The public internet is no longer as safe as it used to be. Right now, there are hundreds of viruses on the internet that could infect your computer, smartphone, and even your flash drive. That’s why cybersecurity experts advise us to always use antivirus software to protect our devices.
But even antivirus software is not perfect and without proper maintenance, it could stop working. Without antivirus protection, your computer becomes vulnerable to viruses and malware. Below are ways you can prevent your antivirus software from stopping
1. Stick to one antivirus software
Sometimes you might think that having two antivirus software can protect your devices better. But cybersecurity experts will tell you that it’s wrong. Having more than one antivirus software can reduce or eliminate your antivirus protection.
Running two antivirus software at the same time could cause system errors within your device. To prevent system errors, one antivirus software will usually stop running. But sometimes both would stop running and leave your device open to a cyberattack.
To prevent your antivirus software from running and leaving your devices without antivirus protection, look for one antivirus software that works for you and stick with it.
2. Check up on your antivirus software often
One common mistake you probably do is you don’t regularly check up on your antivirus software. After downloading an antivirus software, you leave it to run on its own without checking up on its progress. Sometimes you would get a notification, but you don’t take the time to check the reports your antivirus software gives you. This practice could be badly hurting your antivirus protection.
Your antivirus software isn’t perfect; it could suddenly stop because it doesn’t have the most recent patch to keep it running properly. And because you don’t check up on it regularly, you’re not aware that it suddenly stopped.
Next thing you know, there’s a virus inside your device that’s damaging your files. To prevent your antivirus software from not working, try to check up on your antivirus software at least once a week.
3. Always update when possible
All antivirus software is a work in progress. And every year, antivirus developers release several updates to make sure that their antivirus software is updated with the latest virus signature and virus prevention tools.
Of course, there’s an option to auto-update when there is a new patch available, but sometimes your device’s firewall won’t allow the update to come through. Or sometimes the patch update is in another address that your antivirus software can’t connect to. There are situations where auto-updates could fail, and your antivirus protection will be on the line. Always take a few minutes to check for antivirus updates so that your antivirus protection doesn’t disappear.
4. Have a cleanup tool
Cleanup tools help remove unnecessary files and programs from your device. The most common kind of cleanup tool is the disk cleanup, which helps free up space in the disc drive and RAM. There are also cleanup tools that remove viruses and adware.
While cleanup tools remove viruses that could break your antivirus, they’re not a substitute for antivirus software. They don’t run all the time; and when a virus hides inside an important file, your cleanup tool will delete it without putting it in quarantine. Cleanup tools support your antivirus software by making sure it has enough processing power and removes unnecessary files to scan.
5. Patch your operating system when possible
Your antivirus software is not the only thing you need to update to ensure high-caliber antivirus protection. You also need to update your operating system.
Many viruses and malware will utilize vulnerabilities in your operating system. This is called a zero-day attack and your anti-virus may not be aware of the weakness in your OS.
Weaknesses in the OS can be used by malware and ransomware as a backdoor entry into your device. Once infected, the virus usually attacks your antivirus software first. OS updates and patches secure these vulnerabilities. With the latest OS patch, viruses can’t exploit old flaws.
6. Avoid clicking suspicious ads and links
Many people get infected by a virus after clicking an ad, link, or email attachment. It’s the most common way a virus can infiltrate your device without triggering an alert. Some links and attachments can even disable your anti-virus without you knowing.
The best way to make sure that a file or link is safe is by scanning them. Some antivirus software has link scanners that scan a link for malware before you click it. You can order your antivirus to scan files before and after they are downloaded to make sure it is safe.
7. Be vigilant
Lastly, you need to train yourself to maximize the use of your antivirus software. This is a simple thing to do, but many forget to do it. And they fall victim to malware even with antivirus protection.
You need to train yourself and be vigilant with using your antivirus software every time you are on the internet. Scan files before opening them, do scans before and after you use your device, and check links before you click them. The more you use your antivirus protection, the better your cybersecurity will be.
In our current internet landscape, viruses and malware are common, and our best defense against them is antivirus and cybersecurity software. But it’s not enough to just have antivirus protection. You need to make sure that your antivirus is working and ready to keep viruses away.