Protecting your PC or laptop has become more important than ever over the past few months, especially with so many people working remotely.
According to an article in Forbes last week, “as we approach the halfway point in 2020, this year is already on pace to be the most devastating year ever for data breaches (globally).” The Forbes article references Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, which the company released in May, and which looks at the conclusions drawn from 32,000 security incidents and 3,950 confirmed breaches from 81 countries.
As one of Ireland leading suppliers of Business & IT Supplies, we decided it was a good time to take a look at your security software options and how best to decide whether you need to buy additional security software.
Did you know that Windows accounts for a quarter of all operating systems in Ireland? This jumps to 69.1% when you look at desktop alone!
Unlike previous versions, Microsoft integrated multiple security features into their operating system with the launch of Windows 8.
Some of these features include anti-virus protection, anti-spyware, a two way firewall, a smart screen filter to protect against phishing scams and a secure boot option that prevents malware from activating during startup. It also has parental control features. Microsoft Windows 10 Security runs in the background and simply notifies you when action is required. Microsoft also recently added a new family member, with the preview release of Microsoft Defender ATP for Android. Following on from the release of a Linux version, it brings Microsoft’s security tools to another platform, with a focus on protecting your work on mobile devices.
The issue with just relying on Microsoft’s inbuilt security features is that it’s a huge company with millions of users so it is constantly the target of hackers and virus creators. If your PC or laptop contains sensitive company information, then we would definitely recommend adding a standalone security program. Microsoft users on Windows versions older than 8 would definitely need to add a standalone security software. The original Microsoft Security Essentials programme just doesn’t cut it. To be honest anyone on a version of Windows older than 8 should be looking at upgrading their operating system, not just their security software.
Generally, you want to be adding additional features to whatever you already have.
Examples of some of the features on paid software include comprehensive defense against fraudsters, cover for multiple devices, identity protection, parental controls, back-up and tune-up tools.
If you have decided to pay for a standalone security suite, it’s best to go with a well-known company that you have heard of before.
Some of the bigger and more well-established names include Norton, McAfee, Bitdefender, Avast, Kaspersky, SonicWall and Cisco.
According to Which UK, “Paid-for security software suites, such as Norton Security Deluxe and McAfee Antivirus Plus, often come with extra features such as parental controls and tools for maintenance, back-up and recovery that can help you restore your computer in the event of a disaster. Generally, they also have better customer service and technical support than free internet security.” Bear in mind though that with standalone packs, there will be ongoing costs to receive updates after the initial period of protection is over, usually in the form of an annual subscription.
Despite their reputation for being super secure, Macs can still be affected by viruses and malware.
They don’t have a built-in antivirus or anti-spyware software, although they do have a firewall which block attacks from malicious users online. There are both paid for and free standalone security solutions available for Macs although the online reviews are not great. It is possible that developers don’t spend their time on apple products because of Apples reputation for being so secure. Unfortunately the more Apple products that are sold the more appealing it will be for bad actors to target their devices so it is definitely something you should consider if you are storing confidential information on a Mac and especially if you are running more than one Mac in your business.
In the meantime it is vital that you have automatic security updates enabled for your Mac, Apple regularly releases security updates, patches and bug fixes as they become aware of issues – if your Mac is not set to receive these updates automatically then you are making yourself more vulnerable to an attack.
Something else you should remember, is that even the best security software cannot protect you from all attacks. More often than not, it is human error that allows malicious software onto your computer so stay alert and be aware of potential threats.
Stacked have a range of standalone security software packages (and operating system packages) available online.