Take two aspirin…
Think of your computer as if it were your body. Your Anti-Virus package is your computer’s immune system. It fights off things that want to do it harm, and keeps an eye out on what’s going on inside to make sure nothing snuck by when it wasn’t looking.
Anti-virus packages are very sophisticated these days. Back in the dim and distant past before the internet was invented (yes, there was a time before the internet) the only way of passing a virus then was on a floppy disc – an ancient predecessor of the memory stick.
Now a virus can even attack you on your phone, and they can range from simply annoying through inconvenient to downright malicious. A nasty virus can make your computer or phone unusable, delete critical data, or even send information back to someone that could help them withdraw money from your bank. They can even help someone steal your identity.
So today Anti-Virus programs have to be much smarter. A modern package will protect you from internet threats, threats while you are web browsing, threats from transferred files, and can even help protect your kids. A good anti-virus package can block access to sites that are known to have inappropriate content. Everybody worries about kids getting access to pornography, but what about sites that promote violence, or preach race-hate? A good package can block all of these.
To make them as efficient as possible, you can’t just buy an Anti-Virus tool, install it, and ignore it forever. They have to update themselves regularly – so they are aware of all the new viruses that have been detected – and so they are normally bought as a subscription rather than a one-off payment. There are free versions, but they don’t always offer the same features.
Although they do a good job right out of the box, the more you learn about your Anti-Virus, the more you can get out of it, and the safer you can make things. For child protection features especially, it’s important to know at least as much as your kids do. It’s no protection for them if they know how to disable it and you don’t.
So in a nutshell, Anti-Virus is an essential part of your computer. Don’t skimp on it, or you really will end up with a headache.