Your computer doesn't work nearly as well after a virus infects the file system. If the infection is severe, the damage can be substantial. The worst kinds of malware can make your laptop unusable or sometimes require a ransom payment to recover encrypted data. That's why the whole idea behind antivirus software is to prevent malware from infecting your laptop in the first place, but which one is right for you? After all, you may not know what your options are, so here’s a breakdown of the different types of computer security software you can download to protect your desktop from cyberattacks, viruses, and malware.
Best antivirus software for Windows
While you have plenty of options from which to choose, the best virus protection software for your needs depends on what level of safety you need. If you work for an international corporation, you’ll most likely need much stronger defenses to safeguard company data and personally identifiable information too. On the other hand, if you’re a college student, you can do well with robust laptop security software, featuring everything you need to use the web safely without slowing down your computer.
The only question is this: what types of security software are available? At Lenovo.com, you can find the best antivirus software, data protection/theft recovery software, and endpoint protection software. Let’s go over the best security software for Windows 10 to outline your choices.
· Antivirus software: Installing and running antivirus software should be your first line of defense against the malware and viruses that are “in the wild,” so to speak. Malware comes in many shapes and sizes, but it’s always malicious. Essentially, antivirus computer software shields your laptop’s files in case a virus makes it through and attempts to infect the operating system. Not only that, but the best security software can also quarantine and remove harmful unwanted programs. This hidden software may not be as insidious as ransomware, yet it can affect your laptop's performance nonetheless. On the flip side, data protection and theft recovery software work differently, although it ultimately achieves the same: securing your data from prying eyes and hackers with malicious intent.
· Data protection and theft recovery software: The top antivirus software does well defending operating system files from a viral infection, but what happens when the laptop is stolen? What are your options at this point? If you only installed antivirus solutions, there's not much you can do to recover your property because those types of software usually don't include the ability to geolocate a specific device. In those instances, you'll want a data protection and theft recovery tool like Absolute software. The benefit of using software like this is that you’ll be able to locate a stolen/misplaced device, lock it, and delete sensitive information, if necessary – and do it all remotely! But if you still need stronger safeguards, you can try solutions like business-grade endpoint protection software.
· Endpoint protection software: When it comes to the best security software for Windows 10, endpoint protection is the top of the line, and that's one of many reasons why businesses large and small use it to secure desktops, laptops, mobile devices, and anything else that connects to the web. To secure a company's private network, you must also secure each device that connects to it. When hackers attack a sophisticated network, it's hard for them to penetrate the main lines of defense, so they always go to the path of least resistance: poorly secured personal devices with poor passwords. But with endpoint protection computer software, you can keep malware from compromising sensitive data or breaching a business’s network.
Top antivirus software and security software features
The good news is that the best antivirus software for Windows 10 has reasonable system requirements, and they work well as long as you keep them updated and operating 24/7. Otherwise, you can get infected with a virus and not even know it until your laptop starts to bog down and run slower. Here’s what else to look for when downloading the best internet security software.
· 24/7 protection: The software you ultimately decide on must provide protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If computer security software isn't running in the background, it can't scan incoming files and block viruses in real-time. You don't even have to download an executable file to get infected with malware, either. You'll only find out you've been infected after manually telling the software to scan for threats. That's why the top antivirus software offers continuous protection, which brings us to the next feature.
· Periodic updates: The cybersecurity world is more of a cat-and-mouse game than you might think. Indeed, there are good guys and bad guys, and sometimes, it’s not always easy to tell who’s who. Cybersecurity pros and law enforcement work tirelessly to update malware databases once they pinpoint a new threat, but cybercriminals and hackers constantly change their tactics, techniques, and procedures. So, the best security software you can find will always receive periodic updates, especially when a so-called “zero-day exploit” becomes public knowledge. When malicious actors get their hands on new ways to infect computers, they’ll keep doing so until you can defend against the latest attacks. And the best way to do that by far is to keep the virus protection software updated.
· Remote capabilities: The most significant benefit of using data protection and theft recovery software is the ability to lock or wipe your computer remotely after it's stolen. As long as the computer has an internet connection, you can log in to the security solution from another laptop and find out exactly where the device currently is. Absolute Software is a prime example of what to look for if you think you want to add this extra layer of protection. Overall, it’s one of the best kinds of computer security software because it accounts for physical security as well as digital safety.
Common uses for computer security software
So far, we’ve outlined the basics of what to look for in the best computer security software, and the last step to choosing the right product is to know the most common uses. The amount of cybersecurity software you’ll need depends on how you intend to use the web. Some use cases will require a greater degree of safety than others, so here are three scenarios in which it’s a great idea to install antivirus and security software.
· Business: Antivirus & security software is a must if you operate a business, especially if you run an online shop and fulfill a large order volume. Most business owners don't have deep, intimate knowledge of every type of cyber threat, so the best way to get blanket coverage is to use robust laptop security software. If your business deals with personally identifiable information or financial data, the need is even more urgent. Without a doubt, certain companies are at greater risk of getting hacked than others. In this light, the best computer security software can be a business-critical capability.
Furthermore, suppose you operate a small business and employ dozens of people. In that case, it's not such a bad idea to try endpoint security solutions, especially if your employees are connecting to the company's network from personal mobile devices or from their home offices, which brings us to the next use.
· Home office: The best antivirus & security software provides excellent all-around protection on the home office side of the equation. If you're a college student, you'll be spending a significant amount of time in your home office, and you'll need comprehensive safeguards. Anytime you visit a webpage or connect to a network, you're at risk of getting a virus, so if the whole family uses the home office laptop, you will have to account for the different uses. You might use your home office strictly for work, but it's common for others to use it too. You'll want 360-degree protection in this situation because you can't anticipate every threat.
Not only that, but many people handle all of their finances from a home office, which makes it even more critical to secure your files. All hackers need is sensitive, personally identifiable information to steal your identity. Your bank account numbers and social security numbers are gold mines for cybercriminals, so do everything you can to keep them out, including security software for home offices.
· Personal: Lastly, it’s okay to use antivirus tools if you only use your desktop for personal reasons. Maybe you only sit up in bed and watch movies, or perhaps, your kids are the only ones who use the computer to play games? Either way, it’s best to install laptop security software because online threats are persistent and constantly change. For example, ransomware can be hidden inside free downloadable video games that a child won't be able to resist clicking. That's just one example of how insidious hackers can be nowadays; they, indeed, prey upon someone's lack of cybersecurity knowledge.
But if you mainly like to use social media, you’re not entirely out of the woods either. Anytime you download a photo from the web, such as a meme, you’re taking the chance that the file doesn’t contain hidden malware. Without one of the best antivirus software, you'd never know anything was wrong until it's too late, yet you'll have a way to tell with antivirus and security software in place.
As you can see, there are many types of computer security software. The main challenge is determining how much digital protection you’ll need depending on how you plan to use your laptop. In the end, you can never have too much online protection when you choose the best internet security software.