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Antivirus Programs Tips

What to look out for when installing new antivirus program

When you buy a new computer, one of the first things you must do is protect your investment from malicious software programs such as viruses, worms, spyware, and trojans. These programs can cause serious damage to your computer system by erasing data or providing your sensitive data to criminals, commonly known as identity theft. You can help protect your personal computer by installing antivirus software to remove and prevent nasty viruses and spyware.

Choosing Antivirus Program

There are various antivirus programs available on the market, both free and paid. Free antivirus programs offer a good protection, but it comes with a somewhat reduced capacity. The idea behind free antivirus programs is to give you the basic protection, while offering you a full protection at a cost. Beware of the "free" anti virus programs that are actually only trial paid versions. Paid antivirus programs are best way to go. Among the best paid antivirus programs are McAfee and Norton Antivirus, to name a two. Of the free versions, Avira, AVG, and Avast will do the basic work. Keep in mind that Avast can be heavy on resource use (see below), although it has some other advantages, such as removing viruses before Windows load up (after it's been installed for the first time).

'Internet' padlock, modem connection cables and PC keyboard
In order to safely do your online work, paid antivirus programs are usually
the best
antivirus protection for your computers or laptops. (Image: Pixabay)

What to look out for in your antivirus program

While antivirus programs do the same job, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing an antivirus program.

» Ease of Use

First you will want to consider the ease of use of the software. The average computer user is not tech savvy so you will want your antivirus software to be very user friendly. Look for features such as easy configuration as well as scanning your system on demand. The software should also automatically check for updates and remind you to scan your computer, by taking a note of the last scan done. Even if you don't detect a virus, it's good to scan your computer at least once a month; more often if you do a lot of online work.

» Stop Viruses

A good antivirus program will also be able to remove dangerous viruses, trojans, and worms and prevent new ones from infecting your computer. If the program cannot completely remove these viruses, it should at the minimum be able to keep the virus from spreading. Most of the antivirus programs will warn you when they detect an unusual activity on your computer. If the program detects a virus, it will give the name of the virus and stop its activity. It's then up to you to remove the virus using your antivirus software, or seek other programs to remove it if your program can't do it. The quicker you can do this, the less harm will be done to your computer system.

» Resource Use

It is also important to ask if the software is a system hog. Many antivirus programs can use up a lot of your computer's resources slowing down your system. This can cause problems if you plan on running your antivirus software in the background while you continue to work. There are many good programs available that use resources more effectively. They run unnoticed in the background while you continue to work normally. This includes automatic updates, which good programs do almost unnoticed. The more RAM (Random Access Memory) or "working memory" your computer has, the less noticed your antivirus program will do its work.

» Spyware Prevention

Some antivirus programs do include spyware prevention but in order to be fully protected, you may opt for purchasing separate spyware software as well. A separate spyware program can help ensure that your computer is safe from spyware issues that a combo program may not be equipped to catch.

One of the best anti-spyware programs is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, available as both free and paid version. Another good anti-spyware program to use is Zone Alarm, also available as free and paid program.

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