Hot5 is a comparison site specialising in a range of entertaining, security and lifestyle topics. This page focuses solely on the importance of Antivirus Software and the different brands available. Antivirus software is a program (or set of programs) that are designed to detect, search for, prevent and remove any (and all) harmful threats to your device, such as viruses, spyware, ransomware, adware, and more. Read our detailed reviews of the best antivirus software’s on the market to find out which brand will protect you without fail.
Essential functions of an antivirus software
While there may be dozens of antivirus brands to choose from (especially the ones we recommend above), essentially, they will all offer the same functions and features – just that some may specialise on a specific feature. All antivirus software should be able to:
- Scan files and/or directories for any malware or known malicious patterns
- Schedule scans automatically
- Initiate a scan of the entire computer, a CD or flash drive at any given time
- Remove any malicious code detected – in some instances, the user will be notified if an infection has been found and whether the user wants the antivirus to clean up the file, whereas other programs will quietly and immediately remove the infection.
- Share a report of the ‘health’ of your desktop
Antivirus software can be installed to protect your computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, basically, any device that potentially carries sensitive information.
Why install an antivirus on your PC?
We have established the main purpose and benefit of installing an antivirus: to protect your PC from all kinds of threats. But there are many other subtle reasons for why it is so crucial to download an antivirus. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to comprehend the additional perks.
Viruses and malware are known to gradually deteriorate the computer’s hardware and software if it’s left in the system for too long. As well as slowing down the computer and making some tasks impossible to perform i.e. blocking important programs and denying connection to the internet, it increases the risk of crashing down your PC completely. This is where an antivirus comes in handy, it will extend the life of your computer.
Did you know that not installing an antivirus and security software is potentially putting other computer users at risk? Viruses operate by spreading from one computer to the next, spreading a malicious code by serving as a weak link. Ultimately, with fewer unprotected computers, there’s a lower risk of spreading computer viruses across the web.
Provide Safe Banking
Antiviruses secures online transactions by blocking any (and all) malicious programs that try to record what you type on your keyboard and steal your banking details. This will prevent online theft and fraud.
Fair enough that most spammers are genuine marketers looking to bring attention to their brand or service with no wicked intent. Some spam messages are a result of viruses hiding in your hard disc. By installing an antivirus software, you will disable the viruses and drastically reduce the number of unwanted emails in your inbox.
Email Attachments can be Malicious
Email attachments can contain malware designed to run when opened or previewed in your inbox. So, to avoid being infected, it is best to not allow attachments to open automatically. With an antivirus software, it will scan your attachments before it is opened or downloaded. This feature is very helpful, particularly when you receive mail from an unknown sender.
Antivirus and cybersecurity facts and statistics
Computer crime drops 31% in England and Wales
According to the Office for National Statistics, in the year ending March 2018, offenses involving computer misuse has decreased substantially by more than 500,000 compared to the year before.
Cybercriminals land on FBI’s ‘Most Wanted List’
A section for Cyber Most Wanted began in 2014 and in 2018, the list has expanded to 42 people.
Malware creation is a business
Malware and hacking have become big and highly-desirable businesses, where lucrative rewards are given to those involved in it. Hackers target end users as they are easily exploitable and often do not have protection against the simplest forms of malware.
There’s a rise in mobile malware
Not only should you have your PC protected but also your mobile device. In 2017, there was a 54% rise of malware threats found in lifestyle, music & audio, and book and reference apps.
Identity theft impacts 60M Americans in 2018 (this is a huge rise from 15M in 2017)
The USA plans to spend $15 billion on cybersecurity in 2019