Many antivirus programs check for viruses and malware. Good ones also offer real-time protection that watches out for shady websites, suspicious links, and other undesirable behavior. They also scrutinize the documents you download and watch their behavior to spot new, as-yet unidentified threats. Nowadays, a good antivirus program will be able to recognize and eliminate ransomware. Certain software solutions accomplish this by sandboxing. This is when suspicious encrypted files are put in an isolated area of the operating system and then tested before being allowed to affect the rest of the system.

The most effective antivirus suites consume less system resources and are extremely fast to run. They do not just look for malware and viruses, but also protect your privacy by encryption of emails and monitoring social media websites and ensuring that online shopping and banking is conducted with secure connections. Certain suites come with other useful tools, like an account manager for passwords and shredders for files. They also offer web security to ensure safe shopping.

If you opt for a paid program, make sure it covers the operating systems and devices you’re looking to safeguard. The top selections cover all of the major platforms including Windows PCs (three out of four laptop and desktop computers), macOS and iOS read here. Some of the most advanced paid antivirus programs can also be used with Android devices, but you need to check with the website of each company for specifics. Certain vendors sell their products through online stores, however the majority will give you an email with a code that can be used to download their software from their website or app store.