I’m not talking about covid here, I’m talking online viruses, the sort where you innocently click on a link to update your PayPal password and before you know it every single one of your passwords is out there on the internet and all of your Facebook friends are getting messages from you asking if you could send them money to buy their niece a birthday present because they are stuck in Greece.
My mum actually had a Facebook message asking just this recently. She did NOT send money, but she has been well trained by me yelling at her every time she mentions a strange email or the fact that she has downloaded an app called ‘casino slots’ because you can win money without ever depositing any. (You cannot Mum. Please delete it.)
Protecting your family online and your devices against viruses is tricky though, and as time goes on the viruses get more and more sophisticated. You might think you’re doing your bit by not clicking on those dubious looking bank links, but viruses are much cleverer than that nowadays. No one is safe, no matter how much I shout at them.
Do you know what cryptojacking is for instance? Or AI powered spearphishing? No, me neither, but they sound scary. Viruses can get into your devices, steal your personal details and impersonate you without you even knowing it, so it’s important to have the right antivirus software in place
One thing that worries a lot of people is that it will be expensive to protect yourself from viruses. My mum, and me too if I’m honest, come from the generation where computers were sold with anti-virus software on a CD, which you were obliged to install and pay vast amounts to renew every year. Anti-virus software doesn’t work like that any more. If you can find a trustworthy source, like Bitdefender, you can get a free antivirus download and get yourself protected in barely any time at all.
It’s also important to remember that it’s not just computers and laptops that are at risk of infection from viruses – our phones too are vulnerable. We take them for granted, but they are just mini computers that we carry around in our pockets, so it makes sense that they are just as prone to viruses.
The same type of virus protection may not be applicable across all of your devices, so do think about choosing protection that’s right for your device. This might mean looking for free antivirus for Android for example, if you use Android devices. Specialist software will be tailormade for your device and enable it to continue running smoothly and efficiently, without clogging up storage space.
It’s also worth looking at the other features offered alongside your antivirus software. Bitdefender for example offers live customer support with its antivirus, which sets it apart from most other providers and could add extra peace of mind if you like knowing that there is additional support to fall back on.