antivirus software consideration for graphic designer
Everyone needs good antivirus software, but most of us probably don’t fully understand why. In fact, viruses aren’t even the main thing good antivirus software protects us from anymore. Malware, spyware, and adware are all focused on making money these days, so the things you’re most likely to get hit with are ransomware or data-stealing Trojans. For graphic designers who have billing and other sensitive client information on their machines, this can be a frightening–and potentially career-ruining–prospect. So let’s talk about the things to look for when choosing an antivirus software as a graphic designer.

Consider the vulnerabilities of your OS

Mac and PC systems have always had different levels of vulnerability, but the old idea the Macs don’t even need antivirus software just doesn’t apply anymore. Even Apple itself has been victim to targeted Trojan attacks. So start off by looking at the vulnerabilities of your system and making sure you search for products that are designed for your OS.

Decide your price point

There are many free antivirus options available for both Mac and PC, but as a graphic designer it’s probably a good idea to get paid software to help protect from the additional vulnerabilities and risks of your position. Sending and receiving a lot of attachments–particularly if the clients sending you these attachments are less computer-savvy–puts you at greater risk, as does having multiple connection points between apps (for example, using your Google login as your login for other apps). Paid antivirus software is more reliable and feature-rich than the free options, and they’re typically easier to use as well.

Determine your must-have & nice-to-have features

security antivirus features
There are a lot of features to consider when looking for antivirus software, but from free to paid almost all of them will include basic scanning for malware, adware, and spyware. Here are some other features that may be helpful as a graphic designer:

  • Heuristic scanning to catch newly-identified viruses
  • On-access scanning to check new downloads
  • Multilayered protections to rate URLs
  • Email scanning
  • Whitelists & sandboxing to help identify safe & unsafe apps
  • Built-in firewalls
  • Spam protection

Look at results from independent antivirus testing labs

There are many independent antivirus testing labs who do the groundwork of testing each antivirus software for you. ICSA Labs and West Coast Labs both provide certification so you know that the antivirus software does what it’s supposed to do. Many others–such as AV-Comparatives, SE Labs, and AV-TEST–release independent reports that you can check online, and some also provide certifications of their own.

Check for usability and availability of tech support

tech support people
Anti-virus software can be complicated and difficult for those of us who don’t work in Internet security to understand. Once you’ve narrowed down your list using the above, it’s important to take a look at usability. Do you think you’ll be able to set up the software easily? What do they offer by way of tech support? These questions can help you narrow down your final short list so you can find the perfect anti-virus software for you. In fact, some of the antivirus testing labs even rates the usability of each software along with how well it protects you.

For graphic designers, there’s no question that you’ll need what is the best antivirus software. Between client information, including their propriety designs and branding, not to mention billing information, a breach of your system could cost money, time, and a significant loss of reputation. There are so many options to choose from that finding the best antivirus software can be difficult, but this list can help you prioritize and find the tool you need.

Photos courtesy of gettyimages.com

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