6 New Antivirus Features to Stay Safer Online
By: Craig Chamberlin
There's more to being safe online than keeping computer viruses off your PC.Look for antivirus software with these extra features that protect your kids and your data from online dangers.
Keeping backup copies of files is important for several reasons,whether data is corrupted by a virus or lost
when a drive crashes. If the backup copies aren't good or aren't available, they're worthless.
Some antivirus software includes cloud and encrypted backup services. Because it's in the cloud, it's available from anywhere, which is a big help if your laptop has a problem while you're on the road. Even though saying it's "in the cloud" makes it sound like it's just floating out there, access is tightly controlled. Some vendors use voice recognition and face authentication instead of a password, so the only one who can get to it is you.
Some viruses are ransomware, which encrypts files to prevent you from being able to use them. If you have sensitive information on your PC, you can protect others from being able to use it by creating an encrypted filesystem on your disk. You don't need any special hardware, just use the feature provided in some antivirus software to set aside some disk space for secure storage. Getting to files in that secured area will require a password. So even if a hacker, or your kids, get access to your computer, they can't read the contents of files in that vault.
If you want to be sure someone can't read a file, deleting it isn't enough. Deleting files just marks the space as free, but doesn't actually erase the original contents. This is great if you accidentally delete a file, because it means you can recover it, but it also means that someone else can get to it, the same way someone can fish a piece of paper out of a wastebasket.
To keep someone from reading papers you toss out, you pass them through a paper shredder. A file shredder is the equivalent for digital software; it overwrites the space where the file was stored to make its contents unrecoverable.
Antivirus software is only effective when it's running. Some people feel that it runs slowly and interferes with computer performance. It can be annoying when it pops up warning messages, especially if you're playing a computer game in full screen mode. But turning off your antivirus software to play a game isn't smart, because games sometimes deliver viruses along with fun.
To keep your computer protected while you protect the universe, some antivirus software has a gamer mode that modifies the application's behavior to keep it running without interrupting game play. With some products, it can take effect automatically as soon as you enter full screen mode.
Kids need to be on the Internet, but they definitely shouldn't see the entire Internet! Some antivirus software lets you set parental controls that restrict the sites your kids visit. You can also limit how long they stay on line, and there's no talking to strangers when you control who they're allowed to message. Some parental controls can help manage real-world contact too, by spotting personal info in messages and blocking them from being sent.
How do you remember all your passwords? It's impossible, so you either use the same password everywhere, which means you're completely vulnerable if a hacker cracks your password, or you write them down, which is equally unsafe. The better way is to use a password manager to safely store your passwords for you. With a password manager, you can have a different password everywhere but only need to remember one--a single, strong master password. It's like writing your passwords down, but making sure you're the only one who can see the list.
You've probably heard about hackers getting access to baby monitors and using them to spy on households. Even if you don't have a baby, your computer's webcam can give remote users a means to spy on you and your surroundings. Antivirus software can give you control over which applications have access to the webcam, keeping you safe from unwelcome, prying eyes.
Antivirus software doesn't just block viruses. Other features help keep your files, your kids, and your privacy secure. Learn more about the features the software has to choose the package that's right for you.
About Craig Chamberlin
Craig the Tech Teacher is your source for common sense
For over 10 years I've worked with technology, so let me work with
Disclaimer: We work hard to offer you valuable and reliable information about all of the products and services we review. In order to provide you with this free service, we use links on our site that provide us with commissions for referring you to the seller's site. We guarantee that this does not influence the material we present, but may influence the positioning on our site, and only supports our efforts to offer you the best and most relevant information possible.