What is antivirus software anyway?
Antivirus software is just what the name says.
There’s nothing too tricky about it.
You’ll find it either installed on your computer when you buy it or you’ll pick it up separately either by downloading it from the internet or picking up one of many popular antivirus software packages at your local computer store.
The goal of antivirus software is to protect your computer from certain types of threats.
When unwanted software, things like Trojans and worms, makes its way onto your computer, as it so often does, the anti-virus software should get rid of them, hopefully before any harm is done.
Do I really need to use it?
The answer is almost always yes.
When the answer isn’t a firm yes it’s a very loud probably. Viruses can get to your computer via the internet and you won’t even know it’s happening. They can also get to your computer through the sharing of media like USB keys and burned CDs.
A virus can end up being a real nuisance but it can also go so far as to erase valuable data or even steal information from you.
If you aren’t worried about your own computer’s safety, keep in mind that any virus that hits your computer can easily find its way to your friends’ computers and the rest of the world’s.
Does antivirus software protect my computer from all threats?
There are more threats lurking than just viruses. Spyware and other forms of malware don’t always arrive in the form of a virus. A basic antivirus program won’t protect against all of those things.
To make sure you are protected against all possible threats it’s necessary to get software that specifically states it will protect your computer from all those other things, like spyware, adware and any other malware.
Is antivirus software always accurate?
Sadly it isn’t.
There are a lot of reasons for this but the big one is that viruses usually need to be created before they can be protected against, and therefore antivirus programs are always one step behind. Even then, different studies on the issue show that almost every popular antivirus software on the market manages to detect less than half the known viruses in the world.
When I have antivirus software can I take down my firewall?
First of all, good antivirus software will likely come with a firewall of its own, but either way a firewall is still important. It’s one other layer of protection to help keep those viruses at bay before the antivirus software even gets a chance to pick them out.
If the viruses keep changing, how does the software keep up?
Every day people are researching viruses and finding ways to detect them. The makers of any antivirus software do this as well, actually it is all they do.
Normally when you buy the software it will come with at least a year-long subscription, and then every year you have to pay to re-subscribe. That subscription entitles you to regular updates to the software, and those usually install by themselves whenever you are online. Software such as Bullguard Antivirus allow you to run 3 PC’s from the one license making it good value.