Ensuring the safety of your computer, for both yourself and any friends or relatives, is imperative. In today’s society where we can buy anything, make bank transfers and even book holidays online at the click of a button, it is important to make sure that your home computer is secure so as to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or worse. It is incredibly easy for hackers to get our online data when we don’t guard it properly, as ease of access has been making it easier and easier for us to pay for things online without having to enter all our personal details.

Most of the time it is already on file. Your details are already saved in your browser cookies, or on your computer, so in order to keep this data safe, you need an anti-virus program. Computer viruses have been around since computers were first invented, as it has always been a given that when somebody creates something new and unique, some other miserable person has to try and ruin it all for the rest of us. Viruses are no different.

So what are anti-virus programs and why do we need them so badly? London based IT & Technology specialists www.tmb.co.uk recently explained the risks and benefits involved, and why you should give great consideration to choosing yours.

What is an Anti-Virus Program?

Anti-virus software, mainly abbreviated to AV and sometimes also known as anti-malware software are programs designed to protect your computer systems from malicious software. Malicious software can be anything that intends to harm, damage or otherwise compromise your computer memory or internal data, some of which will be your personal financial information and perhaps even information about where you live and work, so it is a pretty big deal.

Antivirus software works to prevent and contain malware so that it does not harm your computer system. The software is designed to be suspicious of questionable files that are downloaded to your system without permission, sometimes from a website link, sometimes from a pop up that appears when you open up a website, and to assess whether or not they are a threat to your system.

Which is the Best Program?

There is no real way to answer this question as it is often down to personal preference. Experience has shown that the free programs are often far more successful, whereas the programs that come installed with your device can be short lived and often need updates. It is a good idea to just shop around and see what most people recommend.

What about my Apple Device?

To be honest, hackers tend not to target apple devices so much as Microsoft and Windows are still much bigger fishes when it comes to number of users, so apple devices are less likely to need anti-virus software. However that is not to say that you can’t find a program for your apple device. There is anti-virus software available for apple devices, so if you are worried you can always download a recommended program just to be safe.

More Programs, More Protection, Right?

Actually no. One would think that installing more anti-virus software would result in more protection, whereas in fact it does the opposite. AV software is designed to monitor your computer and detect suspicious software monitoring your computer, so what it will do is each type of software will monitor the other type, see that it is monitoring your data and try to attack each other thus resulting in a lot of computer memory being used up and two anti-virus programs doing nothing but yell at each other all day from different sides of the fence. This is not an ideal situation because then any real viruses will be more likely to slip through unnoticed. You’re better off just picking one anti-virus program and sticking with that.

At the end of the day, if your computer has never connected to the internet in its life and you only use it to play solitaire or work on that novel you are never going to finish, the chances are you’ll do just fine without anti-virus software. However no man is an island and sooner or later the allure of the internet will draw you in. When that happens, it wold probably be a good idea to invest in some anti-virus software.