How to Choose the Best Antivirus

Security Resources > How to Choose the Best Antivirus

If you’ve ever had to deal with an infected computer, you know how frustrating it can be. You may be tempted to go with a cheap option of antivirus to keep yourself protected. But, you may end up with a false sense of security. To select the best antivirus software, you need to check that the software is up to the task.

Five Steps to Choose the Right Software for You

Protecting a personal computer can be one of the most important things an active computer user can do. There are many ways a computer can become infected and many types of malicious software present on the Internet. For this reason, many people are hesitant to surf the Web. They worry that malware can destroy their computer performance. They may also worry that any personal information they keep on their machines could be stolen and used by unscrupulous cybercriminals. Fortunately, the industry has designed antivirus software to prevent these things from happening. By carefully choosing a good protection package, users can use the Internet feeling confident that their computer and personal information are safe.

Here are five steps to making the right choice:

Step 1: Match the antivirus software to the operating system

In general, malicious software attacks the operating system or one of its components. The various operating systems available - including Linus, Windows, and Macintosh – each work very differently, as do the associated malware. For this reason, the best Windows antivirus would not be the best antivirus for Mac. Make sure to choose antivirus protection for the proper operating system.

Step 2: Assess Your Computer Use

Some areas of the Internet are more dangerous than others. If you limit your use to well-known online stores, auction sites, or encyclopedias, your chances of infecting your computer are relatively low. On the other hand, if you frequent sites that offer free software you are in much more danger. Sites that offer music lyrics, story sharing, free games, or other sites that naturally attract youth, are particularly unsafe. In addition, if you use email frequently, then you will want to consider a serious protection package. Be sure to choose a higher level of software protection to match the environment where you surf.

Also, if you are a gamer and need your computer’s full resources, you will be particular sensitive to protecting against any malware that would hurt your performance. Finally, if you store sensitive information on your computer, then you will want to make sure that your Internet portal is secure.

Step 3: Find Credentials

Now that you have begun to narrow your search, check certification and testing agencies for ratings. Any antivirus protection worth your time to consider should appear in at least one of the following:

Step 4: Detection Is Everything

The overriding parameter for your antirust protection choice should be the level of detection. Rate your choices according to their detection level and proactive protection scores. One of the best places to find these scores is independent third party rating sites who bring most of the major protection packages through a set of intense testing routines.

Step 5: Evaluate the Software

Although it may take a while, a good strategy is to take your final short list, download free trials, and test each for a month or so. Watch carefully that the two main parts of a scanning program – the hard drive scan and the real-time scan – are working smoothly on your computer.

Want to skip the hassle? Here are our top picks for 2019 in the following categories: