How Seniors Can Protect Themselves from Computer Viruses

Viruses are a serious problem for everyone, but seniors are especially vulnerable to downloading malicious software. Seniors did not grow up with modern technology, so they often struggle to understand its purpose or how to use it. Moreover, seniors often experience significant challenges when trying to learn at an advanced age.

To ensure that you and your senior loved ones stay protected online, take the time to explore some of the antivirus software that is available.

Norton Antivirus

Norton is one of the oldest antivirus programs, but its developers continue to issue updates that have made it one of the most powerful antivirus tools available. In April 2019, Norton launched its new Norton 360 product that comes with a completely new set of features that are designed for extremely simple use.

In addition to providing strong antivirus protection, Norton also includes a password manager to help users securely keep track of their passwords across hundreds of applications. Seniors are often prone to forgetting or losing their passwords so the password manager tool can be extremely helpful.

Seniors can also take advantage of Norton’s online backup service and VPN products. As long as you have a copy of Norton 360, you can activate the VPNs and online backup functionality at no additional cost. With the world becoming increasingly insecure as the digital space grows in importance, the robust range of features that Norton offers can go a long way toward improving security and privacy for seniors.

Norton is $39.99 for the most basic package.

Advantages of Norton Antivirus

  1. Complementary VPNs, online backups, and password managers make Norton a great tool overall for staying protected.
  2. Norton is an established provider that has been around since 1991 so you can depend on getting reliable protection.
  3. The new Norton 360 product is completely updated for the current threat environment.

Disadvantages of Norton Antivirus

  1. No encryption or file-shredding features are included.
  2. The basic software does not include parental controls.
  3. Scans require high system resources.


As with Norton, McAfee has been around since the early days of the Internet. McAfee has come a long way over the last two years with a revamped product that can now run scans with minimal system resources. Although you may remember how McAfee would periodically freeze your computer when it ran a scan, these problems have now been eliminated.

Another big improvement that McAfee has achieved is to improve its mix of packaged offerings. The software comes with a secure file shredder that permanently deletes files to prevent surreptitious recovery.

McAfee can be purchased from its official website for $19.99 but expect to pay more if you want the full range of features.

Advantages of McAfee

  1. Virus scans require minimal system resources.
  2. As with Norton, McAfee comes with a broad range of additional products.
  3. Overall, McAfee offers some of the strongest virus protection available.

Disadvantages of McAfee

  1. You must pay a premium for parental controls.
  2. McAfee collects your data and there is nothing you can do to stop it from doing so.


Avast is an alternative to the more expensive premium antivirus software tools that are available. You do not have to pay to use Avast because it is widely available online as freeware. Therefore, you do not have to pay anything to get started with Avast.

According to a recent study, Avast is the most effective tool available for stopping viruses. Although Avast does not come with the mix of additional products that some of the more expensive providers offer, you should keep in mind that you can still download other tools that can achieve the same functionality.

Advantages of Avast

  1. Avast is available at no cost.
  2. High-security features make Avast one of the most powerful antivirus software tools on the market.
  3. Avast regularly downloads updates in the background without your intervention.

Disadvantages of Avast

  1. Avast does not include a suite of security software that can make staying safe online easy for seniors.
  2. Avast tends to run disruptive scans unless you configure it properly.

AVG Antivirus

Although AVG is owned by Avast, it remains entirely separate from its parent company. As with Avast, AVG antivirus is available at no cost.

AVG works on both Macs and PCs and there is even a version available for Android devices. Many people recommend AVG for seniors who need active protection that scans new downloads and performs system scans in real time.

If you want to unlock all of the features that AVG can offer, you will have to upgrade to AVG Professional, an antivirus package that costs $79.99 for a lifetime subscription.

Advantages of AVG Antivirus

  1. You can get started with AVG at no cost.
  2. AVG works on less-secure Android devices.
  3. AVG includes a secure file shredder.

Disadvantages of AVG Antivirus

  1. Out of all the antivirus tools in this review, AVG offers the fewest features.
  2. The malware protection that AVG offers is generally not very strong.


Webroot is not widely known, but it has grown to become one of the top antivirus tools available. One of the key advantages of Webroot is that it is designed to use minimal system resources. Even the initial installer takes just seconds to download because the software is designed to do most of its work in the cloud.

The basic Webroot product that costs $29.99 per year comes with real-time threat monitoring, a phishing filter, and other features. However, if you want functionality on your smartphone or tablet, you will have to upgrade to one of Webroot’s more expensive products. The more expensive software comes with secure cloud storage and a password manager.

Advantages of Webroot

  1. Webroot goes out of its way to avoid impacting your system performance.
  2. At just $29.99, Webroot is one of the most inexpensive antivirus tools available.
  3. Ransomware protection is included.

Disadvantages of Webroot

  1. If you want customer support, you can only use email to contact the company.
  2. Even if you pay extra for the premium version, you can still only use Webroot on a limited number of devices.

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