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  • Writer's pictureDearRobin

How do I Select Antivirus Software?

Updated: Nov 14, 2019

Dear Robin,

There are so many anti-malware software products (free and subscription) to choose from Are there any free options that you might recommend?

Karen C-Mass.

Hi Karen-

What an important question…It is more important than ever to ensure that your computer and mobile devices are protected from cybercriminals

Antivirus software is s a program that’s responsible for the security of your system. Its basic function is to prevent malware infections and remove them from your system.

Malware or “malicious software,” is an umbrella term that describes any malicious program or code that is harmful to systems.

First of all, you need to understand that there's no real "best" anti-malware program for everyone, because each individual and company's environment is going to be a little different.

Most people are familiar with names like Norton, McAfee and AVG and many computers come with an antivirus program already installed on their computers. These software security companies are also constantly updating their security software packages to protect against phishing scams, ransomware and all other types of viruses and malware. This is good!

Here are a few things to think about when you are selecting antivirus software:

1-Excellent protection

You'll want to make sure the antivirus software stops, at the very minimum, more than 95 percent of malware, whether it's commonplace malware or brand-new zero-day malware. (Zero-day malware just means the malware is using a software vulnerability for which there is currently no available defense or fix)

2- Easy to install and user friendly

Most antivirus users want a set-it-and-forget-it option.

3- Don't pay for more than you need.

Many antivirus software companies sell a variety of products. The basic version and other versions with additional “bells and whistles”. The basic package is designed to protect as well, as the others.

4- Look for email and web protection.

You'll want antivirus software that automatically screens email attachments before you open them, and also checks websites before you load them.

Remember…Anti-malware software is not antivirus software.

Some free antivirus products will protect your machine extremely well from malware, but anti-malware software is designed to clean-up you computer after it has already been infected, but it won’t prevent your PC or Mac from becoming infected in the first place is not antivirus software.


There are well known Phishing scams the try to target Seniors with “pop-ups” that say things like….”Your virus Protection is out-of date” click here for update your system…


Never click a link in a pop-up, instead go directly to the site where you purchased your virus protection and download any updates directly from them.

Here is a wonderful place to go to get some great information:

If you would like to learn more check out the my resources on

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