5 Tips - How to Choose the Best Antivirus Software

Surfing the web can be fun and even profitable, if you run a business on the internet, but what happens when your computer is not protected? Suddenly, your personal and business information is vulnerable to hackers. So how do you protect yourself? You need to know how to choose the right antivirus software. Not any old software will do – you have to know what each one offers and what products you need in order to keep your information safe and your computer free from dangerous viruses.

Spend Money or Choose Free?

The first step is deciding whether or not you want to pay for your antivirus programs. There is a multitude of free as well as paid for programs available on the market. The free programs are typically enough for moderate users. A few things you should look for if you choose a free antivirus download for your PC is:

Whether or not it offers free updates
If it can stand alone
If it is compatible with other programs
If it is community based, protecting your contacts as well as yourself
Not all free programs are created equal, so make sure to do your research and ensure that the program you choose has all of the features you need and want in order to protect your PC in business.

If you decide to pay for antivirus programs, you can find a variety of suites available that offer you bonuses, such as more firewalls for protection, spam and phishing filters, just to name a few. Typically, when you purchase an entire suite, you get automatic updates for the following 12 months before you have to pay to update the program again. The benefit of the paid programs is that you have less to worry about when it comes to keeping your programs up to date and you get additional features, which could be important if you use your computer for more than simple web searching, shopping, and gaming.

Go Beyond the Basics

It can be very tempting to just stick with the antivirus programs that come with your computer, especially Windows Defender that comes with Windows 8 and 10, but studies show this is not the best choice. While these programs offer basic protection, they are not enough to block you from the biggest threats out there. In addition, because everyone and their brother has Windows 8 or 10, hackers have plenty of practice on how to get around Windows Defender, making it a very vulnerable product, putting your computer at risk. Any testing that has been done on this protection has come back weak – recommending that users add on to it with at the very least, a free antivirus download for your PC. This way you will have multiple avenues of protection that help you to guard yourself in the event that you have security issues in the future.

Ensure Compatibility

Not every antivirus program works on every computer, so this is a great way to narrow down your choices. For example, if you have a MAC, you have to look at programs geared specifically for that brand. If you have a Windows PC, you will have more options, but you should pay attention to what programs offer which features. If you have an older model, some of the newer programs will not work. Take the time to read all of the guidelines so that you can ensure the product will be a perfect fit for your computer and your protection needs.

Install Correctly

Every antivirus program downloads in a different way. Whether you are purchasing the product online and downloading right from the website or you go to the store and purchase a disc, you need to follow the instructions closely.

Choose your method of downloading, whether from the internet or a disc, and read the instructions
Read carefully about whether or not you need to uninstall the previous installed antivirus program before starting
Choose the default method for installation unless you are an expert and know custom shortcuts or changes you want to make
Enjoy your safe computer
Decide if Two Programs Are Necessary

Some people feel as if more protection is better, so they purchase or download multiple free virus programs. This might be a great way to ensure your utmost security, but it could also cause conflicts within your computer. If you decide that you want to have multiple methods of security, make sure the programs are compatible. A quick search online regarding the two programs will more than likely turn up reviews from other people that have tried to do the same. Read these stories to see if their venture was successful or if they had trouble and found that the programs did not protect their computers as they thought it would. If you are ever in doubt, it is best to ask an expert at the local computer software store to see what their thoughts are on mixing two programs.

Before you jump in and get a free antivirus download for your computer, make sure you know what to do ahead of time. Just installing a program is not a guarantee that you are 100 percent protected. You have to take the necessary steps to ensure compatibility of your computer as well as any other programs you have installed on it. Once you decide on the right program, it is important to follow the instructions carefully so that you have a proper installation to ensure for maximum security of your files and programs. Also, do not forget to continually update your programs. If the software allows for automatic updates, opt for that choice because it takes the guesswork out of when you need to update. When updates are always performed, your computer always has the latest security and is protected against the threats that change on a daily basis.

What steps do you take before you purchase antivirus software? Let us know what you go through in the comments below!

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