Fun & Facts   Tech
By Consumer Team | 26 Aug. 2017

What to Look for in an Antivirus Program


It goes without saying that an antivirus program is the most important security feature of a PC. Today, numerous tech companies have invested in the production of antivirus software which offers different protection capabilities. On the other hand, hackers have also advanced to produce lethal viruses by the day. For this reason, it is imperative to get a comprehensive antivirus program for your computer. But first, you need to learn what to look for in a good antivirus software. This post outlines some of the important things to look for in an antivirus program.

Automatic Virus Update

Most people often rely on free antivirus software that come with their PCs upon purchase. Failure to update such software is just as good as not having an antivirus program. New viruses evolve by the day. Therefore, your antivirus of choice should be able to update to the latest database definitions that can detect current threats. Always try to find one that is configured to receive automatic updates from the vendor.

POP3 Email Scanning

Any antivirus solution that you go for should also offer protection against infectious codes that may be attached to emails. An excellent security software monitors incoming and outgoing POP3 email traffic and attachments to detect and report any potential threats. Even if your company uses an email server- or router-based antivirus program, an additional email protection is essential.

Scheduled Scanning

Free antivirus often requires users to conduct the scanning process manually. This may not be feasible because people tend to forget when they are caught up in their work. Therefore, you need an antivirus that allows scheduled or custom scans. This way, you can set the antivirus program to scan your entire PC at a particular time and after a specified time interval.

Speed Versus Performance

It is often perceived that robust and all-inclusive antivirus programs slow down computers. While this might be partly true, it is not wise to go for speed at the expense of the safety of your computer. One overlooked spyware may siphon an enormous amount of sensitive data from your organization’s database. It is also important to note that heavy and intrusive antivirus packages may not deliver the desired protection. Advancements are being made today to resolve any issues regarding the speed and performance of the antivirus programs.

Spyware and Malware Scans

Spyware and malware are the evil counterparts of viruses that can gain unauthorized access to personal files. They can either destroy or duplicate them for malicious intent. Such threats are usually difficult to trace because they operate ‘behind the scenes.’ They often attack your computer as you browse the internet or share files within a public network. Therefore, an antivirus program which also doubles as an anti spyware is vital. It will deliver an all-round protection to keep your PC safe round the clock.

Script Blocking

Script languages such as Java, ActiveX, and Visual Basic among others are susceptible to malicious attacks. Hackers often use plugins designed with these languages to direct malicious codes to internet users. Examples of such programs include botnet, inject code, and drive-by downloads. Therefore, make sure that your antivirus software has the capability to block malicious scripts.

Another quality that you may also consider is the price of the antivirus. Free programs may not offer the best protection. Also, make sure to read the privacy policy of your vendor to establish whether you can trust them with your data or not.