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Cybercriminals are constantly altering their strategies, so you need a complete antivirus program to be protected against the newest threats. A good antivirus program will scan for, detect and remove viruses, trojans, worms and spyware. Certain programs also include additional security options like virtual personal networks password management, parental controls, as well as phishing protection.

The antivirus software must also safeguard you from keyloggers and rootkits that can secretly record every word you input on your keyboard such as passwords and credit card numbers. It should also protect against ransomware that can infiltrate your computer and keep files in limbo until you pay a ransom.

The best antivirus software will have a high detection rate for known malware and consistently excellent scores in independent labs for testing. A robust security suite will also include other safety features, like a heuristic-based security system that analyzes the types of behaviour that viruses tend to display. It should also have security features like firewalls, and some software offer a sandboxing feature which allows you to run malicious programs in a safe environment where they cannot do any harm.

A reputable antivirus program updates frequently, usually once or every two days. It should also work with a variety of devices, ranging from PCs and Macs to smartphones and smart homes. The price of antivirus programs varies in some cases, with some offering low initial rates. Some antivirus programs charge monthly or annually, while others charge per device. The cost of an antivirus program needs to be evident in the number and type of devices it protects and the frequency of updates as well as how easy to use and what other safety features it includes.