Antivirus software is an essential tool for cybersecurity. Without it, viruses and other forms of malware may infect your computer. You may unknowingly download malware, after which the malware may steal your data or harm your computer’s performance. While all types of antivirus software can protect you from cyber threats, though, their features may vary. Here are six features to look for when choosing antivirus software.

#1) Automatic Signature Updates

You should look for automatic signature updates when choosing antivirus software. Most antivirus software products are signature-based. They will scan your computer for signatures of known malware. Automatic signature updates means the antivirus software will update its list of known malware automatically.

#2) Scheduled Scans

In addition to supporting real-time scans, some antivirus software products support scheduled scans. You won’t have to manually initiate a scan to check your computer for malware. With scheduled scans, you can specify a date and time or frequency. The antivirus software will automatically check your computer for malware using this specified schedule.

#3) Spyware Protection

All types of antivirus software offer protection against viruses. You may discover, however, that some antivirus software protects offer spyware protection as well. Spyware is a form of malware that’s designed to spy on a user’s activities. If it infected your computer, spyware may record your data and relay it to a third party. Some types of antivirus software can protect against spyware. It will scan your computer for viruses and other forms of malware, including spyware, while offering a more robust level of protection.

#4) Firewall

Another feature to look for when choosing antivirus software is a firewall. Firewalls are tools that are designed to filter traffic based on rules. There are hardware-based firewalls, and there are software-based firewalls. Antivirus firewalls fall under the latter category. Some types of antivirus software have a built-in firewall. They will block malicious traffic to your computer.

#5) Quarantining

You should look for quarantining when choosing antivirus software. After discovering malware on your computer, the antivirus software must neutralize it. The antivirus software may attempt to delete it, but if deleting is an option, it must quarantine it. Quarantining is the process of moving the malicious file or files to a separate area of your computer where it won’t affect your computer’s other files.

#6) Fast Performance

Don’t forget to consider the performance when choosing antivirus software. Since you’ll probably be performing scans on a daily basis — daily scans are necessary for maximum protection — you should choose antivirus software that’s fast. If it performs slowly, it may interfere with your ability to work and use your computer.