You invested in an antivirus program because you understand the importance of protecting your devices and data from myriad online threats.
However, having an antivirus solution on your computer is not the same as using it properly.
Unfortunately, there are many mistakes you might be making in your application of antivirus tools that could be creating vulnerabilities in your defenses and inviting cybercriminals to attack.
Some of the most common antivirus mistakes include:
You Didn’t Research Your Antivirus Program
Not all antivirus programs are created equal. Some antivirus solutions are developed by the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity and rely on cutting-edge technology to identify not just known malware but emerging and unknown future threats to devices and data.
Other antivirus solutions are bad copies of programs that were outdated a decade ago, and still other antivirus solutions are not antivirus at all but malware masquerading as a cybersecurity tool.
You have specific antivirus needs, and you need to know that your antivirus is capable of providing the unique type of protection that your devices and data deserve.
Before you invest in an antivirus tool, you might spend time considering what specific features you need to keep yourself safe as you utilize the web.
You should also have some knowledge regarding the developer of the tool, the features included with the tool and the typical user experience with the tool.
Fortunately, you can find most of this information online from antivirus providers and on review websites.
You Didn’t Download And Install Your Antivirus Solution Properly
Antivirus solutions exist as software, and software must be installed onto devices to function.
While most cybersecurity providers do what they can to make the downloading and installing of their antivirus tools as streamlined as possible, it is common for users inexperienced in tech to make mistakes in this critical process.
For example, different versions of antivirus software are developed for different operating systems; if you downloaded the wrong version, your antivirus tool will not install or run properly, and you will be vulnerable to attack.
It is also possible that you downloaded the file for the antivirus software but never installed it or that your hard drive is segregated in some way to prevent full protection from an installed antivirus tool.
Sometimes, installation issues are not user errors at all but a fluke within the device’s operating system.
When an antivirus solution is not downloaded or installed as it should be, you might not be able to interact with it and you might continue to suffer from a high number of digital attacks.
If you suspect that your antivirus is not installed properly, you should contact your antivirus provider’s customer service team.
They will be able to answer your questions and walk you through reinstallation to ensure that your antivirus system is securely in place.
You Aren’t Updating Your Antivirus Application
When software ages, it develops vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit to gain access to your device and data. Unfortunately, this can occur with antivirus tools, as well.
Fortunately, responsible app developers will periodically release free patches of code that close those vulnerabilities.
Patches also often contain performance updates, which enhance the application’s functionality in some valuable way.
The field of cybersecurity is rapidly evolving, and updates are ways for antivirus developers to ensure that their programs continue to protect devices and data against emerging threats.
Many antivirus tools utilize a library of malware signatures to help them identify and eliminate threats; updates often contain additions to these libraries as well as other key changes that improve the effectiveness of the antivirus solution.
If possible, you should set your antivirus software to update automatically, so you never suffer due to an outdated security tool.
Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done effort; installing an antivirus program is not the first and last step to achieving effective cyber defenses.
Rather, you need to evaluate your tools and behavior every day to ensure that you are operating your devices with an appropriate level of security that will keep cybercriminals at bay.
Avoiding the above three big user mistakes are the first steps to developing secure habits that will help you avoid cyberattacks into the future.