Written by: Amber Newby | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
Surfing the web "cautiously" isn't enough to protect your computer these days. Viruses are lurking everywhere, and even if you are smart with your online searches, you can still end up with a virus that could cost you lots of time and hard earned money. If that isn't enough to convince you, here is a list of the top ten reasons why you should purchase antivirus software.
1. Protects Your Files, Personal Information, etc.
You have probably seen the pop-ups that appear online that say something like, "Click here for a free flat screen television!" You most likely ignored it (and if you didn't, you should have), and closed out of it. Or maybe you received an email with a heart-breaking story that asks you to forward the message or reply to the email. Once again, you probably deleted it. These scenarios could have been scams or a virus, and when you ignored or deleted it, you probably thought you were safe. However, that is not the case. Just being smart isn't enough to keep viruses from attacking your computer and getting into your personal files or records.
Once a virus is in your computer, it can destroy your hard drive and wipe out the files that once existed. Antivirus software can detect these viruses and protect your files from outside forces trying to mess with your hard drive.
2. No Manual Computer Scans
If you are not sure that you want to spend the money on antivirus protection because you can scan your computer manually, you may want to consider just how much time and effort goes into that. Dealing with malware takes time and it is a process. You have to scan the computer, get rid of any infected files, and then start the re-installment of the operating system.
It's a pain trying to fix malware, and it is a pain that you don't have to deal with if you have an antivirus software that is there to solve those types of problems. Antivirus software will do the hard work for you, and then some. No more waiting to use your computer while it completes a scan and then having to go in and do the deletions yourself.
3. Parental Controls
The internet has dangers lurking at every corner. Inappropriate material can be accessed by anyone, including your children. If you want to protect your children from accidentally accessing something harmful, then setting parental controls is one of your better options. Several antivirus software products come with parental controls and allow you to protect your children.
4. Keeps You From Infecting Others
If you are communicating with other people on your computer, then you need to consider purchasing antivirus software. Whether it is by email or instant messaging, you could unknowingly send a virus to one of your friends or co-workers. Antivirus software works to protect those individuals that are connected to you and keep emails and other messages that have viruses from being passed on.
5. Protects Finances
Hackers do not only have the ability to access the personal files stored on your computer's hard drive, they have also developed techniques to get in to your bank accounts and records. By stealing that information, they have the ability to rob you blind from behind a computer screen. Antivirus software can detect these techniques and prevent outside sources from accessing financial information.
6. Blocks Untrustworthy Websites
When you come across a website online that could be potentially harmful to your computer, antivirus software can detect that and warn you before you pursue browsing that website. In addition to websites, antivirus software can notify you when an email contains a virus and will steer you clear of those things that will cause damage to your computer or hard drive.
7. Identity Theft
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. On average, nineteen people become victims of identity fraud every minute. It is a crime that is more prevalent than you may realize and it is getting worse. Stealing identities is the number one internet fraud crime right now, and without protection, you could become a victim.
You store important information on your computer whether you realize it or not. You may not be saving documents or files, but every time you access a website, it is recorded. Identity thieves are finding ways to track you down one way or another and hack into your computer, eventually figuring out how to steal your identity. Antivirus software can monitor and flag websites or emails that may result in identity theft and provides you with the peace of mind that your personal information is safe.
Adware can slow your computer down, a lot. Antivirus software gets rid of adware and other things that may slow your computer down.
9. Less Spam
"I really enjoy going through junk mail," said no one ever. Spam and junk mail is a hassle. Each morning you have to shift through all of those pointless emails in your inbox. Antivirus software weeds a lot of that out and keeps mass or spam email to a minimum.
10. Last Line of Protection
Like it was stated previously, just watching what you search for online is not enough to protect you from viruses. Being smart online will help, but it is not enough to ensure that you will be able to avoid those sly viruses. Antivirus software serves as that last line of defense. Viruses have to get through that protection to get to you, and that isn't an easy feat. Good antivirus software protects you from those harmful viruses and keeps them away from your hard drive.