Paid Vs. Free Antivirus Software
Probably the most wonderful thing about the internet is that is just so much free stuff to enjoy. My computer is loaded with games, productivity tools, photography editing suites, and music creating software – I didn’t pay for any of these excellent resources, and they are not pirated copies either. Like I suspect most people these days, if I need some new software for my computer, I check out the free options first. The only exception to this would be antivirus software.
Is Free Antivirus Software Bad?
There are definitely some good free antivirus products available that offer a reasonable level of protection against the most dangerous types of malware. The problem is that these tend to be most suitable for those who only use their computers occasionally and are unlikely to download something dangerous. Some free products only scan for viruses already there, and they are not very good at preventing malware getting onto the computer in the first place – this is a serious problem because a lot of attacks involve disabling your security.
The other main danger with free antivirus software is that there is a lot of scam products out there. These can not only give you a false sense of security, but they can be actively causing you problems. A good example of this would be ransomware disguised as antivirus software. What happens is you download this product onto your machine, and it actually infects your computer with viruses. You then get a report telling you that you have to pay for the expensive premium version of the software in order to have these viruses removed.
Good Reasons to Choose Paid Antivirus Security Products
I’m a heavy internet user, and I tend to download a lot of stuff. This means that I’m at high risk of picking up some type of malware. They say the average person is likely to pick up a virus in about 15 minutes online unless they have adequate protection. If you also spend a reasonable amount of time online, feel worried about identity theft, or want to do more to keep your kids safe on the web, you probably will benefit from paid antivirus software. Here are just some of the benefits of this type of product:
- You can expect a quality paid antivirus product to be regularly updated to keep you safe from the latest malware attacks
- It costs money to stay ahead of the criminals, so you probably get what you pay for with this type of software
- A security suite can protect you against internet threats like spyware and adware
- The premium antivirus software options have things like email filtering to protect you from phishing attacks and spam
- Some of the paid products now also come with free backup of your data in the cloud – this means your files are protected even if your computer is lost, damaged, or stolen
- Security suites have additional functions like parental control that makes it easier to keep kids safe online
- A quality paid product is far less likely to cause your computer to slow down or cause applications to crash
Paid Versus Free Antivirus Software
Some people do claim to get along just fine with the free antivirus software products. The problem is these individuals may already be a victim of a serious malware attack and not even realize it. There is no product that can offer 100 per cent protection, but you are going to have better peace of mind with quality software. Choosing a free option is going to save you a little bit of money, but it is going to be more of a risk – you have to decide if you are willing to take this risk.
There is a lot of money to be made in cybercrime, so it is doubtful that the level of threat is going to decline in the future. The fact that large companies like Facebook have been victims to malware shows that the criminals are getting more sophisticated all the time. Data theft, data corruption, and loss or privacy, are serious concerns, so it is probably reasonable to hand over a bit of cash for the best possible protection against these risks.