Why you need Anti-Virus software

22 Dec 2020

Anti-virus software is used to detect and remove viruses from your PC, laptop or mobile devices.

You need it now more than ever.

Protect your friends by sharing this article with them:

Software viruses, known as ‘malware’, are created, and distributed with malicious intent by fraudsters trying to infect your technology. Each virus has a different purpose, but they are typically designed to steal your data for monetary gain or encrypt your data so that you agree to pay money to access it. This second scenario takes its name from hostage taking and is therefore called ransomware. In some extreme cases, data has been entirely erased just so a hacker can enjoy a perverse thrill.

 

“Cybercrime offences reported by individuals and businesses in the UK have risen 23% over the past 12 months” (Office for National Statistics)

 

In the desktop/laptop world the perceived wisdom has long been that the closed “walled garden” of the Apple ecosystem meant that they were far less likely to be compromised than those running a PC on the more open Microsoft Windows operating system. But as the popularity and sales of Macs have risen so has the sophistication of criminals and malware designers who now have Mac users in their sights.

 

“Cybercrime costs the UK billions of pounds, causes untold damage, and threatens national security”  (National Crime Agency)

 

The first rule of protecting your machines is to keep your operating system up to date with the latest version. Each new version comes with security updates that both Microsoft and Apple distribute to combat whatever new and improved virus has been designed to attack them. Operating system updates are important to protect you. They are not “marketing fluff” as many people think so try to make sure you keep up to date (with some YouTube tutorials if required).

Let us know in your comments below if you would like IPS to deliver some of this training in 2021

However, operating system updates are usually not frequent enough to keep up with new threats we face as technology users. Indeed, the fog and confusion caused by Covid-19 has created plenty of opportunities for criminals to try all manner of tricks to access our data and personal details in 2020.

The singular focus of companies who sell anti-virus software allows them to stay up to date with emerging threats and modern anti-virus products are now able to update themselves automatically – which means you have one less thing to worry about once you have yours up and running.

 

“….adding anti-virus protection beyond what’s built in (the device) ranges from a good idea to an absolute necessity.” (PC Mag UK, 2020)

What does the anti-virus software do?

Anti-virus software, detects or recognises the virus, and then works on removing it from the computer system. It also prevents any potential virus from infecting your computer in the future.

A computer without this software is like a house with the door open – welcoming entry point for any virus programmed to harm your computer, steal your data or cause any number of other nasty problems. Your devices are at risk of being exposed to this criminal activity.  That leaves you all at risk of being defrauded out of money, and of being the person responsible for sorting out all the resultant updating, complaining, reporting and insurance claiming. We suggest you would rather avoid all that.

Is it really necessary to have anti-virus?

There is a school of thought that anti-virus is not necessary. Can you still buy a new laptop or phone in 2020 that is susceptible to these attacks? Doubters also suggest that a sensible and careful user of the internet – one who does not frequent sites relating to gambling, pornography or watching pirate copies of films and music – will not really come across any malware. It is also true that some anti-virus software can slow down the performance of your technology or even add vulnerabilities to your technology.

However, on balance, the protective good that these programs deliver outweighs the bad and the best anti-virus programs available are streamlined, secure, performance tested and tightly coded.

Anti-virus software for mobile devices

The Apple ecosystem is designed in such a way that the risk of a virus infecting your iPhone or iPad is extremely low – especially as the apps you download from the Apple app store must pass strict security tests to reach the app store.

Things are a little more nuanced with Android phones. Google’s Play Protect bundle comes with every Android phone and Google Chrome has built-in Safe Browsing Protection which warns users if there is anything suspicious about a website you may be about to visit. However, we recommend doing some research as an android user as there are many respected sources that recommend installing a trusted app.

We hope we have made the case for three things that all IPS members should do:

  1. Update the operating system on your computer.
    • Click here for Macs
    • Click here for PCs
  2. Identify if you have an anti-virus product you have on your computer and check that it is up to date and you feel confident in what it tells you about the protection it offers – and that it automatically updates. (If in doubt type “what antivirus do I have” into your search engine)
  3. Look into getting anti-virus software that will work for you.

Norton Anti-Virus Software

At IPS we have an affiliate partner offering with Norton, one of the world’s leading providers in this space.
(If you have an android device consider a bundle that will cover your mobile as well as your computer)

Have your say

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