests.

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Published By: Souvik Banerjee

Souvik BanerjeeWeb Developer & SEO Specialist with 15+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".