There are so many things to consider when it’s time to purchase antivirus software, but don’t let all the options overwhelm you. Take your time and don’t get too fixated on every little detail. Some systems will definitely conform more to your needs than others. But many people simply go with what seems to be the most popular or reputable antivirus company.

6DKnow this: A reputable company will have a warranty and offer refunds, and will also include with the service a phone-based technical support.

That said, if you have kids, you’ll want a software that provides parental monitoring. Such software can do many things including tracking the websites your kids are visiting.

Or, if you’re leery of anything related to “the cloud,” you’ll want the so-called installation software rather than cloud-based: You download this, install it and it goes to work. BUT, the clouds fine. Stop worrying.

Another variable is if you’re looking to protect a business network rather than a home network, as some antivirus plans are designed more for one or the other. Yes, there’s a difference.

For instance, a program that’s designed for a business will respond very quickly to data breaches at any time. Another program might be formulated more to fit the individual who deals with large amounts of very sensitive data, whether at the workplace or at home.

Another factor to consider is the type of device you want protected. Is it a Mac? A PC? A cell phone? In the world of antivirus software, one size does not fit all.

There’s really a lot of companies out there providing antivirus software. Before you commit to any one particular service, make sure you’ve already drawn up what your specific needs are for cyber protection. For instance, you may need a service that provides the entire gamut: You have children; you run a business out of your home; you deal daily with very sensitive data.

Cybersecurity is relatively inexpensive, and payment plans are flexible. A common plan is to pay a yearly subscription. Others are a one-time payment. Some companies offer different packages at different prices.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to TheBestCompanys.com discussing  identity theft prevention.

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