According to a recent report from Microsoft, a vast majority of PC users today use antivirus protection. Approximately 75% of users have one, but even though antiviruses are given so much attention, and aside from working successfully to stop threats to your PC, they still have several issues.
Antivirus is not Firewall
Firewall is a system that specifically allows the flow of data in and out of your PC. It basically works as a wall. A wall that blocks everything you tell it to block. Antiviruses don’t work this way. According to a study conducted by AV Comparatives, 37% of PC users around the globe have free antivirus protection. Free antiviruses usually don’t include a firewall, so your PC is more exposed if you’re using an antivirus that is free. This is understandable, people wouldn’t have to pay for the full version if they get everything in the free one. A firewall stops hackers from vandalizing and stealing your data, so if your PC already doesn’t have one, you should get it.
You’re not Immune to Viruses
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you are fully protected from everything if you have the newest antivirus program. Don’t be pulled into this false sense of security. Although you have an increased line of defense on your computer, you’re not protected from everything you click on.
With every new version of an antivirus there is a more powerful version of a virus. God knows where that version is hiding, so avoid clicking any unfamiliar mails you get or links you don’t trust. Viruses come in all shapes and sizes, and it only takes one to squeeze through to your computer. For instance there is a virus that masks itself as an antivirus. It cuts off your internet and data access claiming it’s an antivirus that is trying to protect you.
Even though antivirus protection has its flaws, it definitely helps. According to a Security Intelligence Report (SIR vol 14), PC users without antivirus protection are five times more likely to be attacked by a virus or a malware than the users who have protected PCs.
Update, Update, Update
Antiviruses usually update themselves automatically, however when you get a new PC or if your antivirus somehow expires without you noticing, you’d be pretty vulnerable and open to attack. Computers usually come with a pre-installed virus security software which usually expires after 90 days. Most programs of this kind will give you a heads up, and try to notify you that you need to update them. If you ignore the message however, they might automatically turn notifications off to stop bothering you and you’ll be left without any protection.
If you want to go the Extra Mile
You might want to look into some more protection software. Some programs, like CCleaner not only scan your entire computer from head to toe about potential threats, but they also clean up unnecessary data, which makes your computer run even smoother. Don’t worry, it’s not important data you have, just back up files computers create for faster management of data. Once you’re done with whatever you were doing, this data remains stored and clutters up computer memory, slowing the computer down. These programs remove that clutter and organize the files better for the PC to function more properly. They do however require some time, sometimes over an hour to finish their work but it pays off to do it every couple of days, or even once a month.
Pick an Antivirus, and Stick to It
Having two or more antiviruses is a recipe for disaster. Antiviruses usually conflict each other. One sees the other as a potential threat and they both try to fight each other. If you have two or more antiviruses, you should uninstall a few and keep only one.
In conclusion, get an antivirus and manage it. Only you know how much your data is valuable to you, and isn’t that worth protecting?