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What Do You Need in an Antivirus Program?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated April 3, 2023

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We use our computers more and more every day, and it doesn't look like we'll stop using them in the future. So while security and internet protection might not be the most exciting things, the reality is that they're needed more nowadays than ever. In our guide, we're going to break down the reasons why you should get a good antivirus program, why you need an antivirus program, the types of protection that are needed for you to stay safe while online, as well as features to look for in a security program. By the end of our article, you will have a great starting point as to the things to look for in an antivirus program to keep you safe.

Types of Protection

For an antivirus program to be effective, it must provide a full range of protective features that go beyond simply ‘scanning for viruses'. You might think an antivirus program is the same as the next, but the truth is that there are huge variables between the types of malicious programs they protect against, so we will go through the different options and explain what each type of protection means. We know that computer protection isn't the most straightforward when it comes to the types of malicious programs out there, so we'll break it down in the easiest way possible.

Malware protection is essential as malicious software continues to evolve. This type of defense stops new and unknown threats from infiltrating devices before they have time to cause damage. A good antivirus program should also block suspicious websites or downloads that may contain dangerous code.

Phishing Protection helps safeguard users from deceptive emails containing links or attachments that could lead to online fraud or identity theft. It does this by automatically scanning incoming messages for tell-tale signs of malicious intent, such as incorrect spelling or false URLs masquerading as legitimate sites.

Ransomware protection defends against extortion attempts where hackers encrypt data until payment is made in order to unlock it again. An antivirus solution should be able to detect any encryption activity on the system and take immediate action to stop it before any harm is done.

Spyware Protection keeps trackers at bay so your personal information isn’t shared without permission among other applications or unauthorized parties who might use it for their own gain. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is by only downloading apps from trusted sources and regularly checking what permissions those apps are requesting access to.

Virus protection remains one of the most important elements of a robust security suite; however, traditional methods like signature scanning alone can allow newer infections to still get into your system. This older scanning style can let programs in like rootkits, which hide deep within operating systems, making them difficult to find even during manual scans. That’s why advanced real-time scanning technologies are needed to identify possible infections while they’re still dormant and eliminate them before they become active.

In short, protecting yourself from the full scope of potential cyberattacks requires a wide and thorough, set of tools designed specifically for each threat category—and powerful enough to keep up with their ever-changing tactics; as stopping an infection is much easier than fixing an infected system.

Security Features to Look For in your next Antivirus

Now that you know the things you can be protected against, we're going to take a look at some additional security features that are great to have in your computer's antivirus program. These are like the upgrades on the basic entry-level products that, while not being a necessity, are great to have to make your life easier.

File encryption is a must-have for anyone who regularly works with sensitive data or transfers files over the internet; it helps keep your information safe in case of a breach. While not a true antivirus feature, we have seen it being added to programs when we have been doing our updated antivirus reviews.

Firewall security is another feature that should come standard with any antivirus program, but oftentimes does not. It provides an additional layer of protection against potential intrusions from outside sources.

Finally, online protection, such as website filtering and email monitoring, ensures that you won’t accidentally click on malicious links or end up downloading dangerous content while browsing the web. All these features are great add ons to look for when looking at your next antivirus program.

System Requirements

Now that we’ve discussed the security features you should look for in an antivirus program, it’s time to talk about system requirements. System compatibility is essential when choosing a software solution—not only do you need your antivirus to work with your existing hardware and operating system, but you also need to ensure any updates will be compatible too.

If your system can't run your antivirus program, then you won't be protected and could have just wasted money on a program that won't help you at all.

When shopping around for antivirus solutions, make sure you read up on all the necessary operating system requirements beforehand (e.g., Windows 10/8.1/7). It’s worth noting that some programs may offer additional protection or services when run on more recent versions of Windows than others—so always double-check before buying, as many software titles have restricted refund options!

You'll want to pay attention to other factors, such as processor speed, RAM capacities, and the hard drive space needed to install the software. These are just some of the things that can affect how well an antivirus program performs on your computer.

If your system only meets the minimum requirements for the program, there's a chance that installing this program can significantly slow down your PC. The impact on the system is something we have taken into consideration in our antivirus reviews, so make sure you check out those in-depth product reviews to see which might be right for your computer.
Here is a great video that breaks down system requirements for pcs. It does talk a bit more directly about gaming apps, but security programs are apps, too so it applies to them with the same principles.

When it comes to antivirus programs, there is no such thing as too much protection. With the right program in place, you can rest easy knowing that your computer is safe and secured. While a basic antivirus will provide essential protection from malware, hackers, and other threats, I would personally recommend going above and beyond with additional features like some of the ones we outlined above. They can offer a little more peace of mind and make life easier, and potentially keep you safer!

In conclusion, when choosing an antivirus program for yourself or your business, don’t settle for anything less than maximum security. The stronger the protection you have in place, the better off you’ll be against any malicious attacks on your data. It may seem overwhelming at first to explore all of the available options out there; however, once you know what type of protections you need and which system requirements suit you best, selecting the right program will be a lot easier.