You’re off to college with your trusty laptop or desktop. You’ll find that your computer will be your best friend. You will use it to type papers and reports; store class information like notes, blogs, and teacher posts; do online research; and keep up-to-date on social media.
Of course it’s all fun and games (literally) until you get stuck with a nasty computer virus. Suddenly you’re without a computer, your notes are all inaccessible, you have no idea if your 15-page paper is saved, and you’re stuck with an unexpected expense. Computer protection is often overlooked in the race to get ready for college, but it can be a lifesaver.
What Are Your Options?
Some colleges such as Wellesley offer free anti-virus software for students. However, this means that you have to rely on campus IT maintain it. Depending on how what the campus IT department is like, this can be a positive or a negative.
What if your college doesn’t offer free anti-virus software? How do you evaluate cost and quality of anti-virus programs?
There are a few things to consider when purchasing computer protection software:
- Installation support
- Comprehensive, up-to-the-minute updates
- Quick scan times
- Identity theft protection
- Firewall protection
- Email anti-spam
A good place to start is by talking to the sales staff where you bought your computer from. If you talk to them about your needs and price point they may be able to make some recommendations that will best work for your system. Another good resource is the internet! A quick search will reveal a number of comparisons between different programs along with the pros and cons of each.
Know as much as you can about protecting your computer so you can be proactive and hopefully not reactive!