Many antivirus programs scan for malware and viruses. The top antivirus programs also provide real-time protection, which is able to keep an eye on sites that are suspicious, shady websites and other unsavory behavior. They will also monitor the behavior of files downloaded to detect new, unidentified threats. Today, good antivirus software will be able to recognize and remove ransomware. Some software can accomplish this via sandboxing. This is where suspicious encrypted files are placed into separate areas of the operating system and tested before being allowed to impact the rest of the computer.

The best antivirus suites are low on system resources and can run fast. They do not just scan for viruses and malware, but also protect your privacy, by encrypting emails, monitoring social media sites and ensuring that online transactions and banking are done with secure connections. Some suites also include other useful tools like an account manager for passwords and shredders for your files. They also offer online security to ensure that your purchases are safe.

If you opt for a paid program, ensure it is compatible with the devices and operating systems that you wish to protect. The top selections cover all of the major platforms that include Windows PCs (three out of four laptop and desktop computers), macOS and iOS. Some of the more sophisticated paid antivirus applications work with Android devices. However, you will be required to check each vendor’s site for specifics. Some vendors will provide an actual copy of their product in electronics stores, but they will generally provide you with a coupon code to use when downloading the program from their website or app store.

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