Anxiety from all these digital threats lurking everywhere? An antivirus program can help put your mind at ease.
What can a virus do to your device?
A virus is malicious software that can affect pretty much any device and does so in a variety of ways. Be it your computer, your phone or your smart lightbulb - as long as there’s access to the internet, malware can get to it.
How exactly does this kind of attack manifest itself? Well, there’s a wide variety of effects ranging from mild to severe. Among other things, they depend on which type of malware attacks your device - a virus, spyware, ransomware, adware or something else.
These are some of the things you can expect to happen:
- Slow performance
- System crashes
- Theft of data and sensitive information
- Connectivity issues
- Constant browser redirects
- Strange messages sent to your contacts
- Interference with files
It really can be the stuff of nightmares. So, if you want to sleep peacefully knowing that your devices are completely safe, you should definitely consider getting an antivirus.
P.S. don’t let its name fool you - an antivirus does indeed protect your devices against more than just viruses.
What is antivirus software exactly?
Antivirus software is designed to help you battle and ward off malware. Basically, it scans your device to detect any suspicious activity and offers tools to get rid of the culprit.
At first, antiviruses were developed to fight against viruses only, but nowadays they cover a lot more ground. Here are some of the biggest benefits of getting yourself a powerful defender.
Advantages of antivirus software
1. It fights those pesky ads
Look, constant ads that pop up everywhere aren’t the absolute worst thing that can happen on your computer. If anything, they are annoying, like when you’re trying to sleep but that one fly in your room just won’t stop buzzing.
Now, there’s a free, well-established solution for that - installing an ad blocker. And we’re about a hundred and ten percent sure you’ve already done that on each and every browser you use.
However, “if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” isn’t the most ideal approach for your online safety. Ad blockers can’t block everything and they won’t protect you from potential adware. An antivirus on the other hand offers that layer of protection against malware snuck into pop-ups and spammy websites.
2. It protects you from hackers
Hackers don’t target government institutions only. They’ll target regular people too if they have something to gain.
There are different types of hacking, such as phishing e-mails, transmission of malicious programs, credential reuse, denial of service and more. In any case, they take control of your device and hijack your data.
The good thing is that, as threats evolve, antiviruses evolve too and there are tons of quality programs on the market that can keep you secure for an affordable price.
3. It keeps your files and data safe
When malware enters your device, it can target pretty much any file and get access to any and all data.
Installing an antivirus program will make sure that every single file, new or old, is monitored at all times, warning you against threats immediately. That way, you can make sure to react before your other files become infected and data is lost or stolen.
Another great thing for data protection is that the best antivirus software normally comes with a password manager, so no one can use malware to steal your passwords.
4. It blocks all kinds of malware
As we already stated, malicious attacks can be performed in many ways and malware comes in in different shapes an sizes, such as:
- Trojan horse
- RAT (remote access Trojan)
Nowadays, antivirus software is designed to fight against all of these types. That’s why more often than not we hear the term 'antivirus' used interchangeably with 'anti-malware,' like in this article.
5. It keeps your children protected
You can’t keep your eyes on your kid every second of the day and you can’t protect them from everything. But at least you can limit their exposure to the threats they can encounter at every corner of the digital world.
An antivirus program will block harmful or suspicious websites and ads, which is great both for you and your children. To take it a step further, though, many such programs come with special parental controls and offer monitoring as well. It’s a great solution for keeping your kids safe online without sounding like the irritating, overbearing, controlling parent who “just doesn’t get it!”
How to pick one
There are definitely lots of different antivirus programs out there, both free and paid. We recommend you look for a paid option, since free ones are unfortunately a lot more susceptible to being compromised through malicious attacks.
Now, there are a few factors to consider when choosing the right software. If you use your PC for basic things then a basic antivirus will suffice. However, the more complex your use and the more sensitive the data you deal with, the stronger it needs to be.
It’s also crucial that you take into account the features it includes. As we already mentioned, some programs have additional security options. For example, depending on the package you select, Bitdefender provides:
- Webcam and mic monitoring
- Parental control
- Password management
- Identity theft protection
Some are included in plans and some are separate products, so make sure to check out all the offers.
And don’t worry if you have multiple PCs or you’re looking for protection for your smartphone or tablet as well; Bitdefender has suitable solutions for your needs. Of course, you can also just pick their classic antivirus software if you’re not in need of advanced protection.
Another important point is how regularly the software is updated and enhanced. The more frequent the updates the better, as bugs can make the program more vulnerable. Other things we advise you consider are user-friendliness, impact on performance, reputation (user reviews especially) and, of course, price.
The bottom line
Fact is: anyone can be a malware victim. Don’t let it be you.
You can’t put a price on peace and security, so don’t be reluctant to pay for yours - especially since a lot of options out there are extremely affordable. Is $159.00 a year really too much to pay for cross-platform protection for up to 10 devices? We don’t think so.
Explore your options and protect your files and data before it’s too late.