There is a $6 trillion bill the world has to pay every year (1), yes, we’re referring to Cybercrime. And while you read this, some criminals can be reading this on your screen, can be listening to everything you do, and could be even guessing your thoughts, yes, you could be under attack right now without even knowing. And to make it worse: they not only can know all of this and your most hidden secrets as well, but they can also share them with the entire planet using just one click.
Is it worth risking your family’s entire life and yours for not having the right preventive measurements in place? Just imagine losing everything you have and tell me: how would you feel at that moment if you knew you could revert everything? Or better yet: What if you could have avoided making your life a nightmare?
The solution against these bad boys is being proactive, acting before they do. And as researchers have noted, the most appropriate way to start right now is listed in the options.
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Hackers (of the criminal variety) are a scary bunch—whether working as part of an organized unit or an idealist with a political agenda, they’ve got the knowledge and the power to access your most precious data. If hackers want to target a particular company, for example, they can find vast amounts of information on that company just by searching the web. They can then use that info to exploit weaknesses in the company’s security, which in turn puts the data you’ve entrusted to that company in jeopardy. (2)
The best antivirus software:
Kaspersky's Windows products have excellent malware-detection scores and a light-to-moderate system-performance impact, the two most important criteria in our rankings.
The entry-level program, Kaspersky Anti-Virus (starting at £12.49 UK/$29.99 US), has dedicated ransomware protection, a virtual keyboard and a convenient online account portal. But it's beaten by Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, which has even more features.
Kaspersky Internet Security (£17.49 UK/$39.99 US) is our top choice among midrange packages. It has a secure browser, anti-theft protection for laptops, webcam protection and a limited-use VPN client that kicks in when you connect to an open Wi-Fi network. It also includes software for macOS, Android and iOS.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is our top choice among entry-level antivirus products. It has very good, if not perfect, malware-detection scores. Its active scans don't add much to the background system impact, but that background load is a bit heavy.
It also offers the most value, with an unlimited password manager, a secure browser with a virtual keyboard, a Wi-Fi network scanner, a file shredder, protection against encrypting ransomware and Bitdefender's new web-privacy software -- features often found only with pricier antivirus packages.
The midrange Bitdefender Internet Security adds parental controls, webcam protection and a two-way firewall, while Bitdefender Total Security tops off the lineup with an anti-theft feature for laptops, a system optimizer and licenses for Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android.
All nine of Norton's antivirus products offer excellent malware protection, and the once-heavy system-performance load is much lighter. The number of extra features each program has varies according to price, but the sweet spot in the lineup is Norton 360 Deluxe.
It includes a password manager, unlimited VPN service, dark-web personal-data monitoring, parental controls and up to 50GB of online storage space. Two retail-only offerings, Norton 360 Premium and Norton 360 Platinum, give you more online storage and expand the antivirus and VPN coverage to 10 and 20 devices, respectively.
If you want full-on identity protection, Norton offers three bundles with varying degrees of LifeLock service and even more online storage space. Their annual subscription prices run well into the triple digits, but still cost less than if you were to buy the identity protection, password manager, cloud-backup storage and antivirus software separately.
Unlike some of the other best antivirus software makers, Norton doesn't offer a file shredder, file encryption or secure web browser with any of its products. Yet every other digital-protection service you could possibly ask for is included with at least some of its bundles. (3)
Don’t wait for protecting against them, they won’t wait until you’re protected to attack. The most solid options on the market are just one click away, it’s up to you now.