The phrase “antivirus software” has become a bit of a misnomer. That’s because the programs do much more than protect against computer viruses. For example, while there is not much money to be made by spreading viruses, malware can be much more lucrative. With the evolving definition of “antivirus” in mind, here is a look at some of the software’s newest features. Whether you run a web hosting business or perform relatively light computer use at home, you stand to benefit.
Antivirus software offers even more protection than ever, and in more layers. Even free versions tend to provide anti-spyware protection, email protection and more, along with standard antivirus protection. For best results, however, paid versions usually top free versions. With AVG Pro, for example, you enjoy password encryption. You also enjoy enhanced control over your internet security, meaning more protection against malicious downloads and hackers focused on your bank accounts. Supposing a hacker does manage to get in, the password encryption makes it that much harder for the hacker to break into important files.
Expanded Definition of “Security”
Quite a few antivirus software providers have begun to offer additional features, such as secure browsing for banking transactions, virtual keyboards to throw off key loggers and browser history deletion. Security has gone way past antivirus and malware protection.
With all of these new features, which new (and old) features are absolutely necessary? Here is what you should look for in your software. Of course, always make sure any antivirus software you purchase is compatible with your computer.
- Malware and spyware protection: This is non-negotiable. Your antivirus software should be capable of scanning and removing even the newest programs.
- Auto updates: This is also non-negotiable. Your software should have the capability to download updates automatically.
- Download safeguards: While this is very nice to have now, it could become non-negotiable soon. This protects you while you surf, sniffing out websites that have malware code and removing malicious code from your downloads.
- Email safeguards: Same as above, only with email.
- Virtual keyboards: It’s nice to have, especially if you do a lot of surfing. These keyboards are usually on-screen input methods designed to foil key loggers who track keystrokes on your physical keyboard. They are not entirely safe, as hackers can take screenshots to record what is on your screen. For people with some physical disabilities, this feature is really helpful.
- Mobile applications: Your mobile devices need protection too, and some antivirus programs provide that.
It is important to buy a reputable software package. Beware that some free antivirus packages are actually ways to track your movements for resale to adware developers and marketers. If you are trying to decide between two providers, you typically should just choose the one that offers more protection.