Antivirus software is an essential part of a cybersecurity strategy. Without it, malware infections may go unnoticed. Your computer may become infected with malware. Depending on the specific type of malware, it may steal your data, delete your data, consume bandwidth or perform other malicious activities. But there are several common myths about antivirus software that you shouldn’t believe.

#1) Requires Local Installation

While most antivirus software does, in fact, require local installation, this doesn’t apply to all of them. There’s locally installed antivirus software, and there’s cloud-based antivirus software. Cloud-based antivirus software runs on the cloud. You don’t need to install it on your computer. Rather, you can run cloud-based antivirus software over the internet.

#2) Only Protects Against Viruses

Antivirus software doesn’t just protect against virus; it protects against other types of malware. Most antivirus software protects against viruses, trojans, worms, ransomware, keyloggers and more. Some business owners assume that antivirus software will only protect them from viruses. Fortunately, antivirus software offers iron-clad protection against most types of malware.

#3) Quarantining Is the Same as Removal

Antivirus software can typically neutralize malware in one of two ways: quarantining or removing it. While both of these solutions can neutralize malware so that it no longer poses a risk to you or your computer, they work in different ways. Removal means deleting the malware. Quarantining means moving the malware to a safe, isolated place where it doesn’t affect the rest of your computer’s files.

#4) Free Will Suffice

Don’t assume that free antivirus software will suffice. It may save you money, but free antivirus software will likely increase your risk of a malware infection. Most free antivirus software products only support limited scans. You can’t use them to perform a deep or full scan. As a result, free antivirus software products may fail to catch malware. If you’re going to use an antivirus software product, you should avoid free versions and, instead, invest in a premium version.

#5) Only Available for Computer

Another common myth is that antivirus software is only available for computers. Some antivirus software products are designed exclusively for computers, but others are designed for mobile devices. You can download antivirus apps on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Android and iOS, of course, already have built-in safeguards to protect against malware infections. For an added level of protection, though, you may want to download an antivirus app as well.