For more than 20 years, ever since a college student inadvertently unleashed the first computer worm on the internet, using an antivirus has been a constant and recurring recommendation for users, especially those using PCs.
But with the rise of security minded operating systems such as iOS and even Windows 10, there’s a growing chorus of experts who think that, perhaps, the best days of antivirus software are behind us. People might not need it so much anymore, and in some edge cases, it could pose some risks for users. So, in 2020, do you still need an antivirus?
The answer, of course, is: it depends.
In general, you probably do. But there are caveats. If you are worried about your iPhone, there’s actually no real antivirus software for it, and iOS is engineered to make it extremely difficult for hackers to attack users, especially at scale. In the case of Apple’s computers, which run MacOS, there are fewer antiviruses, but given that the threat of malware on Mac is increasing ever so slightly, it can’t hurt to run an antivirus on it. If you have an Android phone, on the other hand, an antivirus does not hurt — especially because there have been several cases of malicious apps available on the Google Play Store. So, on Android, an antivirus will help you.
When it comes to computers running Windows, you should use an antivirus.
For Simon Edwards, the founder of SE Labs, a company that tests and ranks antivirus software, despite the fact that Windows’ own antivirus — called Defender — is a good alternative, it’s still worth getting a third-party one. “Even if [Defender] wasn’t the best and it isn’t the best, it’s is still a lot better than having nothing,” Edwards told us. Yet, “we do see a benefit in having paid for antivirus product.”
Even Joxean Koret, a well-known security researcher who has studied and found several bugs and vulnerabilities in antivirus engines and software, thinks average users — as in people who are unlikely to be targeted by nation-state hackers — should use antivirus. “For a regular home user I do think they should,” Koret said in a phone call.
Today’s online threats include much more than viruses. There are many different kinds of online threats that can infect your devices and give cybercriminals access to your personal data. You want protection against all of them. Having “nothing to hide” doesn’t cut it anymore. We must all do whatever we can to safeguard our personal privacy.
The best antivirus software is usually something you need to pay for. While there are free programs out there, you’ll get broader protection from the premium providers like Norton, Kaspersky, BullGuard etc. While the price of antivirus does vary, none is significantly more expensive than the others, and you can usually find some kind of deal to keep the price as low as possible when you’re buying new or renewing a lapsed subscription.
What is the best mobile security antivirus software?
Most smartphones come with in-built antivirus and other security measures as part of their operating systems, but you can layer additional security on top of that with some third party programs.
The vast majority of basic antivirus software doesn’t cover phones though, so if you’re looking to cover your mobile devices alongside your home computer then you should look into getting an internet security software setup. Norton 360 offer cover for smartphones, both Android and iOS.
With Norton 360 you get an exceptional antivirus suite that protects you against all kinds of online threats including viruses, spyware and ransomware. Norton can back up those claims with excellent results in industry antivirus tests from experts like AVTest and AV Comparatives where Norton 360 scored perfect marks in the most recent round of testing. On the extras front, you also get access to a password manager along with 2GB of online cloud storage to help protect your most vulnerable files.
You may purchase Norton 360 with significant discount.
What is the best online safety solution for PCs?
If you are on Windows 10 or on Mac and don’t want to rely just on their in-built AV protection, most cyber experts suggest BullGuard. BullGuard Antivirus provides powerful layered protection against all types of malware such as phishing attempts or trojans designed to steal banking information. It makes short work of ransomware and quickly identifies and nullifies new, advanced threats.
BullGuard’s award-winning security is enhanced with extensive machine learning capabilities across multiple layers of protection. The Dynamic Machine Learning continually monitors everything that happens on your PC, enabling real-time detection and blocking of potentially malicious behavior before it can do damage, even when your device is not connected to the Internet.
And good news for gamers – BullGuard’s Game Booster includes compatibility for anti-cheat engines. Improved support for broadcasting during gameplay ensures uninterrupted video performance for gamers without slowing down the PC.
Click to download the latest version of BullGuard Antivirus.
What is the best antivirus for business?
We found that Kaspersky is the best antivirus solution for small businesses, with excellent malware protection and a program that is easy to install and use, even if you’re not tech savvy. And if you don’t have dedicated IT personnel, Kaspersky has cloud-based programs so it can help you keep the program updated.
Kaspersky’s Small Business program, which covers up to 25 endpoints, is compatible with both Windows PCs and Mac computers, as well as Android phones and tablets, so all your business devices can be protected. It includes password managers, data backup, both antispam and antiphishing tools, and web controls to keep tabs on what your employees are doing online.
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Guarding your privacy and keeping your personal data safe extends beyond virus protection, and that’s where third-party antivirus software shines. A full protection package can monitor your Windows computer as well as MacOS, iOS and Android devices and include a password manager, a VPN, parental control, secure online backup, identity theft protection, protection against phishing and malicious websites and more – all worthwhile tools that can guard your privacy and keep your data secure.
Antivirus software is critical for every online user. Without it, you risk losing your personal information, your files, and even the cash from your bank account.
Be smart – stay safe!