Is a Free Antivirus Enough to Keep Malware At Bay? The Answers

This is one of the most common questions people ask when scouting for an antivirus. There are some factors that you should put into consideration before making your final decision. How much time per week do your spend browsing the internet? What type of websites do you often visit?

Concisely, free antivirus software is an ideal choice for someone who only requires a basic level of protection. Most people are unaware of the degree of protection that they need. Today, I will teach you how to evaluate your security needs using a straightforward 3-step calculation.

Before we get into that, it is important to point out that free software from an accredited company could help you stay safe as you browse the internet but you are more prone to attacks than the users who opt for the premium package. This is based on the fact that, free software has a less efficient firewall, and can be penetrated by hackers using new technology.

Let us proceed and now delve into the 3-step calculation

Step 1# On a typical week, how many hours do you spend browsing the internet?

  • Three hours or less – 0 points
  • Four to ten hours– 1 point
  • More than eleven hours – 2 points

Step 2# Who do you share your desktop, tablet, smartphone, or laptop with?

  • Just me – 0 points
  • My spouse – 1 point
  • Friend or family member who is not conversant with new technology – 2 points
  • My children – 2 points
  • Strangers and acquaintances – 5 points

Step 3# Can the websites that you frequently spy on users without first seeking their permission or consent?

The most insecure websites are those that offer free materials such as software, music files, games, as well as those that target and attract the young generation

  • Never – 0 points
  • Sometimes – 2 points
  • Most of the time – 4 points

Now use the metric below to determine your level of risk:

  • 0-3 points = Low Risk
  • 4-8 points = Medium Risk
  • 9-16 points = High Risk

Interpretation of the Results

The more points you score, the more susceptible you are to online threats such as unauthorized access to private folders and files that are stored on your computer hard drive, remote spying via laptop or smartphone camera, access your online banking account and the list is endless.

On the other hand, if you have fewer points, a free antivirus software suits you best, as you are less likely to encounter an antivirus as you use your computer or mobile devices. Nonetheless, paid antivirus software is highly recommended as it offers comprehensive protection against the existing and new malicious software.

By reading this article and evaluating your security risk level, you are way ahead of thousands of Americans who have no clue of their level of online safety. Be sure to review your security needs annually to be on the safe side.