Modern Security Software Protects Against Today’s Threats – Shaw Local

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Internet threats are increasingly sophisticated. From ransomware to keyloggers, consumers face ever-increasing risks. Fortunately, today’s security software offers high-level protection against free-roaming viruses. Here’s how to find the right security software for your needs.

You might wonder why you need security software. Don’t both Windows and Mac have built-in antivirus protection? It does, but it’s rudimentary compared to the functionality available in a full security suite. That’s why computer experts recommend you to use additional software. The built-in antivirus is designed as a basic layer of protection only. It’s not enough to protect your computer against Internet threats that continually evolve and find new ways to outwit security.

Is the free antivirus enough or do I have to buy the full version? Free antivirus is definitely better than no antivirus, and free apps like Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, and Sophos have a great reputation in the IT industry. But again, you get what you pay for. Most free apps are just antivirus without additional features.

If you want the best protection for your computer, you’ll find it in a paid security app. Security applications include not only antivirus, but also heuristics capable of detecting virus-like behavior. They can recognize viruses that have not yet been identified by researchers, which can give you a head start in protecting your computer against new virus outbreaks.

They also usually include a firewall and a web browser extension, which help block malicious websites. Many offer tools to protect your identity and privacy, and some include password managers. The same companies that make free antivirus also offer paid versions of their products.

People sometimes ask me if the software firewall that comes with their security software replaces their router’s firewall. The answer is a resounding “No”. Your router’s firewall protects your entire network. The one with your security software is certainly good to have, but it can’t protect anything except the computer it’s installed on.

Smartphones and tablets are just as susceptible to virus infection as computers. There are viruses that specifically affect mobile devices. Mobile devices can also carry computer viruses hidden behind the scenes until the device is connected to a computer or network. And internet scams like phishing emails can affect you no matter what type of device you use.

The security software provides protection for multiple devices for a monthly or annual subscription, eliminating the need to purchase separate versions for Mac, Windows, and mobile. Some also offer a trial if you want to try before you buy.

A final caveat regarding security software. Cybercriminals like to disguise malware as legitimate applications, and they particularly like to impersonate antivirus software. Why? Because consumers are likely to believe and click on security alerts, especially if those alerts come from software they believe is legitimate. Only download apps from the app store or developer’s website.

• Triona Guidry is a freelance writer and consumer technology specialist. It offers technical support and advice to home computer users. For free weekly tips and email news, subscribe to his Simple Tech Tips blog at www.lightningtechsupport.com/subscribe.

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