These days, it’s not a luxury to install anti-virus software in your computer it’s a necessity. Viruses come in all forms and threaten the security and functionality of your computer. Although software manufacturers continuously produce anti-virus programs that are designed to fight threats, not every program out there is perfect for your computer. Use these 10 tips to help you decide on which anti-virus software to buy:
1. The software has to be compatible with the operating system you’re using.
No matter how good an anti-virus software is, it will be useless if it won’t work with your operating system. Check the software for system requirements and specifications before buying and make sure it is compatible with your computer.
With newer systems, this is probably not a problem but if you’re using an older OS such as Windows 98, you will need anti-virus software that will be handled easily by your computer.
2. It has to offer automatic protection for background operations.
An excellent feature to look for when buying an anti-virus software is background protection. This means that even without manual intervention, the program is capable of scanning your computer for viruses and neutralizing them as soon as they emerge. With a program like this, you will be protected all the way.
3. It should be capable of disaster recovery.
Just in case a virus attack leaves your system in rather bad shape, the disaster recovery feature of an anti-virus software should be able to normalize your system. That way, your computer will still be operable and useful.
4. It must offer automatic updates.
New viruses and threats appear regularly, so it’s important for your anti-virus software to be up-to-date. Before buying an anti-virus software, determine if the manufacturer offers automatic updates for their product. That way, you won’t forget to download the newest security features. You should also find out if updating your program is easy and if it’s free, at least for a reasonable period of time.
5. The anti-virus software is certified.
In order to be labeled as effective and reliable, the anti-virus software should be tested and pass the standards set by certain certification laboratories. These include ICSA (International Computer Security Association), The West Coast Checkmark and the Virus Bulletin 100% Awards. Buy the anti-virus software that has passed at least one of these certifying groups.
7. It has to have firewall protection.
A firewall helps protect your system from threats actively, especially when you’re working online. A firewall is usually a separate program and in fact, even if the anti-virus software doesn’t offer it, you can still opt to obtain it from another software vendor. However, this is a feature that is a good must-have. Since your anti-virus software and its firewall protection feature comes from the same manufacturer, you can be assured that the two programs will be compatible with each other.
8. The software must be configured to check your computer automatically.
Other than being effective in detecting and cleaning your system of viruses, the software should be able to offer automatic checkups. No matter how vigilant you are, there is always a danger that you’ll miss an important checkup schedule. So if the anti-virus software is capable of being configured for automatic checkups, it will help you ensure that your system is healthy and protected.
9. The anti-virus software must be easy to use, configure and install.
In order for an anti-virus software to be effective, it has to be easy to understand and use. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to manage it and will probably not be able to maximize it in order to fully protect your computer. Choose the software that is easy to install, one that allows you to easily scan your system for any infected files, with features that are easy to understand and access.
10. The anti-virus software must come with excellent technical support.
Before buying an anti-virus software, find out if the product comes with technical support. Technical support is more than just an FAQ section on your software… it should also include e-mail support, a dedicated customer service number and strong knowledge base, among others. You might also want to check the software if it comes with its own help document. Do not buy anti-virus software from a vendor who will leave you out in the cold once they have your cash.