10 Best Tips: How to Find the Best Antivirus Software
Do you have antivirus software on your computer? If you answered no, then you might want to reconsider installing something. Antivirus does precisely what it sounds like – protects your device from viruses and malware that floats around the internet. Malware is malicious software that is intended for harming your computer, and possibly stealing and harming personal information that you have stored.
Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to get a virus if you don’t have protection. There are many types of malware out there that you may click on one without even realizing it. There is adware, or malvertisement, which is an advertisement infected with a virus. Quite often it comes in the form of pop up ads, but it can also take the shape of legitimate ad space, making it hard to detect.
Other types of malware include ransomware, which holds your device hostage until you pay a ransom. There is also spyware which is used to spy on your computer activity without your knowledge. A common form of malware is a trojan. A trojan virus takes the form of a typical program or file you want to download, but instead, you are actually downloading a virus.
Those listed are only a handful of what is floating around the internet. That alone should make you think of installing antivirus software. The hard part, though, is deciding which software to get. Just like there are many different viruses, there are many kinds of antivirus software.
We created the ultimate guide to help you decide. Here are ten tips for finding the best antivirus software for your device.
What is Antivirus Software?
Before we being, you first should understand what an antivirus software all entails to help you find the perfect one. Antivirus software is a program you install which will scan, remove, and protect your device from malware and viruses.
The good ones will have the option to scan your computer manually, or to set up an automatic, scheduled scan. That way, you know your device is always getting checked for malware, and you can do an extra scan if you click on something sketchy.
How to Find the Best Antivirus Software?
1. Virus Scanner
It’s one thing for antivirus software to scan your computer. However, if it can scan a file or program before you open it to see if it is malware, that takes the software to a whole new level. Reactive scanning is one of the main features you want to pay attention to when looking for antivirus software.
Most of the time, the software is scanning files and programs behind the scenes as you click away on the internet. The reactive scanning will stop the file or program from opening if it detects something malicious.
Many antivirus software is heavy and will weigh down your computer, which is something you want to pay attention to. If you prefer that your computer ran at high speed, then watch out for the weight of the software. Look for something that is lightweight as not to hog down your computer, all while still being efficient in detecting malware.
3. Malware Database
Your antivirus software won’t do you much good if it doesn’t know what to look for. Having a program that is up-to-date on the known malware is critical for effectively protecting your computer.
4. Heuristic Detection
Good antivirus software will use heuristic analysis. This means that the program, even if it cannot find it in its database, will warn you of malware if a file is behaving like one. It is a little bit of extra security.
The downside to heuristic detection though, you’ll likely come across false positives now and then. Since it cannot confirm with its database if the file is a virus or not, even if it is a legitimate file, there’s a chance it will falsely be labelled a virus.
5. Automatic Updates
Automatic updates are a key point for finding a good quality program. It needs to stay updated for two main reasons: to keep its virus database as accurate as possible, and to watch for any loopholes found in the software. The more it can update itself, the better the software will perform.
6. Remove Malware
Here is another key feature to look for. Detecting and blocking malware can only do so much. Sometimes you need to remove it completely. Not all antivirus software has this capability. You want to completely remove the malware so you can ensure it will not affect your computer.
Good antivirus software should have firewall capability. A firewall is designed to protect your online activity. The wall protects any incoming threats through the web before it reaches your computer.
8. DNS Protection
DNS (Domain Name System) is what converts an IP (Internet Protocol) address into a recognizable name. Instead of seeing a series of numbers, you would see the name of the website, which is much easier to remember.
There is malware out there that targets DNS settings, compromising how it works or exploiting any security vulnerabilities on the server. You want antivirus software that includes DNS protection.
9. File Shredder
Think that files and programs are deleted from your computer when you click “Clear Recycle Bin?” Think again. Clicking delete doesn’t truly erase the file from your device; it only hides it. That means any confidential files you try to erase will still be in the computer’s memory, and there is a way to access those files.
So, find an antivirus software that can “shred” any files that you’ve previously deleted. That way, you can ensure that the files are destroyed and removed, with no trace of them left on your hard drive.
No one wants to deal with spam popping up all of the time. Look for antivirus software that has an antispam feature enabled. Filter through your emails, so you only get the ones you signed up for. Prevent ads from popping up as you open up a website. These types of spam tend to contain viruses that can cripple your computer.
While you browse through different antivirus software out there, take into consideration the above ten features. Pay attention to the customer and expert reviews, as well as any independent testing and assessments of the software before going ahead. Those honest reviews could catch glitches and security vulnerabilities that could do more harm than good for your computer.