Three points to check before you buy Windows 10 virus protection

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, Microsoft’s all-new security software.  Actually, Windows Defender isn’t brand new at all, it’s basically a rebadged version of Windows Security Essentials, which started life as a downloadable anti-spyware program for Windows XP and was then extended into a full antivirus program with Windows 7.  To be fair, Windows Defender is a decent, basic program for protection your Windows 10 PC. It’s just that these days, decent, basic protection isn’t enough.

In other words, you need proper Windows 10 virus protection and here are three points to check before you decide which antivirus app for Windows 10 is the right one for you.

Check how quickly the virus definitions are updated

Windows 10 Virus Protection

This is probably the single, most important point to check with any antivirus app.  What you need to understand is that antivirus apps can perform very well in lab tests (for example the sort run by reviewers) because, by definition, these tests are a measure of its performance against the viruses known at the time.  The issue is the new viruses are constantly being created. This means that antivirus protection has to be kept constantly updated so that it remains effective against new threats.

These days, the preferred method for keeping virus definitions updated is to do so via the cloud.  Essentially, the cloud hosts the definitions and the local PC just connects to the online database and lets it do the work.  This ensures not only that the updates are activated as soon as they are ready (and that is a huge advantage in and of itself) but also eliminates the possibility that there will be glitches in the process of installing them on the local PC.

As an added bonus, hosting the definitions in the cloud helps to reduce the burden on local PCs and this can also be a fairly significant benefit to Windows 10 users.  Windows 10 is a fairly resource-heavy operating system and its various updates place even more demands on resources. This means that computers which were updated from Windows 7 may struggle with it and even budget-end Windows 10 PCs can be on the slower side, especially as more and more updates are created.  It therefore makes sense to do as much as you can in the cloud.

Check that virus protection actually means malware protection

Absolutely everyone uses the term virus protection, but in reality what you really need is malware protection.  Viruses are just one form of malicious software. They are, at this point in time, the most common form, but they are definitely not the only one.  Other forms of malware include adware and spyware.

Adware may not sound like much of a threat, more of a nuisance (and a resource hog) but there are two ways in which it can make you vulnerable.  First of all, the more adverts you see, the more likely it is that you will fall victim to an exploit called malvertising, which is basically using adverts to spread viruses.  Mostly this requires the victim to be tricked into clicking a link, however there has been at least one instance of a virus working just through an advert being displayed on a screen (this happened in a malvertising attack on Spotify).

Secondly, if you are being constantly bombarded by adverts, you might assume that any performance issues you experience are caused by them and hence fail to realize that, actually, you’ve become the victim of a proper virus and you need to take urgent action before your problems get even bigger.

Spyware is exactly what it sounds like and can be a serious danger not just to you but to anyone whose contact details are in your computer.  Remember that you are in danger of identity theft regardless of your income level. Just as real-world criminals steal cars to commit robberies, so cybercriminals steal identities to commit digital crimes.  If you don’t want to find yourself answering police questions about how come your ID came to be associated with criminal activity, then you need robust anti-spyware protection.

Check the brand behind it

A lot of the "free antivirus" products out there are straightforward malware and of the ones that aren’t many serve up a whole lot of adverts while offering very little in the way of useful functionality.  Unless you’re an IT expert, it’s generally best to avoid “niche” brands, there’s generally a reason they’re niche. Stick with tried and trusted names like Comodo. In fact, you can go straight to this page to download outstanding Windows 10 virus protection at a price you can afford!