Computer viruses are a lot like real viruses in that one infection can ruin everything. Systems that once worked fine come to a standstill as your computer struggles to recover. That’s why antivirus programs are non-negotiable: They keep your digital life safe if you avoid the most common mistakes.
One of the most common misconceptions about antivirus software is that anything will do. They download the first free program they come across, thinking it will work just as well as a paid product from a legitimate company. Actually, using free antivirus software could cost you dearly.
When you protect your computer, you get what you pay for. That’s why Kim recommends his sponsor, TotalAV, which has an industry-leading security suite that offers the best possible protection. No matter what program you use, avoid these common security mistakes.
Mistake #1: You don’t investigate
This may sound strange, but many antivirus programs are just malware in disguise. Cybercriminals know that many people are trusting. They trust you not to investigate and take the word “antivirus” at face value.
If you fall for one of these fakes, you could download malware onto your device. We recommend avoiding free antivirus programs as they are more likely to come from scammers. After all, cybercriminals know that they can attract more people by offering free services.
Bottom line: Do your research when trying to protect your computer. Choose wrong and you could inadvertently destroy it. Read reviews to see what people like you think about the antivirus program. If people say it’s a scam, believe them.
Mistake #2: You don’t download your antivirus software from official sources
Maybe you see an ad for a trustworthy program and click on it. This takes you to a website that appears legitimate. If you download the program from this site, you could be putting your digital life in danger.
Cybercriminals often try to let your guard down by pretending to be something they are not. According to Bemidji State University, many fake antivirus or malware removal programs pose as legitimate tools from reputable companies.
This is why you should never download a program from a random website, no matter What the design of the site seems official. Otherwise, you could be buying a rogue program riddled with malware.
Instead, you need to find the official website and buy the software there. You need to take a few extra steps, but it’s worth it. If you’re worried about imposter scams, we’ve got you covered.
Fortunately, there are some surefire red flags you can look for. Tap or click here for some ways to avoid phishing scams.
Mistake #3: Not having backups is one of the most common antivirus errors
Although antivirus programs are an essential tool in your cybersecurity kit, you shouldn’t rely on them alone. You should also use firewalls, VPNs, and other protection strategies. To depend on a single program is to expect a lot.
Remember that each cybersecurity tool protects you differently. There are countless threats that you will have to deal with, such as:
- Phishing schemes.
- Data breaches.
- Data hijacking.
Those are just a few examples. There are many other cyber attacks that you should be aware of. To protect yourself as much as possible, use more than just an antivirus program.
Tap or click here to see the difference between a firewall and an antivirus program. We’ll explain why you need both to maximize cybersecurity.
Mistake No. 4: You don’t update your antivirus program
Many people will download an antivirus program and never think about it again. They think of installing it as another task that they can cross off their to-do list.
Actually, you need to be involved in your cybersecurity strategy. You can’t just sit down and wipe your hands. One of the most common antivirus mistakes people make is not keeping up with the program they choose.
To protect yourself, keep an eye out for updates. Whenever the company releases new patches, download them. This way you won’t miss out on critical security features. If you don’t do this, you are putting yourself at risk. Hackers often find old bugs and vulnerabilities in popular programs.
Your device could be hacked if you don’t update your antivirus software. Staying up to date protects your computer from preventable infections.
RELATED: Check your phone! These antivirus apps were caught spreading banking malware
Mistake No. 5: You are using multiple antivirus programs
The more the better! This only applies to parties. When it comes to cybersecurity, you just need an antivirus program at your beck and call.
If you duplicate yourself, you could put yourself in danger. This is because each antivirus program has a unique way of interacting with your computer. If you download two at once, they may counteract each other.
In fact, they could misread each other as malware. Therefore, one antivirus program can designate the other as a harmful program and quarantine it. Plain and simple, a program you paid for has become useless.
BONUS: One of the most common antivirus mistakes is not choosing the best of the best
Cyber attacks are on the rise, and the more we rely on our devices for work, school, and our personal lives, the more we have to lose. Whether it’s bank accounts, personal data, photos, or conversations, there’s a lot to preserve and protect. That’s why we recommend TotalAV.
TotalAV’s industry-leading security suite is easy to use and offers the best protection in the business. In fact, it received the renowned VB100 award for detecting more than 99% of malware samples in the last three years.
Not only do you get continuous protection against the latest threats, but its AI-powered Web Shield browser extension automatically blocks dangerous websites, and Junk Cleaner can help you quickly remove your old files.
Right now, get a TotalAV Internet Security annual plan for just $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!