As time has gone on, there have been a number of different ways for bad actors to attempt to get access to your devices (and in turn, your precious data). In response, more and more methods have been developed to counteract these attempts. One of the oldest kinds of protection is downloading antivirus software, but a lot of people have wondered whether there is a point anymore to having antivirus software.
What does antivirus software do for your computer’s protection?
Viruses and malware are still serious concerns that face people every day on the Internet. One of the worst aspects of this is the fact that virus creators are becoming more savvy and ambitious. Ranging from malicious actors who seek to simply cause chaos, to people who wish to get whatever of your personal information that they are able to, these people use viruses and malware to accomplish both of these things.
Antivirus software is designed in order to prevent these things from happening by scanning your computer in order to detect and remove any viruses and/or malicious software that may be present. You can scan your computer manually, though you are advised to have it set to do a scheduled scan at least once per week.
This ensures that a virus or malicious software is not allowed to sit on your computer for a long period of time. You are also able to have it scan select areas of your computer, either manually or automatically. This helps reduce the length of the scan time by having it only scan folders that are frequently and routinely changed or added to. Once the scan has been completed,
On top of this, antivirus software can be used to prevent viruses or malicious software from getting onto your PC in the first place. This is done by the antivirus software provider creating a database of known threats to catch them before they can pose any such threat.
Are antivirus programs still important to have?
While it may seem like computers are growing more sophisticated, there are still measures you have to take to keep your information secure, and an antivirus program is an essential part of that defense. The real question that people ask is what kind of antivirus software is necessary. Nowadays, having an antivirus program is the default state of Windows devices, rather than something you have to go out of your way to obtain. This is thanks to Windows Defender, the built-in antivirus/antimalware program that you have with Windows 10 and Windows 11. For the most part, Windows Defender is adequate to protect you from most issues that you may encounter on the Internet, providing essential protections. However, for some, Windows Defender is only a good baseline, and they want to try something more sophisticated.
Paid antivirus software offers a greater breadth of security options than free antivirus software may offer. One big advantage is that a paid one may offer anti-phishing features, a secure browser, and anti-ransomware features.
Of course, no matter how appealing a piece of software maybe, if you do not have the budget to afford it, you have to be more reasonable. Some antivirus programs are cheaper than others, however, and if you want to figure out whether an antivirus program is a right fit for you, your best bet is to try out the trial versions of these programs, just to get an idea of whether they are a good fit for you. There are also free antivirus programs that provide more comprehensive protection than Windows Defender that you could try.
Should I do more than have an antivirus program?
While an antivirus program is a good approach to computer security, it should not be the only thing you do. Other solutions require that you be a little more involved in protecting yourself. For example, good password management is a must, as using the same password across different websites can make you vulnerable without you ever giving someone access to your computer.
Make sure that you use a different password for each website, and do not use a password that can be easily guessed. Another barrier you can erect involves utilizing the two-factor authentication system a website provides in order to require that someone have to take an additional step to authenticate that they are you.
For instance, you can require that if a person tries to access your email from a new device, they have to be able to submit a code sent to your phone. You should also ensure that you avoid any suspicious links, emails, phone calls, or text messages, as these, maybe phishing links intended to get access to your personal data. Worse, that access to your personal data can be used to hurt others, such as people on your Facebook friends list, by sending them the same phishing links while impersonating you.