Differences from Windows to Linux for viruses: On Linux it is harder for the virus to get root (or system) level access.But it could probably still access your address book or saved passwords in Firefox (user level access).
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If you want you can have it do regular full system scans too.
It is all about how paranoid you are, and how likely you are to get a virus.
For your laptop I would suggest only having the scanner scan downloads and when you are brining files from another computer.
Having it do full system scans can be a battery drain.
A very important element of a virus scanner is having it updated with new signatures, so pick the package that has the best signature updates, and that works best for how you want to use it. Viruses can't infect Linux system in normal desktop use as all programs run from system binaries that cannot be modified by user-level security.
If user-data can somehow maliciously gain execute permission (which is so unlikely it just boggles the mind), at most it can destroy data but can't replicate itself so its not a valid vector for viruses - maybe for personally targeted attacks, but if you think you could be the subject of one then running anti-viruses will likely not help you against those.
check for linux viruses, but they are most useful for making sure your linux computer isn't sharing infected files with windows machines.
Most of the virus scanners for linux are actually for servers, and are meant to scan email or uploaded files as they are sent.
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