Investing in security software is not only a smart thing to do, but it’s also necessary under today’s online climate. Without an anti-virus or VPN, you’re at risk of having your identity, money, or credentials stolen.
However, while most security software promises your safety, some don’t make good on that promise. Look at Avast, an anti-virus guilty of selling users’ data to other companies, resulting in one giant data breach.
AVG did the same exact thing as well. Don’t even get me started on free VPNs, which are guilty of acting as hotbeds for malware, viruses, and scams.
So, how exactly do you know whether or not you can trust a piece of security software? Well, there are certain criteria you need to look out for. What criteria? Glad you asked!
Allow me to tell you the things you need to look out for when searching for the perfect security software.
Criteria #1: Transparency
The first thing to check before you download an anti-virus, a VPN, or another piece of security software is the level of transparency of the company behind the program.
How often do they release patch notes? Are they open about what their program does on your computer and the type of information it sees? Are user data backed up to their servers?
The last thing you and I want is to use a VPN that’s backing up our data to their servers. No, I’d prefer a transparent VPN with frequent security audits, and I’m sure you would too.
If the company behind the program isn’t transparent, don’t even think about using it. That’s my advice to you.
Criteria #2: What You Need it For
The next thing to look at is if the program you’re looking at satisfies your needs. Ask yourself what you need the program for, why you’re using it, and if you need it everywhere you go.
If you’re handling sensitive information, I doubt you’d want to use a basic antivirus program. Instead, you’d probably want to pay for a suite in order to protect yourself or your customers.
Criteria #3: Level of Reliability
The last thing you want is for your VPN to give out midway through your writing session at the local coffee shop. You expect a certain level of reliability from any security program you use.
If it’s unreliable, why even use it? If my anti-virus can’t scan 99% of threats on my computer, I wouldn’t use it. If my VPN never encrypted my information, I wouldn’t use it. You shouldn’t either.
Make sure the program is reliable before you download it.
Criteria #4: Ease of Use
Some people prefer security programs that give them a plethora of options. These usually aren’t as easy to use as simpler, easier programs. However, it’s all up to personal preference.
If you’re someone who wants full control, you don’t need to worry much about how easy a program is to use. If you simply want to click a button to turn on the program, however, you’ll need to find one that fits that criteria.
Criteria #5: Availability
Lastly, you’ll want to check on the availability of the security software you’re thinking about using, i.e. where is it available, and what devices does it work on.
If you travel frequently and use your phone a lot, a VPN that doesn’t work on your phone would be useless. Likewise, an anti-virus that doesn’t work on my MacBook would be useless to me, as I use it quite often.
Make sure the program you’re using offers the best available for you. The last thing I want is for you to purchase a security program that you can’t use.