The coronavirus didn’t only change the way we live, work, and to go school this year, it also brought a big increase in phishing attacks that try to inject viruses and malware into computers and networks.
During March alone, there was a 667% increase in these types of cyberattacks.
But one mistake that many people make when trying to protect their computers from viruses, trojans, ransomware, and other malware is to use a free antivirus they find online.
It can be tempting to use a free version rather than paying for a good antivirus program, but the old adage “you get what you pay for” is applicable here.
Not only might you be leaving your computer unprotected and be operating under a false sense of security, that free “antivirus” might be just the opposite! And instead be infecting your computer with spyware or adware.
If you want to properly protect your device and network from an attack, then you need to get a proper antivirus application that is truly going to provide the protection you need.
Why It’s Important to Use a Reliable Antivirus
Here are several important reasons to leave that free antivirus alone and go with a trusted solution, like a managed antivirus from a trusted source.
Free Antivirus Might Actually Be Malware
Before you click that ad for a free antivirus, stop for a minute! Did you know that there is an entire underground economy based around fake antivirus/anti-malware programs?
Why make fake antivirus and give it away for free?
Three of the companies making phony antivirus were studied at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and it was found they made over $130 million over the course of about two years.
Once you willingly install one of these programs on your computer, even if you uninstall it, the malware is likely to remain. It can be anything from adware that redirects your browser to malicious spyware designed to steal online banking and other logins.
Better Protection Against the Newest Threats
Most free antivirus applications are going to be signature-based, which means they connect to a database of known threats and match anything suspicious against that.
But Zero-day malware has been on the rise, and by the nature of it, it means that it’s so new that it hasn’t yet been cataloged in a database.
Approximately 50% of malware detected in 2019 was considered zero-day.
Reliable, paid antivirus programs will have behavior-based algorithms designed to detect zero-day threats.
When you use a free antivirus that you find online, you’re rarely going to see any kind of customer support provided with it. This leaves you at the mercy of any FAQ you can find while trying to figure things out for yourself.
With a paid managed antivirus solution, like our antivirus plan at Carl’s Computer Care, you get real-time support and have someone to speak with anytime you have a question.
When downloading a free software, the maker has no reason to continue pushing out updates for the program. They’re mainly designed to try to get you to buy a paid version (if they’re not malware, that is).
Without regular updates, the software can quickly become obsolete altogether and can contain security vulnerabilities that a hacker can exploit.
When you’re on a managed antivirus plan, your application receives regular updates and security patches ensuring it’s always up to date to catch the latest threats.
Free antivirus will typically give you just the basics, you won’t see any additional features that help improve your overall device security and online protection.
Paid antivirus programs will typically offer many value-added benefits beyond just excellent virus and malware detection, these may include:
- Web protection
- Site blocking
- Firewall protection
- Email protection
- Free services like computer cleanups and virus removals
Ease of Use
Free antivirus programs are usually not as easy to use. They’re designed cheaply, so they can be pushed out and used as a lure to get users to upgrade to something else, so it’s to their advantage to make them a little less user friendly.
Reliable, paid antivirus programs are typically designed with ease of use in mind and make it simpler for someone to run a scan and understand the results.
Slowing Down Your Computer
Paid antivirus programs are designed to be “light,” meaning to not slow your computer down. No one wants to have their email locked up while a program is scanning files.
Free versions might not have as much attention paid to the performance feature, meaning they could negatively impact the speed of your computer.
Get Affordable & Reliable Antivirus from Carl’s Computer Care
We offer reliable managed antivirus for just $69 per year. It will ensure you’re covered for any potential threats and includes free virus removals and system cleanups!
Contact us today to learn more! Call 225-315-3498 or reach us online.