The reasons why your antivirus software does not protect you

A recent report by Microsoft shows that 75 percent of PC users today use antivirus protection. But even if you have installed security software, it is far from certain that it works optimally. Security Expert Janus R. Nielsen from the antivirus company, warns against the five most common pitfalls when using antivirus software.

The report (SIR vol 14) from Microsoft shows that PC users without antivirus protection are five times as likely to be attacked by viruses and malware than protected PCs. However, it is not a surprising conclusion, says Janus R. Nielsen. “We often experience customers who believe they are protected when they are not.” Here is his view on the five most common reasons why your antivirus software does not protect you.

1. Multiple antivirus programs
Two do not protect more than one, as they conflict with each other. They can see each other as potential threats and thereby try to fight each other. “We always advise to check if you have two antivirus programs running and if so, uninstall one,” says Janus R. Nielsen.

2. Lack of firewall
Antivirus is not the same as firewall. Antivirus is security software that can locate, identify and isolate potential virus attacks on your PC. However, firewall is a specialized system that ensures that unwelcome traffic in and out of your PC is blocked before it enters. This way hackers will not be able to vandalize and steal your files and information. According to the study “IT Security Survey 2013” conducted by AV Comparatives, 37% of the world’s PC users today have free antivirus protection installed. But since the free options rarely have firewall included, you are more exposed.

3. Expired license
Some have an antivirus program installed which has expired without them noticing it. It happens, for instance, when you buy a new PC with preinstalled security software, which often expires after 90 days. Most security software will ask if you want to renew your protection, and if you choose to ignore the message, it can automatically switch of.

4. Inactivated features
According to the report from AV Comparatives, 40 percent use paid antivirus which has both antivirus protection and firewall. However, it is important to make sure that you have all features turned on. Perhaps you have had to install a program that was not authorized by your antivirus protection, and therefore turned the software off. We have also seen examples of malware that has infected the antivirus software itself, and disabled all protection without the user knowing.

5. Phishing attacks
It is a wrong assumption to believe you are protected against everything you click on, even though you have the best antivirus program installed. Although most programs have anti-phishing included, you are not safe from cunning hackers who try to lure passwords and account details from you. Be critical when clicking on links and attachments in emails, even if they are from Paypal or your bank – or if a mail congratulates you on winning a million. In fact, 75 percent of all emails sent worldwide is spam, according to Microsoft’s report.

Janus R. Nielsen is security expert from the antivirus company Follow the link to get a free optimization of your computer done by professional IT-experts.

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