Burton Kelso, Tech Expert
Do I Need to Buy Antivirus Software For My Computers, Smartphones, and Tablets?
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
One of the most common questions I get from people is 'what is the best anti-virus protection to have for computers and smart devices'. There is a ton of anti-virus tools such as McAfee, Norton, or Kaspersky, Avira, Avast, and AVG that offer features such as malware removal, spam blocking, and identity protection. Well, you will be shocked when I tell you the best anti-virus protection is nothing. Why? Windows and Macintosh computers already have it built-in and if you educate yourself, you don't need it for your smartphones or tablets. Read on to see how you can save your money and learn how to keep your devices safe without spending hundreds on protection software.
99% of cybersecurity threats require user interaction which means as long as you aren't falling victim to those phishing emails, texts, and phone calls, your devices, and your data and your devices will stay safe. In recent years, cybercriminals have turned to social engineering as a way of getting your personal information. They are also focused more on collecting your information that has already been leaked to the dark web. These methods of gathering information are much easier and profitable than the work that it takes for hackers to maneuver past personal and business firewalls.
Cybercriminals have evolved from kids hanging out in the basement to see what computers they can infiltrate to plant a pesky virus to large criminal organizations whose main goal is to steal your information to make a profit. Also, the term anti-virus is almost dated as it goes back to a time 20 years ago when worms, trojan horses were running rampant on the Internet.
Protection for your Windows Computer. If you have a computer running Windows 7, 8, and 10. You already have an anti-virus program installed called Windows Defender. It offers solid protection for your Windows devices. It works in the background automatically updating itself only alerting you when there is a problem. If you're using a third party anti-virus solution, especially a free one, you'll be constantly bombarded with updates asking if you want more protection. Also, you have to deal with an endless supply of software installed on your computer and web browser that could potentially slow your computer down.
Protection for your Macintosh Computer. Macintosh computers have a program called Xprotect or File Quarantine which works in the background protecting your Mac from a variety of threats. Unlike Windows Defender, it only works when you are using a function on your Mac that brings a new file onto the computer, such as checking email, downloading files in Safari, even checking iChat and messenger. It works in this manner to save those precious computer resources that can slow down a computer when you have programs like Anti-Virus running in the background.
Protection for your Android and Apple Devices. There are threats out there that can infect smartphones and tablets, but for the most part, as long as you download apps for these devices from the Apple App Store or the Google Play store, you can keep your gadgets from getting infected.
Good cybersecurity habits are what will keep you safe. There is almost an unlimited number of virus threats on the web and although anti-virus companies attempt to keep up with them, they can never really keep up which is why you should get cyber smart. Along with Anti-virus protection, you need to make sure you're using secure passwords, two-factor authentication for your online accounts, automatic backups of your devices, and data encryption. You also need to be careful of what programs download to your computers, smartphones, and tablets, as well as avoiding opening email attachments unless you are expecting them.
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