Paid vs free anti virus software: Take your pick

You stand the risk of losing your personal information, your files and even the cash from your bank account without anti virus software. Seeing as the pandemic has forced the majority of us to shift our work to digital spaces, the risk of being targeted by cybercriminals has equally increased.

Also read: Why you need anti virus software and the best options on the market

Even with different efforts to safeguard our devices against malware, the use of anti virus software has proven to be the most effective. Antivirus tools are critical for users to have installed and up-to-date because a computer without antivirus software protection will be infected within minutes of connecting to the internet.

The bombardment is constant, which means antivirus companies have to update their detection tools regularly to deal with the more than 60,000 new pieces of malware created daily.

An antivirus is a type of software that protects the computer from malicious software. Malicious software includes threats like viruses, Trojan, worms, malware, spyware, rootkit infections, spyware, keyloggers, ransomware, adware, etc.

Originally, antivirus scanned for only viruses in a computer; however, since then there has been a rapid increase in different types of viruses, as well as other malicious software such as Trojans, malware, spyware, etc.

Read also: Are Uganda media (mis)users cyber bullies and what is cyber-bullying?

Differences between the paid and free anti virus versions

The main difference between the free and paid versions of antivirus is that the free version offers the most basic features, whereas the paid versions tend to have more advanced features that provide more comprehensive protection for the device. The actual list of included features on both versions differ from company to company, but for the regular user, the free version should be enough.

Unless they have critical or sensitive data that they need to protect, in which case, it is best to invest in a paid version of the antivirus, to be on the safer side. According to Avast, one of the leading antivirus companies, its free product is intended for average users, while its paid antivirus is for more advanced users. Still, either way, the most important thing is that there should be at least some type of protection in place, either free or paid.

Here is a comparison between the paid and free versions

 Free AntivirusPaid Antivirus
DescriptionA type of Antivirus that is freely available. It mostly consists of basic features.A type of Antivirus that one has to pay to use. The fee could be one time, annual, or monthly. It consists of more features than the free version.
ProtectionMinimal ProtectionImproved protection
Security FeaturesOnly basic security features such as scanning for the presence of viruses and notifying the user. The features may vary according to the company.More comprehensive security features such as identity theft protection, firewalls, parental controls, and system performance tools.
DataUse when there is no critical data that needs additional protection and can make do with minimal protection.Use if there is critical data on the device, such as identity, banking information, business information – including client and service vendor data you store – anything that can result in damages (think legal damages) when compromised.
AdvertisementsOften have some sort of advertisement for the company’s paid product.Usually have no advertisement on the paid version.
Technical supportLack of Technical SupportTechnical Support
Customer supportBasic customer supportBetter customer support

Read more: Data protection: Safeguarding customers from fraudsters

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

READ: Centenary bank rewards customers in 5 for 5 jackpot campaign.

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