The recent cyberattack on Optus in September 2022 brought cyber security to the headlines.
Optus customers past and present were left reeling in the wake of the attack in which personal information was compromised, including Medicare card numbers and, in some cases, driver’s licenses.
While Optus customers are reported to be justifiably angry over the possibility of identity theft, most of us are left asking, “how could this happen?”.
No matter how small a business is, you are at risk of a cyber-attack. According to Buzz-A-Geek, one of Australia’s premier IT companies, “business staff should never take their networking systems for granted, as they are responsible for sharing significant amounts of information vital to your company and millions of other businesses worldwide.”
Without proper systems in place, your business’s network could be susceptible to threats from hackers across the globe, thus putting your entire business at risk. Even if you don’t run a big company, you still don’t want to run the risk of ransomware and malware attacks.
What is antivirus software?
Antivirus software is a unique set of programs designed to search for, detect, and prevent software viruses and malware from accessing your computer. Antivirus software will often lie dormant until activated in a cyberattack. The antivirus software stops them in their tracks.
How do I know if I’m the target of a cybercriminal?
Some signs your computer may have been subject to a cyber-attack or has a virus are as follows:
- Computer slows down
- The fan switches on
- Emails from companies you never heard of keep popping up
- You receive requests from companies/agencies/banks asking for confirmation of personal details
- You receive messages purporting to be from friends that ask you to click on a link.
- You may receive notifications that passwords have been changed, yet you didn’t change them.
Antivirus software is of premier importance. Never underestimate the chaos that a cyber-attack can leave in its wake, and remember that cyber criminals can target anyone who goes online. If you want to know more about viruses, read our guide to computer viruses
Do you need antivirus software for Mac?
The myth that Apple Mac computers ‘aren’t susceptible to viruses’ is just that – a myth. Although Mac computers are probably less likely to be attacked, their information, like any other PC, can be compromised. So, while an Apple Mac may be more secure than other PCs, don’t get complacent!
Do I need antivirus software for my iPhone?
Yes, you do. There is a risk whether you are banking from a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone. The risk of cyber-attacks for users of iPhones, like other Apple products, is lower than with a regular PC due to Apple’s inbuilt protections. However, cybercriminals are getting smarter at bypassing security features.
Is antivirus software necessary for Windows?
Absolutely! Most computers run Windows; therefore, the more familiar the software, the more likely cyber criminals will attempt to hack the system.
Which antivirus software is best?
Some of the best antivirus software includes McAfee, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and TotalAV. The prices quoted below are from the provider’s sites on 11 October 2022:
Minimum subscription: 2 years
Cost over 2 years: A$129.95
Cost per year: A$64.97
5 devices are covered
The premium subscription covers 10 devices and costs A$199.95 for 2 years.
- Password manager
- File shredder
- Web Protection
- Identity monitoring
- Protection score
- Expert online security and award-winning software.
Kaspersky Antivirus plan
Cost per year: $43.95 on the introductory offer. After that, it renews automatically at $88.95. Prices appear in US $, so you’ll need to apply the latest currency conversion to check price comparisons to AUD.
1 device is covered
- Real-time Antivirus
- Online Payment Protection
- Performance Optimization
- Unlimited Super-fast VPN
- Identity Protection
- 24/7 Remote IT Support
The Kaspersky premium plan covers 5 devices, costs $52.95 for the first year, and offers:
- Fast Unlimited VPN,
- Secure Password Manager and Vault
- Security, privacy, and performance
- Premium benefits like 24/7 IT support
Basic protection for a Windows PC is as follows:
Cost per year: $35 on the first-year introductory offer. After that, the ‘old price’ of $69.99 will be charged.
Up to 3 devices are covered
The basic package offers:
- Anonymity on the web
- Unlimited encrypted traffic
- Secure wi-fi hotspots
TotalAV Antivirus Pro 2022
Cost per year: A$ 19, on special as of 11 October 2022.
The subscription automatically renews annually (unless you cancel it) at the regular rate of A$119.
3 devices are covered
Real-time antivirus, elimination of cyber threats, Apple Mac OS compatible, continuous protection, protection for PC, smartphone, and tablet, elimination of harmful malware.
How does antivirus software work?
The software will do a system check of your computer to detect any suspicious code. It will then either quarantine or delete ransomware, malware, or other viruses. The best antivirus software programs automatically update themselves to deal with new threats as they arise.
If you have questions about antivirus software, give the Buzz-A-Geek team a call for help. We can advise you of the best system for your personal or business needs.