How to understand what virus security means in practice

These days, people are increasingly aware of the topic of cybersecurity in general and often have some idea that it’s important for them to make sure that they stay safe online.  There is, however, a big difference between aware and informed. With that in mind, here’s some information on how to understand what virus security means in practice.

The basics of virus security

First of all "virus security" is a legacy term, which dates back to the days when viruses really were the only form of threat in cyberspace.  Those days, however, are long gone and now there is a whole range of malicious software which includes adware, cryptojackers, lockware, ransomware, spyware, trojans and worms and this range is growing all the time.  What this means in practice is that you need to stop thinking in terms of “virus security” and start thinking in terms of "cybersecurity" or just "security".

Virus Security

Cybersecurity isn’t about protecting your computer, it’s about protecting you

In the early days of IT, viruses were the only threat and they were about causing damage.  They’d corrupt or delete data or mess up operating systems or deeper-level system settings.  These days, that sort of damage is considered a minor inconvenience because storage is massively cheaper than it used to be, plus we know have cloud drives, so if you have kept everything backed up, then, in principle, the worst that could happen is that you will need to fork out for a new computer and reload your data.  While buying a new computer might be an expense you’d prefer to avoid, it’s generally not a catastrophe.

What can be a catastrophe is having sensitive data stolen from your computer, like your contacts for example, or your own personal identity.  What can also be a disaster is having your computer (and internet connection) hijacked and used to commit cybercrimes. What can be a disaster is losing your business because someone steals your account details and takes it over as has happened several times recently with YouTube accounts.  Sometimes YouTubers have managed to get their account(s) back, sometimes they have not.

In short, practicing good "virus security" or cybersecurity is about making sure that you and your loved ones are protected from the worst criminals can do.

There is more to virus security than "just" a good antivirus product

You most certainly do need a good antivirus product, in fact you need an excellent antivirus product, but antivirus products are supposed to work like security features in cars.  They’re supposed to be there if you need them but they should be used as an add-on to common-sense and basic security precautions, not as a replacement to them. 

For example, good digital security is based on good physical security, so if you leave your computer unattended and unprotected and then someone uninstalls your antivirus so that they can tamper with your computer, then there is basically nothing any cybersecurity company can do about it.  This means that you need to practice “safe surfing” as much as you possibly can and see your antivirus product as having your back if you need it rather than it being your first line of defense.

Ways you can keep yourself safe include: applying all updates promptly, limiting the number of apps you have on your computer (and thinking before you download); limiting the number of browser extensions you use; minimizing the amount of data you keep on your computer and being very cautious about opening attachments (have them scanned first even if you trust the sender, everyone can make mistakes).

You still need a good antivirus product

Having just said all that, you do absolutely still need a good antivirus product.  There is no two ways about this. A good antivirus product will do much more than “just” protect against viruses.  It will protect against all forms of malicious software, however, they are delivered and ideally monitor your browsing as well so you are alerted before you visit a malicious website.  It will also block adverts, which are now a major security threat and it will do all that without slowing down your computer. 

That’s a lot to ask, which is why you should choose your antivirus product with great care.  You want maximum functionality for minimum price and you want it to come from a brand you can trust.  Comodo has been protecting computer users for over 20 years and is trusted by millions. Click here right now to get Comodo virus security for your computer and get all the protection you need at a price you can afford.