Does Your Antivirus Software Really Protect You?

It’s 2018, and antivirus software alone isn’t enough to protect your devices. Today’s connected devices face more complicated threats than those of 20 years ago and need more complex protection suites.

You need a comprehensive internet security suite that will protect you from email phishing attacks and ransomware, safeguard your privacy on social media sites, keep your kids safe online, manage your passwords, secure all your household’s devices, optimize your system and protect both Macs and PCs. That way, you can be sure you’re protected on all fronts.

The Threats You Face Today

When the internet first came on the scene, anti-virus software wasn’t even really in the picture — and when it was, it was the ultimate in PC protection. Back then, most hackers wrote viruses for fun. They just wanted to see what they could do and show off their skills. They weren’t in it for the money, like hackers and scammers are today.

Creating malware and viruses today is big business — to the tune of more than $84,000 a month for some black hat hackers. That’s because malicious programs allow hackers to access valuable personal information or cash in big on users desperate to regain access to their files. Email scammers are getting more sophisticated, too, using increasingly convincing and successful phishing attacks to get access to users’ login credentials for bank accounts, credit cards and more.

Protect Yourself

The best way to protect yourself from cyber threats in this day and age is to use an antivirus and internet security suite. Antivirus software alone can offer protection against viruses, rootkits, adware, ransomware and spyware. It can protect you from malware and infected files distributed by websites, phishing and malicious ads.

But an internet security suite can offer a lot more, including:

  • Parental controls to keep your kids safe online;
  • A firewall to protect your devices from attacks on your home wireless network;
  • Identity protection tools to keep you safe when shopping and banking online;
  • A password manager, so you can use a unique, secure password for every site where you have a user account;
  • Email filters to protect your email client from spam and phishing emails;
  • Privacy protection for social media sites; and
  • Other features like mobile device security for iOS and Android, system optimization, and protection for every tablet, smart phone, or computer in your household.

Do you really need all these extra features? Well, if you’re a tech-savvy person with a solid grasp of the threats facing internet users and a full understanding of cyber security best practices, maybe you don’t. If you know how to recognize phishing scams and social engineering attacks; if you’re aware of the security flaws on home wireless routers and Internet of Things (IoT) devices and how to combat them; if you’re good at optimizing your system yourself and know how to protect your privacy online; and if you’re willing to use a password manager to generate unique passwords for each of your online accounts, then you might not need an internet security suite.

But, if you’re a more average user with less tech know-how, or you have kids to protect from online threats, or you happen to know that some other members of your household aren’t as knowledgeable about cyber security as you are, then an internet security suite makes sense. It can provide protection for your entire network, with mobile security apps for your tablets and smart phones, desktop apps for your laptops and desktops and a firewall to protect your entire network and all your connected devices from hackers.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of an internet security suite, however, is that it goes a long way toward eliminating user error. The most vulnerable part of any cyber security plan is the user, who may or may not know how to recognize a social engineering scam or why it’s important to use strong, unique passwords. By keeping threats from reaching your devices in the first place, you won’t have to worry about whether your spouse, teenager, elderly parent or roommate will have the wherewithal to avoid the kinds of common threats antivirus programs alone can’t fend off.

If you’re still relying on just an antivirus program to protect you from online threats, you may not be as protected as you think you are. Unless you’re a tech wizard, an antivirus program alone may not be able to shield you from today’s increasingly sophisticated threats. Protect your network, your devices, your family and your livelihood with an internet security suite.

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