Best Anti-Virus Software for Students
Computers that aren’t protected with anti-virus software are extremely vulnerable to viruses and spyware that lurk on many websites on the internet. The problem is, you can’t usually tell if your computer has even been compromised simply by just using it – it’s not until it’s too late and someone has drained your bank account that it becomes apparent your computer wasn’t quite as secure as you thought it was.
It doesn’t even matter if you’re not a fan of online banking – if your computer contracts a virus there’s a good chance at some point it could become totally unusable. Imagine your computer contains the only copy of your half-written dissertation – or an important assignment that’s due in, in a few days. What happens if your computer stops working and you can access that all important work?
Students living in halls are at an increased risk of being targeted by viruses and hackers. The quick internet connections that university halls posses makes them ideal when hackers want to attack other people on the internet – therefore they’ll go out of their way to compromise the systems of systems on those high speed internet connections.
Clearly, students operating a computer or laptop without anti-virus protection are playing with fire. Check out these top anti-virus recommendations:
1. AVG Free – This is one of the most popular anti-virus programs on the internet. Obviously the fact that it’s free is one of the main reasons so many people use it. Don’t let that detract from the fact it’s a very effective anti-virus program, however. The software may be a little primitive, and those reminders that you can upgrade to AVG Pro are never far away – but it is very good at its core purpose of dealing with viruses, should they pop up.
2. Kaspersky – This is a very popular internet security program – it’s a premium piece of software but it’s worth the investment – you can’t really put a price on the smooth running of your PC or laptop (it’s not until something goes wrong that you’ll realize how much you miss your PC or laptop). Kaspersky comes with a free trial, and year-long licenses start at just £49.99 for use on 3 PCs.
3. ZoneAlarm Internet Security – This is a popular anti-virus and general web security package. It comes with a spam filter that will integrate with email clients like Microsoft Outlook. It also comes with a firewall which is useful when it comes to determining which programs and applications on your computer can access the internet, and which can’t. ZoneAlarm do offer a free trial, but the premium version will get you back around £50 per year. This is money well spent however.
Some top tips to keep your computer or laptop virus-free include:
- Be vigilant when browsing the internet: Don’t hang around on sites that look a little dodgy. Viruses can be contracted in the strangest of places – some can even be picked up simple by looking at or downloading a picture on your computer. Don’t hang around on sites that look dodgy or you’re not familiar with. If something looks amiss, give it a miss!
- Be very careful with your emails: An increasing number of scams have emerged where fraudsters and virus creators will email you saying: “Wow check out this awesome link!!” – when you click that link your computer becomes infected with a virus. It’s deadly simple, and amazingly effective. If you get an email from an unknown sender, don’t open any links or attachments in that message – mark it as spam and delete it.
- Give movie and music download sites a miss: Everyone likes something for nothing, including the newest music album or the latest movie that’s not even out on DVD yet. Don’t be tempted to download illegal copies of music, movies or games from dubious looking sites. Best case scenario is that you get the music, movie or game and break the law – if you get caught you’ll be in a lot of trouble. Worst case scenario is that you end up unwittingly downloading a virus which can compromise your computer and lots of sensitive personal information like usernames and passwords.
- Keep your operating system updated: Operating system manufacturers often release security updates. If you’re one of those people whose reaction is always “tomorrow”, make tomorrow today and install the updates as soon as they become available. Software companies don’t release updates for fun – they release them because genuine security loopholes have been found in their systems and they need to close them so your computer isn’t vulnerable to attack. Don’t make a habit of putting off security updates – apply them as soon as they become available, no matter how annoying they might be.
Together our anti-virus program recommendations and safe usage tips should help you to keep your computer spick and spam – without any nasty viruses lurking in the depths of the operating system.