As a college student, one of your most important study tools is likely to be your computer. So protecting it from malware and hacker threats should be one of the first things you do when you purchase it. But sadly many students ignore this and end up with a disastrous situation.
While you're at college, you'll be engaged in research, surfing the web, using email, downloading and exchanging disks. And most of this you'll do on your PC and not the college PCs. But your college won't provide you with antivirus software and all they'll probably do is recommend one to you.
However, antivirus software may be too expensive for some students; but there's a way around this. And before you totally abandon the idea of getting an antivirus program, you must be aware of the costs of trying to repair an infected computer, which could be very costly.
So here are the best antivirus programs that have all the features you'll need as a student:
Norton is a first choice for many students around the globe and it's easy to see why. It has some of the best features and tools in the antivirus industry and many of its performance issues from the past have long disappeared.
Its traditional signatures and advanced heuristics will ensure that your laptop or PC is free of all virus threats. And you won't have to worry about resource-usage and PC sluggishness, a problem you'll find with other antivirus programs.
But Norton still has uninstallation problems and is known to leave some files when you remove it. And you have to be careful what other programs you install on your PC as it doesn't play nice with other applications.
BitDefender is one of the best antivirus software programs and is known for its suitability to all PC users. A regular pastime for students is online gaming and BitDefender has a gamer mode which blocks all interruptions during gaming or when you're watching videos online.
BitDefender also provides the URL Advisor and Anti-phishing tools that you need for protection when conducting searches online. They help prevent dodgy websites sending malware threats to your PC.
Kaspersky is a solid antivirus software program and one worth checking out in your search for software. It provides wireless protection like the other programs listed above. And it has been tested and certified by leading test labs like Virus Bulletin and West Coast Labs. Both labs show that it is a top performer when it comes to dealing with malware threats.
There aren't any antivirus programs designed specifically for students. And this is understandable, because the Home Antivirus packages are suitable for students too. They also provide multi-license programs which allow you to protect your student laptop and home PCs if you have any.
It's important to understand the reasons why protecting your computer from viruses is so important. Being a victim of a virus is not the only threat. Viruses can use your computer as a way to infect other computers and spread the damage that they can cause all over the world. It's very important to have your computer protected by anti-virus software before you ever even go on the Internet. If you don't, your computer will get a virus within 2 hours of being online and then possibly send it on to all the contacts in your address book.
There is an economic argument towards being protected as well. If you buy an antivirus program from a reputable company, it might cost you $50. However this would be small money in comparison to the cost of your computer becoming infected. Home users and small businesses should think of the cost that your computer systems cost you initially. You must also factor in your monthly outgoings like Internet connection etc. A virus could destroy your whole system and cost you a lot to set up your computer again.
Now think of all the personal details you have stored on your computer, financial records, pictures and other private data. That anti-virus program is a small price to pay in comparison. If you don't protect your computer, you are leaving a door open for any virus or Trojan that may wish to enter your computer. These malicious programs are designed to find computers that are not protected against them.
Once a virus takes your information, it might not just corrupt and delete it. Much more malicious things can be done with your information, such as identity theft. One of the main benefits of antivirus software is that it's regularly updated. Anti-virus companies keep track of the new threats that are created daily. Malicious programmers are continuously evolving their code. Anti-virus software takes the stress off the computer user; your safety is being dealt with automatically. Also, It's important to note that if your computer is used as a way for a hacker to attack other computers that you may be held legally responsible.
If you are still unsure about buying anti-virus software it's important to note the famous Melissa worm. The worm was created by a David L. Smith. Once caught, he was fined $5,000 and was imprisoned for 20 months in New Jersey. However the worm that he had created has an estimated value of damage amounting to more than 55 million dollars.