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The last thing you want is a virus infecting your computer and other devices. While most computer operating systems include built-in basic protections against viruses, they don't necessarily offer robust protection — leaving your devices vulnerable to viruses that can significantly slow down your computer, cause it to crash repeatedly and damage files.
Practicing better cyber hygiene and performing routine checkups on your computer can help. But installing antivirus software offers added protection you likely need. Here's why: You're human and humans make mistakes.
Rob Shavell, co-founder and chief executive officer of the cybersecurity firm DeleteMe, often tells his clients, "Don’t click on any links or attachments in emails or texts claiming to be from agencies — just report them as spam, and delete the messages completely," he tells Yahoo Life.
But sometimes people do click on links that seem legitimate when, in fact, they're not. That's where an antivirus software, such as Malwarebytes, can come in handy.
But that's not the only benefit of installing antivirus software. Here are five reasons why you need antivirus software:
Benefit #1: Antivirus software can help protect you from malicious code that can infect your devices, protecting your files. This includes both known threats, such as ransomware, and emerging threats.
Benefit #2: Adware is a type of malware that can slow down your computer. Installing antivirus software can remove adware, which can, in turn, help speed up your computer.
Benefit #3: It can protect you by scanning documents and media files before you open them. Some antivirus software offers real-time scanning — meaning that when you open a file, the software checks its contents right away. Others only perform scans periodically, usually once per week. Antivirus software like Malwarebytes often includes real-time scanning. With this option enabled, the software runs in the background, looking for viruses.
Benefit #4: Antivirus software saves you from having to manually scan your devices, get rid of any infected files, and then restart your computer.
Benefit #5: The software can detect a virus before you unknowingly spread it to others, such as family members, friends, or coworkers.
Bottom line: Antivirus software can help protect you from viruses and alert you whenever it detects new threats, removing them from your devices immediately.
So while you should always practice good cyber hygiene, you can rest easy knowing that you have an extra layer of protection with antivirus software.