Last week we covered Viruses; how they can be caught, how they can harm your computer, and how you can avoid them. While there are tips and tricks to avoiding a virus a good anti-virus is going to be your best defense. In this week’s blog post I’m going to give a (very) brief overview of some of the most well-known anti-virus software. I do want to emphasize the importance of research. Only you know what you use your computer for. Don’t be afraid to consult with an IT professional and ask questions, and of course our inbox is always open.
I’m going to start with paid antiviruses; Norton, Kaspersky, and Sophos. Something I love about Norton Antivirus is the fact that not only do they offer licenses for multiple computers with one purchase but they offer it for almost all their products. This can be good for a small office or a multi computer household. Norton is also a bit cheaper than other options without sacrificing protection.
Kaspersky is another option. It usually runs a little more expensive than Norton but one aspect of Kaspersky that’s popular is the virtual keyboard. A virtual keyboard is one that shows on your screen and used with your trackpad or mouse. This is a neat security feature that can be especially useful if you’re concerned about password security or key loggers. The one slight downside of Kaspersky would be that it can slow down your computer’s full boot up time.
The last paid option I’m going to talk about is Sophos. This is a program that often works in conjunction with IT support. What that means is that when you purchase Sophos at a retailer you are also paying for support to go with it other than the usual hotline or web support that most anti-viruses come with. Any time you have a problem you can walk into the store you purchased it at and get help from any of their technicians. This works great for people that need a little extra help or even for computers that are vital to their users everyday life. You’re going to pay a bit more but that human support definitely makes it worth it.
Now that we’ve covered some of the paid options I’m going to talk about some of the free options. I do recommend having someone computer savvy install these; simply because there are some malicious sites out there that can infect your computer under the guise of providing these programs. The two main free anti-viruses are Avast and AVG. I’ve used both of them for years and had a good experience with both. Avast did need an email registered to it to function but I never received a single spam message from them. And in the 3+ years I used AVG my computer didn’t get infected once. These are great options for if you’re already fairly computer savvy but recognize the need for protection.
Whichever antivirus you choose to get try and run scans every few weeks. There’s usually an option for it on the main dashboard of the program. With a good antivirus there’s very little upkeep other than an occasional scan. When you go to get antivirus software don’t forget to really think about what you use your computer for and what your main concerns are. Getting a good program is the first step in making sure your computer and information stay secure and virus free.