Computer viruses are malicious programs that can disrupt computer systems, hijack or steal sensitive data, spy on users and spread to other computers on the same network. Technology improvements may mean the “Wild West” days of rampant computer viruses are over, but you still need to take steps to protect your devices.

Most modern computer operating systems already have built-in antivirus protections that are consistently updated. With that in mind, do you still need to buy antivirus software to protect your computer systems and data?

What Does Antivirus Protection Do? 

Antivirus programs protects your devices from viruses. It scans your computer and other gadgets for viruses, adware and other malware you may inadvertently come across as you browse the web, download software or open email attachments. If the antivirus software detects a threat, it will warn you and attempt to prevent you from accessing malicious files or websites.

Do You Need to Pay Antivirus Software?

If you’re using current operating systems on your devices, including your computer, tablet, phone and other gadgets, you have some free antivirus protection.

However, third-party antivirus software can offer complete protection from online threats, from antivirus protection to other cybersecurity tools, including:

Protection Across Multiple Operating Systems.

Some antivirus solutions offer protection across devices of different types. For example, if you have an iPhone that runs Apple’s OS and a Windows PC, third-party antivirus software may be compatible across both devices.

Protection Against Additional Threats.

computer viruses aren’t the only threats to worry about. Some antivirus solutions can help protect you against other threats like phishing attacks by warning you about suspicious emails and risky links or attachments.

Added Features.

antivirus software is often bundled with additional security features, including parental controls, password managers and virtual private networks (VPNs).

Third-party solutions, like the antivirus and VPN bundles included with IdentityIQ services, can give you extra peace of mind by going above and beyond your operating system’s built-in security features.

Protect Your Data and Identity

Antivirus software may help protect your computer and other devices from viruses. Still, it can’t protect you from engaging in behavior that put you at risk for identity theft, such as giving your credit card information to a scammer or losing your Social Security card.

That’s why antivirus software is just one important aspect of protecting your personal information. Using strong passwords and signing up for an identity theft protection plan are also good ideas to help protect yourself.