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Deciding on an Anti-Virus Program

Finding the best anti-virus software program can be a daunting task. There are many different reviews that expound on the virtues of particular programs but how do you know what is the best system for you? As a starting point, it is a good idea to evaluate your computer usage. Once you establish the risks you are most likely to be exposed to, you can then look at the different security suites and software programs to determine which one is best for you.

Evaluating Your Computer Usage

Some anti-virus programs are optimized for home users and others for corporate networks. Perhaps you have a laptop or notebook that you use at both work and home. Alternatively, perhaps you are just looking for protection for your home computer. There are many things to consider. How much time do you spend surfing the Internet? What sort of content do you surf for on the Web? Some types of websites, especially those with adult content, are notorious for infecting users' computers with viruses, malware and spyware so you need to be cautious when online. Do you download material from the Internet such as videos, e-books or informational brochures? Do you shop online? Or do you use the Internet mostly to send and receive emails? If you are an avid computer user who is online daily, you need to have comprehensive anti-virus and anti-spyware protection on your computer. Threats to your computer come in a wide variety of forms, and you never quite know when they will rear their nasty heads.

What Are the Different Types of Threats to Your Computer?

Viruses are often thought to be the biggest threat and many users think that as long as they have an anti-virus program installed on their machine their computer is secure. However, a threat that has become more prevalent is recent years is that of spyware. Spyware is a program that inserts itself into your operating system and then watches what you do. It may have key loggers that track the data you type into your system. The reason these programs are so dangerous is that they can quite literally steal your identity. The spyware programs can sometimes gain access to your internet banking, email accounts and any other programs you use. Without you even being aware of it, they can be reading information off your computer. In an age where intellectual property is very valuable, this is a serious risk. Some of these programs also have malware and Trojans that can cause your system to malfunction, slow down and even crash. If you do not have back-ups, you could lose a large amount of valuable data.

It is also important that the anti-virus program you choose is easy to use. If you find the alerts annoying or difficult to understand, chances are you’ll be tempted to turn off the software, leaving you unprotected.

What Are Some of the Top Anti-Virus Software Programs Available?

Companies such as Norton and McAfee have been in the internet security game for a long time. They offer a number of different anti-virus products that handle the detection and elimination of viruses, malware, spyware, Trojans, worms and other harmful programs. Industry reviews still rate them as two of the leading products in terms of virus detection and elimination. However, in terms of long-term use, they do have some drawbacks. Specifically with the comprehensive security suites, the anti-virus platform is quite bulky and can affect the performance of your computer over time. Also once subscribed, they have an automatic annual renewal that is notoriously difficult to unsubscribe from. This is a great feature if you simply want to continue your subscription but if you want to change to another program, it can be a headache.

PC Tools is a software company that has an impressive array of anti-virus and security products. What is nice about their products is that they have a very user-friendly interface and are one of the more affordable security products. You can purchase an anti-virus and spyware suite or select the individual components you need to supplement your existing security software. PC Tools Registry Mechanic program is one of the top-ranked security products and comes as a convenient add-on that is easy to download via the Internet. The Avira Premium Security suite received top results in terms of virus detection and elimination in recent industry reviews. BitDefender, Panda and Trend Micro are all well-established security software companies that continue to have products that rank well in terms of industry and customer reviews.

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