This content originally appeared on Mashable for a US audience and has been adapted for the Australian audience.
Having good antivirus software has never been more crucial than ever, especially if you shop online. There have never before been more threats to your digital data than right now. But, thankfully, antivirus software has never been stronger or more accessible. If you go on online, whether on a PC, Mac or your smartphone, you need to use protection.
Viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing threats are all potential dangers when you’re online, even if you think you’re being careful. Plus, new threats are emerging every day. This is why it’s a great idea to to choose one cybersecurity provider, and stick with them for all of your security needs. These companies stay up-to-date with the latest threats, and take a holistic approach to keeping your valuable data safe.
There are plenty of options for securing your devices, suitable for a variety of different uses and budgets. To help you find the right solution for your setup, we’ve put together this handy guide of the best antivirus software available in Australia.
What is antivirus software?
Antivirus software are programs that are made to detect and remove viruses and malicious software (otherwise known as ‘malware’) from your computer and devices, such as smartphones and tablets. They work by detecting, isolating, and deleting viruses, which prevents the malware from damaging your device. Antivirus products update automatically to provide protection against the latest viruses and malware.
What are viruses and malware?
Malicious software, or ‘malware’, is the catch-all term for unwanted software on your computer, which includes computer viruses. Viruses are essentially malware that self-replicate, causing an ‘infection’ on your computer that spreads to others — just like a biological virus. They are transmitted via websites, emails, storage devices, and even routers. Simple viruses can damage a hard disk or delete files. More sophisticated viruses can cause you to spam or have clever ways of avoiding detection.
Other common malware includes ransomware, where a hacker steals your data or blocks access to your device, and demands a ransom for its return, and spyware, which, as the name suggests, spies on your digital activity.
A good antivirus software package will work to fight all of these things, and while it still won’t make your device 100% impervious to attacks, it’ll still supply you with enough protection and peace of mind to keep your anxieties from running wild about getting hacked all the time. The major benefit of paid antivirus protection from a reputable company, is that they stay up-to-date with the latest viruses and malware, and know how to protect you from them.
What’s the best antivirus software?
It’s hard to single out just one antivirus offering as ‘best’, since this will vary based on how you use your computer and devices. However, keep in mind that it’s best to pick just one cybersecurity provider that has the features you need, rather than using a number of different programs from different companies. For most users with multiple devices, McAfee is a great choice. Meanwhile, Bitdefender has great base-level software at an affordable price. If you have an older computer, it may be worth checking out Webroot, as it is a small program that will not be taxing on your hardware.
Finally, be sure to get software that provides an on-demand malware scan, as well as a vulnerability scan (which all of the above options do). This will help you stay in control of what’s going on with your data.
If that all sounds a bit complicated, don’t sweat it — we’ve checked out the best paid antivirus software solutions and will outline why they’re worth the money.
These are the best antivirus solutions for every situation in 2022.