Anti-virus software is often overlooked by naive desktop users, with many failing to realize the important part it plays in maintaining a system and all of its private content. In the 21st century millions of people manage their lives and personal details via their computers and this brings considerable dangers. In simple terms, no protection can mean you are the proverbial sitting duck in cyberspace. So what are the main reasons for acquiring sufficient anti-virus software?

1. Computer Performance
If a computer becomes infected by viruses, malware or Trojans it can seriously impact on the performance of the PC or laptop. It can eat into precious hard drive space, block important programs and even deny connection to the Internet. A sluggish system can become impossible to use and even the most basic of tasks can take minutes, or even hours.

Anti-virus software can deny unwanted entry to the computer system and block attempts to install irritants listed above. Regular computer scanning is also important to ensure that nothing slips through the wall.

2. Keep your children safe online
The Internet is not a safe place for children without the aid of anti-virus software. Youngsters innocently searching their favourite websites can easily be misled to pornography sites and view material suitable for adults via virus disguised search engine listings and adverts.

Parents are obsessed with child safety in the playground, on the streets and even in their own gardens; don’t neglect their safety from unprotected computer systems.

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3. Misuse of Personal Data and Identity Theft
Cybercrime is the fastest growing illegal activity in the world. People use computers to read email, share documents and check bank accounts via an Internet browser. Failing to provide efficient anti-virus protection can allow malicious software to gain entry to your system and allow third parties to view your information.
Certain types of malware are now capable of recording input entered via the keyboard which can provide easy pickings for would be hackers to log into your personal accounts.
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4. Hard Drive Issues
The more dangerous viruses can even wipe a computer hard drive and make the computer obsolete. This can lead to important data being lost that impact on both personal and business backgrounds. Perhaps more worryingly, viruses are now capable of editing and changing data on a hard drive without the owner knowing.
The knock on impact from this is that purchasing a new hard drive may be expensive and by that point, key information may be gone permanently.

5. Crime Time
Many hackers are now using viruses to gain access behind firewalls and perform illegal activity from the IP address of the victim’s machine. This differs from identity theft as the purpose of the virus is to gain entry to the computer with the aim to commit a crime such as illegal downloads; send junk mail or use as a storage facility for pirate movies.

The benefits of paying for anti-virus software considerably outweigh the negatives. In the bigger picture, staying safe online and being protected from frustrating pop ups, fraudsters, and computer viruses is key. Do not gamble with your private data.

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