Antivirus: 6 tips on choosing the right one

by | June 22, 2021 | How to, Cybersecurity

Efficient antivirus software will protect you against the dangers that abound on the Internet. From increasingly complex viruses, digging their way patiently through your files, to network attacks, the antivirus software you use must provide appropriate solutions for any of these issues.

How do I choose the best antivirus? If your answer to this question leans towards ”it depends on what my operating system offers me for free” or ”I’ll see what my computer-savvy friend tells me”, you are in the right place. Keep reading to discover tips on choosing the best antivirus for you.

What is antivirus software and why do you need it?

Accessing the wonderful and complex but also dangerous virtual world is like diving into a universe of all possibilities, where almost nothing is forbidden. But, viruses and other malware lurking in its dark corners are capable of compromising your whole operating system.

The purpose of any antivirus software, even the most basic of them, is to prevent viruses from infecting your device, identify potential attacks and eliminate them from the system. In order to accomplish these tasks, every cybersecurity solution, from basic to the most advanced ones, uses a scan engine that identifies the virus based on its signature.

The encouraging news is that any cybersecurity solution you might choose will work as long as you use it correctly and update it frequently, as viruses evolve and change constantly. All you need to do is make sure that your software is always up and running, automatically or manually scanning all your files, hard disks, and removable media.

What should you choose: free or paid antivirus software?

In theory, both free and paid versions of the antivirus use a shared scan engine, which means their performance is comparable. Assuming your online activity is not extremely important nor complex, you can choose the free option.

But if you use your device for business purposes, it’s best to go with the paid option, which provides you a stronger firewall, protection against phishing, an anti-theft system, and many customizable security settings.

Factors to keep in mind when choosing an antivirus

Cybersecurity solutions are increasingly complex and diverse. When choosing the right solution for you and your needs, take into consideration the criteria presented below.

How much protection do you need?

Have you built an online business that needs dedication and protection? Do children or inexperienced users access your devices? Do you almost have a second life online? If the answer is ”yes” to at least one of these questions, consider opting for a top-of-the-line internet security suite, in which case, you may have to pay. This will offer you more security features and in-depth protections against online threats.

An all-inclusive antivirus will protect you from all kinds of viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, rootkits, ransomware, adware, and network attacks, like an impenetrable shield, keeping away anything that could disrupt yours and other users of your devices online activities.

How fast is your computer?

If you work on a mini-laptop or an older computer with insufficient storage space, your best bet is a more simple antivirus product. Advanced and complex security solutions might slow down your device.

Are you computer-savvy?

Most users are not the tech-savvy type and want an antivirus that runs silently, one that they can forget about once they`ve purchased it.

On the other hand, experienced computer users will most probably choose a more complex antivirus that allows them to modify various security settings to their liking.

Online antivirus reviews and tests

When choosing an internet security solution over another, you should check their online reviews. Any reputable and trustworthy antivirus product will have plenty of reviews, and most of them should be good.

If you can find little to no information and reviews from users on a certain product, you will become a test subject for a newly launched product in the best-case scenario.

Do brands matter when it comes to online security?

Of course, they matter. A reputable internet security software provider will offer you higher quality protection, but it can also prevent you from unknowingly installing malicious software disguised as antivirus and compromise your data.

Also, a reputable brand will ensure effective communication with its customers. This way, if you need help from the creator of your antivirus, you can use various ways of communication to contact them, such as email, call center, or chat.

What is your budget?

Last but not least, your budget is a significant factor in choosing the most suitable internet security solution for you. Find the best option for you and your needs in the price range you can afford or are willing to pay.

However, whether you choose a complex antivirus or a basic one, you should never rely solely on it. Cybersecurity awareness is a key factor in protecting your data and devices. It would be best if you learned to spot potential phishing attacks, software that looks suspicious and can be malicious, and other threats. As they say, prevention is better than cure.


Feature Image: Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Photo by Ussama Azam on Unsplash

by Diana Panduru

Content writer for Attack Simulator. Passionate about all things writing and cybersecurity, and obsessed with driving. I sometimes indulge in pencil drawing, poetry, and cooking for fun.

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