A decent antivirus must provide all-inclusive protection with several layers of defense against all known threats, such as ransomware, network attacks, and dodgy websites.
High-quality security programs will guarantee protection for over 99% of threats. Top products include Norton, Bitdefender, and McAfee, all of which scored 100% on our most recent tests.
There's no point in an antivirus that works well but stops you from doing anything else while running because it's resource-heavy. Watch out for performance lags at the timings of restart and on your PC's overall performance; it should be fast.
Choosing lightweight antivirus software should be your top priority if you do CPU-heavy activities on your device, like HD streaming, gaming, or video/photo editing.
Finally, many antivirus products will offer other features, such as parental security, encrypted storage space in the cloud, protection from infected websites, and spam blocking.
While some customers may benefit from extra protection and more tools, it might not be necessary for others. Make sure you consider the additional features are something you'll use before paying more for it.
Regardless of which antivirus you've chosen, the setup and installation on a Windows device are usually quite similar. Here's how to do it:
Create an Account:
Creating an account immediately is not always necessary, but it will help you in the long run. Some providers won't ask you to sign up directly but will require it within 30 days of purchase.
Creating an account will give you direct access to updates and a place where you can manage your licenses and other features, such as remote anti-theft security features for your mobile device, all in one place.
Download the Antivirus:
Click to download the antivirus. It will usually take how much space is required, so you may have to delete files first to make room for it.
It's also essential to ensure you have admin privileges for your computer, as you'll have to authorize the software installation. This step asks you to enter your password by an admin account. It doesn't sound obvious, but chances are you're already the admin, and when you try to install it, Windows will allow you. Just give it a try.
Follow the On-Screen Installation Process:
Next, the software will lead you through a short installation process, which usually involves accepting the terms and conditions and establishing where the antivirus will be saved. The installer box will tell you these steps.
Restart your Computer:
The version you download might not be the most up-to-date version. Reboot your computer, which will start any updates to load automatically. Once this is completed, go for a full scan on your computer.
You may think you're safe from viruses because of the protection things like Gatekeeper offer Mac users. However, Macs are still vulnerable to Trojan horses, phishing scams, and other adware such as Crossrider and piggyback programs like Mac Auto Fixer.
Once you've installed your antivirus software, you must scan for threats. Most security program offers three scan options – either manual or automatic – all of which provide more depth of inspection:
Quick scans usually take 10 to 20 minutes, as they only check the common areas most likely to be infected. This lets the scanner pass through most of your network, which increases speed but reduces processing power, so you'll have to leave your computer alone while it runs. Often, this option is enough to sort out any problems.
If your quick scan came back clean, but you're still concerned your computer may be at risk, run a full scan. This option checks every file or folder of your system to ensure no viruses are in dark corners. It can take a couple of hours to complete.
Advanced malware threats like spyware may not be found in a quick scan and will require a deep investigation. While a full scan is one of the slowest options, it guarantees your drive is clean.
Scheduled scans run automatically to check files for viruses as you use them, providing real-time protection for your machine.
Most antivirus products have their scans scheduled by default. Still, changing their frequency (daily, weekly, or monthly) and time within the settings is possible if you prefer them to run at specific times – for example, late at night when you're not using your device.
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Many antivirus programs for Windows or Mac products are easy to use, download, and install, so there's no reason to leave your computer or network vulnerable. If you are still looking for a decent antivirus to install on your device, these tips will help significantly.