If you’ve never been unlucky enough to get a virus on your computer, let me set the scene for you:
You’re sitting at your desk, typing away on a work or school assignment. You’ve been researching information online all day, including a few sources you weren’t so sure about. Suddenly your screen freezes. Everything goes black and lines of code begin scrolling across your monitor, and you realize that all of your work and data are gone.
Or maybe you’re a pre-teen, sitting at the family computer circa 2007, downloading music from LimeWire. You finish saving “Sk8r Boi” by Avril Lavigne to your ipod shuffle and go to bed. The next day, your computer won’t turn on and your parents are furious.
In both cases, you and your computer fall victim to malware. Viruses and malware have been around as long as computers have, and as technology advances, they become harder to avoid. Recovering your data after a virus can be expensive or even impossible, and often the easiest thing to do is replace your device all together.
Computers are our whole lives, and to lose all your data can be devastating. So how can you keep your devices virus free?
What is AntiVirus Software?
Antivirus software has been around since the beginning of computers in the 1970’s, back when the very first virus, The Creeper, was created. The antivirus software industry developed in the 80’s, back when Atari still made computers. The 90’s led to the development of more widely available antivirus software from companies like Norton and McAfee, as well as the rise of the VPN, virtual private network.
Technology has certainly advanced since then, but the idea is basically the same: scan for potential threats and eliminate them.
So why do we need antivirus software?
The short answer is easy: to protect your device from viruses. But there’s more to it than that. Threats to your computer and other devices come in many forms, collectively known as malware, including:
- Viruses – meant to damage your computer
- Rootkits – which mask malware
- Bots – which allow criminals to access your device
- Worms – meant to attack networks
- Trojan Horses – malware disguised as other programs that you can download
- Spyware – like the name suggests, can collect and access personal data
- Message scams – threats disguised at links in messages and emails
A good antivirus software protects your devices from all of these threats, keeping your devices and your personal information safe from attackers. Regardless of the type of devices you use, a good antivirus program is necessary to protect them, as well as your information.
Types of AntiVirus Software
How can you get antivirus protection for your devices? The easiest and most common way is to buy antivirus software or subscriptions.
While CD ROMs used to be the main installation method for antivirus programs, these days you can sign up for a subscription online and download the program right to your computer.
But what about your other devices? Smartphones and tablets are also susceptible to malware and need antivirus protection as well. Most antivirus brands will offer extensions for your other devices, but often as an additional cost. There are also some free versions available online.
Other antivirus methods are offered through some internet providers, blocking threats before they make it to your devices, rather than just finding and deleting them from your system. This also includes all of your devices through a single service.
We offer this service at Wisper! If you’ve signed up for our Wisper Care plan, you’re already covered. Through the ProtectIQ add-on in the Wisper Home app you get access to built-in antivirus and malware protection for all of your connected devices.
You’ll receive notifications in your app when a potential threat is blocked. You’ll also be able to see all threats that have been blocked, how many scans have been run and see a list of alerts.
Viruses and malware can come from anywhere, so it’s important to keep your devices protected at all times. Whether you purchase a software subscription or go through your internet provider, you should seriously consider adding antivirus protection to your devices, if you haven’t already!