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3 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Antivirus Software Suite

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Are you looking for the best overall antivirus with the best security solution for your Windows or Mac computer or device? There are several options on the market to choose from. So don’t feel alone if you are stuck on how to make an informed decision. You know that you need antivirus protection, but you do not know what criteria needs to be met. All security companies market their solutions as being the best, the most comprehensive protection and cost effective, having the greatest integration, being complete products and so on. But, which one should you trust? How do you choose from them all? In this article, we share the most common criteria that you should use to select the best security product for you.

1. Look for all-inclusive protection

In the 1990’s and 2000 era, having a good security product for your computer meant that it was enough to find a virus during a file scan. Nowadays, a good security product is not just about the antivirus protection anymore. It is also about firewall protection, protection against cybercrime, real-time attacks when browsing the internet, protection against ransomware, protection against third-party monitoring and censorship, logging, and so forth.

A good security solution these days must include several security layers that protect you against the latest and greatest cyberthreats. A good antivirus comprehensive solution helps protect against traditional types of malware, but that does not mean that your computer cannot get hit with other types of infections such as ransomware, which can be even more damaging than a traditional virus. That is why we believe, when you look for your security solution, whether for your home or business, you should check whether it offers multi-layer protection. This means protection against variation types of threads such as:

• Viruses – infectious files with malicious intent which can multiply themselves and thus infect other computers or devices. Viruses are usually tied to an executable file which, when you unknowingly run it, also acts as the trigger for the virus. They can be transferred between PC’s over a network or through copied media.

• Malware - are malicious software that can present themselves as common software and because of that, can trick you into downloading and executing them on your PC or iMac. When you do that, trojan horses usually open the gate to other forms of malware and infectious scripts on your PC.

• Worms - are malicious applications that take advantage of the security vulnerabilities in your operating system or other software (like with a browser hijack) and use them to infect your computer. Unlike standard viruses, worms can duplicate and spread, without you having to execute another file.

• Spyware - software programs that are designed to spy and gather intelligence and log things about you. Spyware tries to stay concealed from you, the operating system and your antivirus solution and, after it gathers information about you, it tries to send it to hacker-controlled servers so that they can take other actions of exploiting you.

• Rootkits - a particular type of malware designed to give hackers remote control of a device, without being detected by the users or the security software installed on the exploited devices. When a hacker initiates access to a infected device, he or she can use it to remotely control your PC, replicate and execute the files on it, change operating system settings and configuration, install more software and so on. Rootkits are a stealthy and run dormant of malware, so they can be harder to detect and remove from an infected machine requiring an IT professional to full remove reminisce that could materialize again on your PC or iMac.

• Ransom/Cyrptoware - malicious applications that, once they infect your PC or iMac, can take control and encrypt your data, like your pictures, word documents, and multi-media. Once that occurs the programs try to force you to pay money to their programmers, so that you can recover your files back. Which can sometimes result in not getting your data back and being out the ransom. You can’t trust the bad guys.

• Adware - software programs that display advertisements on your screen, in your web browsers or other places on your PC. It may not be a malware specifically, but adware can weigh your PC or iMac’s performance down, adversely affecting your user experience, and can also help contribute to the probability of your PC getting infected by malware.

• Network & DDoS attacks - when hackers try to take control all your networked devices over your connection remotely, through a break approach. This when a firewall comes in to play. A strong firewall needs to be able to resist and deny attacks from the outside but also report suspicious internal and external traffic, that is initiated from your PC and the outside cyberworld.

• Website Threats - your web browser is the number one way of contracting a virus or malware. That is why a strong suited security solution needs to include a website surfing protection so that can warn or stop you from visiting websites that may be known to have security risks. It’s better to deal with a hijacked browser then entire PC operating system and data infection.

2. Choosing reliable protection

>Reliability is one of the most important criteria for choosing the best antivirus solution. A reliable security suite should:

• Protect without causing conflicts or interruptions, with other applications installed on your computer. For example, when you install it on your device, a good security suite should check whether similar security programs are already found on your system that could conflict. If that is the case, the security suite could ask first to remove the other solution before it installs. The integrated solution such as Windows Defender that comes for example with Windows would be set to compliment the 3rd party solution.

• Protect application processes from terminating. High level malware is developed to take advantage of the weak points of an antivirus. Some malware might try to shut down the antivirus solution that runs on your system and take control of the PC or iMac. A reliable security solution should always protect its application or operating system processes from unwanted termination.

• Provide up to date protection. An antivirus solution that uses old and outdated definitions could leave you vulnerable to the latest threats which change rapidly. Threats are consistently evolving in a cat and mouse chase; hackers never stop, so antiviruses must do that too. A good antivirus suite is a product that regularly updates itself, a multiple of times a day. Including the application and definitions.

• Automated security scans – A reliable security solution should offer a means to set-up schedules. In other words, the security suite must let you schedule antivirus scans.

3. PC and iMac performance impact

Security suite products are, by nature, require memory and processing resources to do their job. They use more power than your average applications you use for example. Developers try to minimize the impact. Some of which is controllable on how comprehensive your protection is set-up to be. If your PC is not top of the line, you should consider the performance impact. Usually, a good security suite can:

• Have limited boot timings of your computer. Your Windows or System should start nearly as quickly as it did before you installed your security suite product.

• Have a limited impact on your computer's overall performance. An effective security suite solution could outrun your PC, affecting your use of other applications. It should be set-up to understand how to use your PC or iMac’s resources effectively, so that it does not negatively affect your computing experience unresponsiveness, freezing and so on.

• Be fast yet comprehensive in scanning your memory resources for infections. A solid antivirus suite tends to be faster than others when it comes to scanning your computer for malware threats. Developers are constantly trying to find new ways to out due their competition from scanning as quickly and unnoticeable as possible.

Which criteria do you use for choosing your antivirus?

Each security product has its ups and downs, some can stop threats while others may not or as quickly, and it is difficult to pin one perfect solution down for everyone. A security suite solution could be the right one for you as a beginner, while another might be the right one for someone that is an advanced user or IT professional. Cost is comparable between all of the latest and greatest platforms today. Most all are subscription based. Hopefully, the above criteria, together with reviews, and getting an opinion from others that use it, or help from a IT professional such as us, will help you identify the best antivirus product for you. In a perfect world we would only need one. But, the world of security issues isn’t perfect. The cat and mouse chase will continue thus the need to carry a reputable solution that continues to develop protections to stop the latest and greatest threats that come along. Do you value this article? Please help support our cause providing free tips and hints on our Authority IT Facebook page by liking, sharing our page and articles with friends and family.

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