Most people don’t understand how dangerous the internet can be. They don’t take having a quality antivirus software package that is properly updated and maintained seriously. Most people just don’t know any better. Most of them buy a new computer, plug it in and turn it on. They start using the computer and never give […]
Most people don’t understand how dangerous the internet can be. They don’t take having a quality antivirus software package that is properly updated and maintained seriously. Most people just don’t know any better. Most of them buy a new computer, plug it in and turn it on. They start using the computer and never give their antivirus software a second look. Before they know it their computer is running painfully slow and acting funny. I’ve noticed most computer problems I see are somehow connected to virus and spyware activity.
In this guide I’ll try to explain why you need a good antivirus software package. I’ll also talk about which brands are good and which brands to stay away from. The best antivirus software package is no good if it is not properly maintained and updated. I’ll also give you some guidelines on keeping your antivirus software running smooth.
When reading this guide please keep in mind that these are my opinions that were made from my experience with computers. Other people might have different opinions than I do.
If you’re going to connect your computer to the internet you need antivirus software. It would also be a very good idea to have antivirus software if you won’t be on the internet much too. Most people don’t realize that there are brilliant people out there writing viruses that will steal your identity, crash your computer, spy on you, steal financial information, and much more. You might ask “Why would they do this?” Money. They somehow get paid big bucks to do such a thing. Many of them also do it simply for bragging rights.
These viruses can be very dangerous. Let me give you a few examples of what I’ve seen with my experience with viruses. When I was new with computers I had a virus on my computer that would dial 800 numbers at crazy hours of the night to run up my phone bill. I’ve seen viruses where people actually could see what you see on your computer on their screen. They could move your mouse and type on your computer just like they were sitting in your chair. I’ve seen where they use file swapping software to get financial data from your computer. I’ve had to fix computers where a virus deleted every picture on the computer and set it to not save files any more. The worse was when I caught a virus myself that erased my entire hard drive!
Now that you get a little bit of an idea of what these viruses are capable of doing, lets get you some good protection.
What makes a great antivirus software package? First of all it has to be able to quickly and accurately catch most viruses that find their way on your computer and get rid of them. Some antivirus software packages are better at doing this than others. Fighting viruses is a very complicated task. A great antivirus software package also has to be easy to use and understand and handles the complicated things on its own. A great antivirus software package will not bother you all the time with useless alerts and messages. Antivirus software is what I call “heavy” software. It takes a lot of memory and computing power to run. There is no way around this at this time. I’ve noticed some antivirus software will use more computing power than others with no gain in performance. Great antivirus software will go easy on your computer’s processing power and memory and still protect it from viruses.
I try hard not to point out name brands on this site. But I have to on this topic. There is no way around it. I’ve worked with a few antivirus software packages. Some of them were OK, some were great, and others were a virus in themselves. Below are a few that I recommend.
PC Cillin: This software package is my pick as the best of the best. PC Cillin is made by Trend Micro who is the best of the best in corporate antivirus software. This antivirus software is everything that I think an antivirus software package should be. It quietly and very accurately protects your computer from viruses with little to no user intervention.
Norton Antivirus: These guys were my pick before Trend Micro’s PC Cillin. It does a great job at protecting your computer. I does bother you a little with useless alerts. It’s pretty good at protecting your computer from viruses. I have noticed it’s a little weak when removing viruses. Using this antivirus software is very easy.
Panda Antivirus: I’ve not used but heard a lot of good things from the IT community about these guys.
Microsoft also recommends these antivirus software packages that I’ve not used:
Below are a few antivirus software packages I would stay away from if at all possible.
Kaspersky (trash and VERY heavy)
McAfee (trash, confusing, terrible protection)
Any antivirus advertisements that just pop up out of no where telling you your computer has errors and you need to download their software to fix them. (that is a virus)
There might be other good antivirus software out there that is not listed on this page that I don’t know about. To be safe I would only purchase antivirus software listed here if you’re not sure.
You might also need to know that all good antivirus software cost exactly the same. That makes cost not a deciding factor when purchasing antivirus software. With that in mind picking the right antivirus software shouldn’t be that hard. Get the best.
Once you purchase your antivirus software it needs to be properly maintained. The best antivirus in the world is no good if it’s not kept up to date. Antivirus software finds viruses by a special signature they leave. The antivirus software has to be updated on a regular basis by the antivirus company so that it knows what to look for. A virus can easily get by the antivirus software if the antivirus software doesn’t know what to look for. Pay close attention to your antivirus software’s updates. It should update at least every couple of days to stay up to date.
Make sure your antivirus software is properly scanning and removing viruses if it finds them. I see many computers that are scheduled to run at 2 a.m. once a week. They never get scanned because the computer is always turned off at that time. You need to pay attention to things like that.
If you need more help with this subject Microsoft has a great security section of their website. Click here to check it out.
Still need help? Ask your computer question now.