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10 reasons to use antivirus software

For many internet users, antivirus software may seem unnecessary. Careful internet browsing and adherence to cybersecurity best practices are paramount with regard to staying safe online, but cybercriminals are getting smarter and sophisticated hacks are becoming more difficult to detect. 

Antivirus software provides automated security services and additional peace of mind, allowing you to work and browse with the knowledge that you have a safety net in place should any criminal activity slip through the cracks.

Do not underestimate online danger. An abundance of caution is an asset when it comes to protecting your network from unauthorized access or crippling malware. 

Here are 10 reasons why you should use antivirus software to protect your network and business:

1. Increased browsing speed

Adware can accumulate on your computer and significantly slow down your web browsing. Antivirus software is able to locate and delete adware, allowing for a speedier and safer internet experience. 

2. Automatic virus scanning

No one likes to spend time doing maintenance instead of getting work done. Antivirus software can automatically scan your computer for malware and viruses without you having to lift a finger. You can set the time and frequency of scans, allowing you to run regular security checks after hours or during downtime. Automatic scanning saves you time and will alert you to any security issues that require your attention.

3. Family protection

Antivirus software plans often allow for customized parental controls. Not only will this prevent children from accessing harmful material while online, it will also keep them from clicking on potentially harmful links or downloads.

4. An end to pop ups

Pop up ads have been the bane of web surfers for decades. Disruptive and stubborn, pop ups with misleading messages, or those that are disguised as prompts from your operating system, are tried and true ways to get internet users to accidentally download viruses and malware.

5. Removable device scanning

Viruses, trojans and other forms of malware can be unwittingly transferred from one device to another via USB drives and other removable storage devices. Antivirus software can perform a scan of any attached device prior to downloading, ensuring that nothing harmful will hitch a ride onto your computer.

6. Antivirus protection is cheaper than network recovery

It can be less than ideal to add yet another monthly subscription to your budget. However, when weighed against the potential cost of lost business due to network disruption or data theft, the protection provided by antivirus software is a value that can’t be overstated.

7. Password protection

Malware can be used to pilfer all kinds of data from your computer or server. If a hacker is able to enter your operating system, they can gain access to any saved passwords across all of your accounts. From obtaining your financial information to stealing personal emails and streaming service accounts, the implications of allowing a virus to penetrate your security can result in a wide range of disruptions.

8. Access to support

Quality antivirus software will allow users access to professional support. Questions or concerns about your software, network security or scan results can be addressed by a knowledgeable tech. Some offer 24/7 service.

9. Email protection

Ransomware and phishing attacks have undergone a tremendous increase in frequency and effectiveness as the world has struggled with security vulnerabilities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Antivirus software can perform scans on incoming emails to locate and flag potentially harmful messages before you have a chance to fall for their scams.

10. Additional security features

Many antivirus software providers offer extra security features such as password managers, virtual private network (VPN) services, firewalls or file shredders. Utilizing these additional features can equip your home network or small business with multiple layers of robust cybersecurity.

More ways to stay safe online

Antivirus software is an invaluable tool when it comes to maintaining tight cybersecurity. However, protecting your data is a multifaceted endeavor. Use the following tips and best practices to help ensure that your business remains safe and secure:

Update your software

Unpatched software vulnerabilities are favored targets for cybercriminals. Be sure that your products are set up to update automatically and discontinue your usage of any legacy software that is no longer supported.

Invest in a cybersecurity audit

A cybersecurity audit conducted by a third party can shed light on weak spots in your security that you may be otherwise unaware of.

Update your hardware

Old hardware can be inexpensively replaced with newer, refurbished firewalls or network switches. Keeping ahead of the bad guys is a critical cybersecurity strategy. Select a reputable dealer and choose hardware that complies with or exceeds current security standards.

Teach cybersecurity basics

Some of the most notable hacks in recent history may have been preventable with awareness. Human error and a lack of familiarity with current phishing trends can lead to serious consequences. 

Use strong passwords

Password security is a critical pillar of your security on the web. Use password generators to create random, hard to guess credentials and change them frequently.

Sources

Derek Walborn
Derek Walborn is a freelance research-based technical writer. He has worked as a content QA analyst for AT&T and Pernod Ricard.

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