Antivirus software protects your computer from malicious computer viruses. It is the most important component of your layered security computer defense.
Antivirus software constantly monitors, detects, intercepts and removes harmful software that cyber criminals use to break into your computer and steal your personal data.
Any failure to detect and catch a virus can have serious consequences - a damaged computer, stolen information or data loss.
Because it has such an important job, antivirus software should:
Antivirus software does not need any additional and unnecessary functions. Its primary job is to defend your computer from viruses.
Any additional functionality that does not contribute to antivirus protection is best provided by another piece of software.
For example, some antivirus software also has a password manager. This serves no purpose other than to attempt to sell you a software upgrade in order to make a more profitable sale.
Adding unnecessary functionality to specialized computer security software can be dangerous. The more functions a software program has, the more opportunity there is to introduce software defects.
Computer software is already full of flaws. This is most recognizable when your software program freezes or crashes.
The situation is much more serious when there are software flaws that compromise the security of your computer. If antivirus software has defects, it may not detect a virus, and you may lose your computer system or personal data.
Your computer - and your passwords - will be much safer.
Antiviruses should have these main features:
Since the primary focus of antivirus software is to protect your computer from viruses, it should be great at finding and catching them.
Antivirus software should have the ability to catch viruses in real time. Some antiviruses only work as virus scanners, and you have to manually run them. This is not good enough to keep your computer safe.
Intelligent antivirus software is constantly on alert for viruses and malicious software, and acts to defend your computer as soon as it detects dangerous software.
In addition, antiviruses should proactively detect and clean many different types of malicious software in addition to viruses: trojan horses, worms, spyware, adware, rootkits and others.
Antivirus software should have the ability to detect some not-seen-before malware, and protect your computer from unknown threats before they can do any harm.
Because antivirus software is so vital to your computer's security, an easily accessible and dynamically updated help system is also a must.
You will need the help system when something goes wrong, or when you need to change a configuration setting. Having reliable and accurate help integrated into antivirus software is essential.
Antivirus software should automatically scan all USB flash drives, CDs/DVDs and memory cards, as soon as you connect them to your computer. This is important because viruses can also infect your computer when you connect contaminated media to your computer.
Finally, antiviruses should be updating itself and its detection engine on a regular basis, and without user interaction. Having the most up-to-date software and virus signature database ensures the maximum level of protection for your computer.
When software is complex and hard to use, it is easy to use it the wrong way.
For security software, such mistakes can be costly. A miss-configured antivirus software may not detect a harmful virus. The security of your computer and personal data is at stake.
Today's race to add endless software functionality has hurt antiviruses as well.
Each update has more and more features that have questionable value for a software that is critical to the security of your computer.
There is no need for antivirus software to manage your passwords, upload your photos to the cloud, or backup your files.
Every extra feature can potentially expose your computer to security threats through software flaws.
Simple is secure. Use antivirus to protect your computer from malicious programs. Use other software for everything else.
Antivirus software should protect your computer from malicious software without hindering its performance or disrupting your work.
Antivirus software works hard to constantly monitor your computer for different types of threats. It can take significant computer resources to do this.
One of the actions antiviruses perform is scan your computer from time to time. They do this because even though they have real-time protection and can detect a virus as soon as it enters your computer, a file can get infected later.
Computer virus scans can take a while, depending on how many files are on your computer. Sometimes your computer slows down - noticeably - while the scans are going on.
Quality antiviruses will scan your computer in a gentler way, and you may not even notice it.
Antivirus software is a critical component of your computer security strategy.
Cyber criminals create new malicious software every day. They get better and better each time. More and more people lose their personal data and get their identity stolen.
Good antivirus software:
Stay safe - use antivirus.