People in general are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of protecting their mobile devices with a robust antivirus app. The good news is that there are now plenty of antivirus apps on the market at a wide variety of price points. The bad news is that these apps vary widely in quality and the even worse news is that you can’t rely on price to guide you as to which antivirus apps perform well and which do not.
There are some apps out there which are case studies in marketing over matter, but on the plus side, there are also some apps out there which offer great performance at a really low price. To help you tell which is which, here are four key features of a great antivirus app.
A reputable brand name
Once you have a solid antivirus app on your computer or mobile device, then you may be willing to take a chance (within reason) on apps from unknown developers, although even with your antivirus app installed, you should still apply reasonable common sense. When it comes to your antivirus app itself, however, it is strongly recommended to stick to established brands with a proven track record.
Robust protection against all forms of malware
Even though everybody uses the term “antivirus”, the truth is that not only do viruses come in wide (and increasing) variety of formats, but they are only one specific form of malicious software, so basically what you really need is an antimalware app, or a broader security app, which included the capability to provide robust protection against viruses, not just now but also into the future.
Apps for mobile devices also need to be able to address mobile-specific threats such as nuisance or “phishing” calls, spam text messages (with links to malicious websites) and USSD attacks (attacks exploiting weaknesses in the cellular network). Ideally they should also offer anti-theft protection, including the ability to wipe your data remotely so that even if you lose possession of your cellphone or tablet, you can rest easy about the possibility of your data being compromised.
Protection which allows your computer/mobile device to perform to its full capability
One long-standing complaint about antiviruses is that they slow down computers (and they can slow down mobile devices even more). In reality, there is almost inevitably going to be some degree of lag when you are using an antivirus because it is essentially a program which conducts security checks and those security checks do take time. Ideally, however, the length of time they take should be kept to a minimum.
The time needed for an antivirus app to perform its tasks has depending partly on the quality of the coding behind it and partly on the capability of the device hosting it, which, in turn, depends partly on its hardware, partly on the extent to which its settings are optimized for maximum performance and partly on what else it is being asked to do at the same time. Because of this, great antivirus apps will be coded for maximum efficiency and will be able to offer the user guidance on how to optimize their system settings to get the most out of their hardware, regardless of whether they’re running a premium device or an entry-level device. They will also have the option to schedule non-urgent tasks so they run at convenient times rather than just starting whenever they feel like it.
A sustainable pricing structure
With some apps, the development costs are, essentially, front-loaded. In other words, once the app has been created and tested, it should require little to nothing in the way of regular updates. Antivirus apps, at least the good ones, are the complete opposite. Not only do they need a lot of work to create, but they also require at least as much effort to maintain as new cyberthreats are being created all the time.
For example, traditional forms of well-known viruses are now being “crossbred” to create hybrid viruses in an attempt to challenge standard antivirus apps. Similarly, there is a growth in both the quantity and variety of malware as cyberattackers seek to gain an advantage against the security companies.
These sort of research and development costs need cash finance to be sustainable, which means that at this point in time it is sensible to assume that only paid antivirus apps will provide the sort of robust protection needed to stay safe online these days. The good news is that Comodo has an outstanding antivirus app which they sell at a very reasonable price. Head to the Comodo website to buy it now.