Over eight million people in the U.S. work from home. Are you one of them? Then you’ll need to think about affordable ways to protect your computer.
Working from home is a luxury, but it also means forgoing some of the benefits of traditional work. For example, you can no longer depend on an employer to provide the electronics you need. When you work from home, your computer becomes an integral part of your livelihood — a tool that you can’t afford to lose.
Luckily, cheap antivirus software exists to help you protect this important tool (sometimes even for free). Wondering how to get it? Keep reading to learn more!
Why You Need To Protect Your Computer
Working from home often means taking a pay cut. This can leave you searching for any and every possible way to cut costs. However, one place you can’t cut corners is on protecting your computer from viruses.
Antivirus software protects you from cyber attacks. These kinds of attacks can do everything from harm your electronics to steal your personal information. They can also happen whether or not you’re on the internet at the time. You need antivirus software that’s always vigilant for what you can’t catch yourself.
You don’t need to have a lot of money or run a big business to become a victim of these attacks. Anyone who doesn’t have the protection of software is vulnerable.
In fact, even attacks that weren’t intended to steal your information or damage your computer can be harmful. An accidental intrusion can also wreak havoc.
Luckily, antivirus software protects against all of that, all the time. You may have avoided trying it so far because of the cost. However, it’s cheaper than you might think — let’s take a look at how to get it for cheap.
How to Find Free or Cheap Antivirus Software
There are a few different methods you can use for getting a discount on your antivirus software.
First, you might be able to go through your internet service provider. They sometimes offer high-quality antivirus software at low or no cost to subscribers. Check with your provider for a norton coupon code, Spectrum free antivirus, or a similar deal.
Next, you can also try antivirus software that’s built right into your computer’s operating system. Some operation systems even come with automatic antivirus software that’s already working for you. If they don’t, you could be able to get free antivirus software through the manufacturer.
These built-in programs don’t always do everything that an additional program would, but they offer a layer of protection that’s certainly better than nothing.
If you bank online (as most of us do), your bank might offer free or discounted antivirus software to protect its customers. Check with them to find out.
Finally, you can look for antivirus software that offers a free version you can download. However, double check that you’re downloading from a reputable source. Otherwise, you might actually end up installing malware without realizing it.
Tips for Getting the Most From Your Antivirus Software
Now that you know where to find affordable antivirus software, let’s take a look at how to get the most from it and make sure your computer’s fully protected.
1. Add a Firewall
A firewall adds another layer of essential protection. Basically, firewalls prevent anyone without authorization from accessing your computer through the internet (such as by going through a public wifi that you’re connected to).
Some computers have firewalls built in, but if yours doesn’t, you may want to add one. Also, if you have a built-in firewall, make sure it’s turned on. And if you don’t have one yet, you can look for free versions to download.
2. Avoid Strange Attachments
It might seem old-fashioned, but email attachments remain one of the most common ways for hackers to work. Your antivirus software can help protect you, but it’s still wise to attachments you don’t recognize.
However, this is easier said than done. Email scams today often don’t look like what you’d think of scams. Instead of coming from a foreign royalty member who wants to send you lots of money, they might come from what appears to be your bank or your employer. But when you look closely at these emails, something will appear off.
If you get a message asking for personal information, like passwords and banking info, check the message carefully. Look suspicious signs like more misspellings than normal. When in doubt, contact the entity who supposedly send the email and make sure it was really them.
3. Update Everything
Running updates helps close loopholes that hackers can exploit.
You’ll want to make sure you’re always running the latest version of your web browser, antivirus software, and built-in computer security. Basically, if it can be updated, make sure you’re always running the latest version possible.
Even if you have top-level antivirus software, it still requires updates to work well. Set automatic updates when you can, and set reminders for manual updates as needed.
4. Take Care With Downloads
If you download anything online, even if it’s antivirus software, be careful with the source. Only download through the site of the company that actually makes the software. Avoid third-party sites that promise a discount: they probably aren’t legit.
Take the same care with anything you download from any source. If you’re not familiar with the site or vendor, you shouldn’t download from them.
Ready to Protect Your Livelihood?
Working from home means you sacrifice safety nets like paid time off and unemployment. Having to take time off due to a computer virus can create a sticky financial situation. But you can avoid this risk by using reliable, cheap antivirus software.
Are you just getting started in the work-from-home world? Then you’ll need to know about more than just antivirus software. Check out what else you need to know here.