Computer security has always been a confusing topic to understand. For people that are new to computers it starts with understanding what a virus is. Probably because they named it a virus. People tend to associate to what we biologically know as a virus. “Do we pass it to our computers?” Something that is harmful. But computer viruses weren’t deemed viruses because they were only harmful but also because they could replicate.
Past the “understanding the concept” phase, one that gets interested in the topic is faced with the question: how secure is enough? How safe am I? That question probably does not have an answer, but it certainly doesn’t stop on antivirus software. It goes beyond that, with data privacy, making sure your purchases are safe, and making sure your online habits are acceptable, etc… There are many ways not to be safe with computers, and the best thing would be to just unplug and not use these evil machines. But who can do that these days?
To make it worse, when it comes to protecting your home computer, traditionally the main device where we will store our information – now we also have cell phones for that! – there are way too many choices of brands, types and systems to choose from. You can have antivirus, internet security, all around security, pure security, total security, antivirus plus, firewall protection, and all kinds of different features, making it hard to take a decision. And to make it all worse, none of these brands can guarantee that your are 100% safe all the time since new virus and threats appear every day!
Now, past the initial alarm and frustration, you do need at least one of these. Make sure you have at least antivirus on your computer and it doesn’t have to be a tough choice. Use these two simple methods to choose.
– If you don’t mind about free
If you prefer to use something that is free, and not spend any money, you might want to do that to test out something first before buying, or maybe your internet and computer knowledge is good enough that you know what you click and the files you receive. For that, there is always the “Av” sacred trinity of the best free antivirus: Avast, Avira and AVG. They do a good job in free antivirus.
– If you prefer to pay for something
If the fact of paying gives you the peace of mind that your important files will be protected and that you will have someone to call if shit happens, go with the Internet Security suites. Here, just take a look at the most important testing organizations, like: Passmark, and Av-Test. Stay away from brand sponsored tests. As you can see from the pictures below Kaspersky and BitDefender are constantly doing well. You might want to pay attention to that as well. How long have these brands been performing well.
A lot of old timer antivirus brands have not been doing good in all the security tests lately. Probably because they are too busy revamping their business models and “going away from AV” as Symantec and AVG have recently claimed. And the other hundred antivirus brands worldwide either cater to specific market, try to gain users by using not so understandable tactics, like making it hard to uninstall, etc… and others are not trying to hard by focusing on what’s most important, detection and removal. They lack on performance in general.
But Symantec has done something right lately. Just this year, they simplified Norton, their consumer security offering to just two options. No more Norton antivirus, Norton Internet Security, Norton Internet Security with antimalware, etc… now it’s just Norton Security and Norton Security with Backup.
In the end, it all comes down to it, protecting and keeping a security copy in case you need to restore your files back. I bet you, all other antivirus companies are going to follow this new trend. They know there are way too many choices out there, and now not only Windows is the most popular operational system, but also iOs, Android, and Macs.
Security is all about simplifying, and that is enough. And it shouldn’t matter if it’s antivirus, internet security or antimalware, what matters is if it’s protects from vírus and other threats or not.