Security Essentials: How to Pick An Antivirus

Perhaps it isn’t easy to imagine a home PC without antivirus installed. Many people can start by installing hacked versions of paid products, but then they run into performance problems, receiving updates, and other shortcomings of unlicensed programs, which ultimately lead to a computer infection. You may still wonder, “Is Norton 360 worth the money?” or “How do I know what to pay attention to?” Here, we will see what features antiviruses commonly have, so you can choose what suits your needs for PC or for macintosh security.


Vital Antivirus Features

Before all, there are basic functions that define the security of the device. They impact the protection capabilities and prevent the intrusion of viruses.

  • Firewall. Its function is to close unused ports and control connections to them, monitor the network activity of programs on the computer, and block unauthorized connections. This is a necessary antivirus module, but if you use Windows, it is built-in, so you don’t need an extra one.

  • Spyware protection is there to secure your gear from one of the popular types of viruses, the ones that can steal your payment information or gain access to passwords and logins.

  • Exploit protection. This feature helps with viruses that allow hackers to access your computer for remote control and execute commands that may jeopardize your personal data and money.

  • Ransomware protection. It is a popular type of virus that blocks you from accessing a computer or specific programs (such as your browser) and requires a ransom to be paid to unblock it.

  • Anti-phishing. Phishing is when attackers use fake sites to steal your payment data.

  • Script attack protection is protection against malicious code embedded in web pages that your browser may load.

Extra Features You May Want

If the features we discussed previously are integral for your device’s and data security, extra features are there to make your user experience even better. They aren’t usually included in standard antivirus plans, and you will have to pay extra if you need them. Nonetheless, they are still to do with security; only the stakes are lower there.

Game mode. This feature lowers the antivirus activity, postpones all regular tasks, and decreases the level of control of network connections to simplify the network game. Also, sometimes it blocks push notifications not to distract you.

Device control. This is an additional function to restrict the use of third-party devices, create rules for their connection, differentiate access levels, and protect against unauthorized access. For example, this feature makes sure none of the unauthorized apps can access your webcam or microphone.

Home network protection. It looks like a set of software tools for scanning a network, checking it for vulnerabilities, as well as monitoring the security of your home router.

Antispam. It is a set of filters to protect your device or account from advertising spam mail. It’s actually not much of a relevant function, since many use public email services that already know how to fight spam effectively.

Browser protection. It works as additional security modules in the browser to secure you from malicious scripts and vulnerabilities.

Anti-theft. It is an individual module for a laptop that allows you to find the physical location of the device, as well as try to contact the person using the laptop.

Parental control. This antivirus extension is a unique set of functions for controlling, limiting, and configuring a computer that your children use. You can add restrictions on screen time, specific resources, and programs.

Safe banking. It is an extra feature for making secure payments. For example, there is a sandboxed browser environment for data entry, website checking for phishing, and malicious scripts.

Backup. It is rarely found in antivirus software since this is not their direct function. Backup allows you to back up data to your spare disk or to cloud storage.

Password Manager. This is a separate module that encrypts and protects your passwords. To work with the program, as a rule, you need to remember only one password, and that’s it.

Now that you know which feature is responsible for particular aspects of your device security, you can make the right decision regarding the protection of your own gear. If you don’t need the fancy extra features, go for the basic plan of a reliable vendor. However, using pirated versions of antiviruses will still keep your device vulnerable, which is why it is best to approach it responsibly.