Most of us know that installing anti-virus software will likely prevent internet hacks and viruses. But this new age of iPhones, iPads, and Androids present consumers with an overwhelming choice when it comes to what type of anti-virus software they need and whether or not they should have insurance for the device itself. Mistakes and accidents happen easily and often, from visiting an unknown website containing spam and viruses to shattered phone screens, liquid damage, unintended harm and (well, intended harm). Here are some timeless tips to remember.
More is not always better. Some individuals think the more anti-virus software they install on their computer, the better protected they will be. This is not always true. The more programs users install, the more problems they will have. If there is more than one type of anti-virus software installed on a device it can conflict with the other anti-virus program. Conflicts can make computers and mobile devices run more slowly. Your best bet is to choose one anti-virus program and stick with it.
Anti-virus software prices can range from no cost (AVG) up to a few hundred dollars. Most decent anti-virus software programs run between $29 (System Mechanic) to more comprehensive software (Kaspersky), which ranges from $60 to $100 depending on the level of protection.
If you ask a computer technician which brand of anti-virus software they prefer you will get a wide variety of responses. Everyone tends to have a favorite brand of protection software. Once you choose an anti-virus software program it is important to stick with that product unless you are dissatisfied with its level of protection and performance, in which case switching brands would be warranted.
Device insurance is a must. Jesse Jamison, Director of Sales at Worth Ave. Group, a Stillwater, Oklahoma-based electronic insurance provider, gave me the inside scoop on insurance for technological devices. “One break more than pays for one year of insurance. Everyone at some point has accidentally damaged their iPhone or Android. Insuring your phone is a minor investment compared the replacement cost of the device. Purchasing insurance is not something everyone will utilize, but for a small cost you are removing your financial risk by purchasing protection,” said Jamison.
Not all insurance is created equal. Here are some basics to keep in mind so you know what the insurance covers next time you purchase an electronic device:
- Cost. The cost of device insurance depends on the value of your electronic device.
- Reputation. Go with a reputable insurance company that sells device insurance. Be sure to check them out its standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Do your homework. Compare insurance companies and rates. Rates will vary from company to company.
- Know your device. Be aware of details, including how much you paid for the device, the brand and model numbers. Read the fine print that comes with your device.
- Keep all paperwork. Don’t throw away those receipts, user manuals, instructions and other paperwork that came with your electronic device. Make copies of documents and keep all electronic copies of insurance paperwork.
- Terms. Understand and know the terms of your insurance contract. If you do not understand the terms, be sure to ask questions.
- Payments. Some insurance plans can be paid in monthly installments, while other plans must be paid in full up front. Make all scheduled payments on time and establish good payment history with the insurance company.
When purchasing a device, it is imperative to purchase insurance. It is better to be safe than sorry. Don’t get caught facing the consequences of having to spend a significant amount of money (and time) replacing your electronic device, often at a greater expense than if you had insurance in the first place.