Why you need anti virus software and the best options on the market
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For anyone that does all their work on their computers/laptops, it is quite important to have anti virus software downloaded as this could save you from losing important files. As we live in an era of emerging technologies, the risk of cybercrime for mobile phones and other internet-connected devices, not just your personal computer has risen.

According to Kaspersky, there is a 5% increase in the African region, as cybercriminals and hackers continue to focus on African countries considering digital transformation advancements and the increase in remote working resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also read: The NITA-U cybersecurity campaign unveils website with tips to avoid cyber attacks

This increases the need for one to have anti-virus software to protect themselves and their devices from malicious software that could see them losing important files. We take a dive into what anti-virus is and how they work.

What is an anti virus?

Antivirus is a kind of software used to prevent, scan, detect and delete viruses from a computer. Once installed, most antivirus software runs automatically in the background to provide real-time protection against virus attacks.

We know that anti-virus software is quite helpful but what exactly is it protecting you from? Comprehensive virus protection programs help protect your files and hardware from malware such as worms, Trojan horses and spyware, and may also offer additional protection such as customizable firewalls and website blocking.

Malware, short for “malicious software,” is a term that refers to a wide variety of software programs designed to do damage or do other unwanted actions to a computer. Common examples include viruses, spyware and trojan horses. Malware can slow down or crash your device or delete files.

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Credit: inc.com

Spyware is a type of malware that attaches itself and hides on a computer’s operating system without your permission to make unwanted changes to your user experience. It can be used to spy on your online activity.

How antivirus works

Antivirus programs and computer protection software are designed to scan data such as web pages, files, software and applications to help find and eradicate malware as quickly as possible.

Most provide real-time protection, which can protect your devices from incoming threats; scan your entire computer regularly for known threats and provide automatic updates; and identify, block and delete malicious codes and software.

Typically, most programs will use three different detection devices: specific detection, which identifies known malware; generic detection, which looks for known parts or types of malware or patterns that are related by a common codebase; and heuristic detection, which scans for unknown viruses by identifying known suspicious file structures. When the program finds a file that contains a virus, it will usually quarantine it and/or mark it for deletion, making it inaccessible and removing the risk to your device.

Because so many activities are now conducted online and new threats emerge continuously, it’s more important than ever to install a protective antivirus program. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent products on the market today to choose from.

Read also: A summary of the Africa cybersecurity report 2019/2020 Uganda edition launched today

Here is a list of some of the best-ranked antivirus software that you should get today.

1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus

2. Norton AntiVirus Plus

3. Avira Antivirus Pro

4. F-Secure Antivirus SAFE

5. Kaspersky Anti-Virus

6. Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

7. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus

8. ESET NOD32 Antivirus

9. G-Data Antivirus

10. Comodo Windows Antivirus

With this list, you have an idea of which virus protection programs you should get. And if you already have one, well hopefully it’s on this list as well.

In another article, we shall look at the differences between the paid and free versions of this software. Is it really necessary to get the paid version, can the free version provide you with all the protection you need? all these questions will be answered in the follow-up article.

Read more: You could be a target of hacking through Bluetooth: How to protect yourself

Read more: How you can protect your data on the internet

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