We know it’s important to have antivirus software installed on our computers, but with a number of different programs on the market, it’s hard to know which one is the best to use. If you’ve purchased antivirus software in the past, you may have asked yourself something along the lines of:
- Which programs are worth the money?
- What features should I be looking for?
- How do I know this will actually work?
So what makes an antivirus program good?
Before choosing an antivirus program, it’s important to know how most viruses work these days. A lot of people visualize blue screens and smoke rising from their computer after a virus attack, but the truth is, the majority of viruses don’t do any obvious damage. Most of the viruses written are used to make money from your computer by selling your stolen information to third party companies, not to completely destroy it. A good antivirus program knows how to protect your computer from these types of attacks. They’ll create walls around your machines vital areas and neutralize anything that slips by.
Good antivirus software protects against spyware, malware, Trojans and various other types of viruses. Traditionally, antivirus software heavily relied upon signatures to identify malware. Although effective, it cannot defend against malware unless samples have already been obtained and signatures created. A good antivirus program uses heuristic analysis to identify malware or variants of known malware and can detect mutations and variants of viruses, making sure to remove anything that could be unsafe.
Another thing to consider is how the program works. A good antivirus program should run in the background without slowing down your computer. Your antivirus software shouldn’t prevent you from working efficiently.
One of the most important things about choosing an antivirus program is to make sure it stays up to date. Virus definitions should be updated at least daily to ensure defense against the latest types of attacks. A good program will have a function that will allow these updates to be downloaded automatically.
No matter what antivirus program you choose, all require some personal responsibility. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and run scans regularly to help eliminate anything that might have slipped past its defenses. Also, refrain from opening attachments from untrustworthy sources and visiting websites that seem unsafe.
ACF sells and recommends VIPRE antivirus to all of our clients. To get more information on Vipre, contact ACF’s IT department.