Best Antivirus in 2020

Fast, Economical and Simple
Windows, Mac
Up to 10 devices
Fast and light
Norton Browser Extension
 
The Most Comprehensive Antivirus in 2020
Windows, Mac, Android, IOS
Complete offer
Premium VPN
Absolute Protection
Unlimited number of devices
One of the Best Antivirus on the Market
Windows, Mac, Android, IOS
Free VPN
Up to 10 devices
25 GB online backup
 

Best Paid Antivirus

Let's face it... we're no closer to defeating cybercriminals and hackers on the Internet than we were a decade ago. In fact, cybercrime is increasing dramatically every year. So it's more important than ever to make sure your computer and mobile devices are protected by the best antivirus software on the market. Even if you have the best computer in the world, you're in danger. You may know names like Norton, McAfee and AVG better, but are they really the best?

We have tested and reviewed the latest premium and free antivirus software from the biggest names in cyber security, so you can be sure that our recommendations are reliable. More than 80 antivirus and security suites have been reviewed and evaluated by our experts to offer you the best solution to protect and secure your devices.

Malware and virus creators are always finding new ways to access your PC and other compatible devices (including your mobile phone and tablet). Fortunately, online software security companies are constantly updating their security packages to protect against phishing, ransom software and all other types of viruses and malware.

Currently, we think Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is the best antivirus available. It combines high-performance security tools with a range of other excellent security features and is very easy to use. It's the best of all, it's also great value for money. You can read more about what it offers below, as well as Norton and Webroot SecureAnywhere which complete our top three.

If you're looking for complete protection against the latest cyber threats, investing in the most powerful program is the best solution. This doesn't mean you have to start spending a lot of money either, because our guide also gives you the best prices available for the best software. And if it's the best free antivirus software you're looking for, we also have some recommendations for you.


1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 10 devices
  • Protection against ransom software
  • Privacy Tools
  • VPN
  • Safepay
  • Abstract
  • Password Manager
  • Cheap subscription
  • May be resource-hungry

In a world full of free security software, Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020's annual fee may seem high, but it's worth your money, and it has reintroduced its mega 50 to 60 % discount on its major packages including Antivirus Plus.

Take a look at all the independent antivirus rankings and Bitdefender's top security suites always come out on top.

It tends to be reliable and accurate in its virus detection, with Web filtering that blocks access to malicious sites, a secure browser that secures your online banking and shopping, and a password manager that automatically completes credit card details in Web forms. It also gets excellent results for its anti-phishing module, which warns you of malicious links in your search engine results and blocks access to dangerous sites.

New for Antivirus Plus version 2020 is a multi-layered ransomware protection that learns the behavior of such threats to protect you as well as the ability to scan all your linked devices via the Bitdefender Central mobile application.

There are still one or two problems, it takes more resources than average, and may conflict with some programs, but Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2020 is still an excellent software that offers excellent detection rates, great performance, and more than enough bonus features to justify its price.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2020 builds on AVP 2020 and triples the number of devices covered and offers anti-spam, firewall, parental control and file encryption features.

For a little more, you can purchase the 2020 edition of Total Security, which adds all of the above and covers up to five PCs, Macs, Android and iOS devices.

VISIT BITDEFENDER


2. Kaspersky Anti-Virus

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 10 devices
  • One of the most powerful security packages
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Kaspersky's complete suites are more economical
  • Automatic analyses
  • Prevention of cryptomining infections
  • Simplified security management

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is a security package that focuses on the essentials of security: web filtering blocks dangerous URLs, a precise engine detects and removes threats, intelligent monitoring technologies track and reverse malicious actions, and that's it.

Luckily, what you get works well. Very, very well. We have always found Kaspersky to be among the best at blocking malware and removing it from an infected system, and it regularly tops sites like AV-Comparatives.

The program is also easy to use. A well-designed interface has just the right number of buttons and options, not too basic, but not complicated or intimidating either - and there are lots of on-screen instructions to explain how everything works. Even a beginner will feel at home right away.

If you just need accurate, reliable and consistent protection against malware, Kaspersky Anti-Virus will serve you well.

VISIT KASPERSKY


Norton AntiVirus Basic

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited device
  • Blocks even new malware
  • Low impact on system resources
  • Browser extensions can be unreliable
  • Advanced Privacy Security

Norton AntiVirus Basic is a top-quality malware hunter that can automatically protect your PC on its own - that's a given. But one of the main reasons we've propelled it to second place in our top anti-virus rankings is that it's also one of the most cost-effective paid security software options on the market.

Norton offers many settings, options and parameters for those who need them, as well as features like a handy URL blocker that keeps you away from malicious websites. If something is missing, an excellent file reputation service recognizes suspicious downloads immediately. And if malware still finds its way in, intelligent behavioral monitoring uses its updated virus definitions to quarantine threats at the first sign of trouble.

You can easily run on-demand scans. You can set up and save custom scans to check only the areas you need. You can even schedule them to run at a specific time.

There may be problems with some browser extensions. The Norton Identity Safe is a powerful password manager when working properly, but we have found that the Chrome version sometimes stops working for no apparent reason. We have seen many tests report similar problems.

However, you don't need to use Identity Safe at all, and the main features of Norton AntiVirus Basic are available on all fronts: it's easy to use, offers the configuration options that experts need, is highly rated by testing labs, and is carefully designed to have the least possible impact on your system's performance.

VISIT NORTON


Panda Dome Antivirus Pro 4.

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 5 devices
  • Lots of features
  • Can cover an unlimited number of devices
  • The interface won't be for everyone.
  • Protection test results are inconsistent
  • Process monitor
  • URL filtering
  • Bootable USB spare key

Real-time malware detection, fast scanning through the cloud, URL filtering to block malicious websites: Panda Dome Essential antivirus has all the benefits you expect from the best antivirus software.

This is just the beginning. Panda Dome is packed with extras that some of the other plans on this list don't have - from port scanning and ping management to in-depth process monitoring and an integrated VPN.

Regarding the main one, antivirus protection, there aren't many Panda test results from independent laboratories at the moment, but the figures we've seen don't exactly fill us with confidence because Panda has reached the bottom of the pile according to AV-Comparatives. This doesn't mean that Panda Dome will put your devices at risk, but you can understand why we recommend other software first on this basis.

The interface is also a bit decisive. With so many weird and wonderful features included, Panda Dome is able to make sure they can all be accessed and you can go as deep as you need. But on the other hand, this could discourage users who only want simple and silent antivirus software.

An undeniable bonus is the price, Panda Dome Essential is one of the most economical programs available, and you can even pay a little more and upgrade to cover an unlimited number of laptops, phones, tablets and desktops with a single subscription.

VISIT PANDA


McAfee Total Protection

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited
  • Very simple
  • Good value for money
  • Subject to false positives
  • Protection of navigation and banking
  • Protection against ransomware

McAfee Total Protection is an excellent collection of antivirus tools, and while it's a little more expensive than some of the other programs on this list, the amount of functionality you get makes the cost worthwhile.

With McAfee Total Protection, you get McAfee's brilliant anti-virus software, banking protection for secure online shopping, family safety tools, and a search tool that lets you track your lost Android or iOS device and, if necessary, lock it or remotely delete its contents.

It usually gets top marks for AV-Test protection, and usually gets high scores with AV-Comparatives, too. They also say that it can generate many more false positives than most competitors, but how this affects you varies depending on how you use your computer.

The interface is a major asset: it is extremely easy to use, lightweight and most of the time you can leave the application alone to take care of your PC. The program has a minimal effect on your system's performance, and if you need to intervene, you can usually solve all problems with just a few clicks.

In 2018, McAfee Total Protection remains an attractive solution: fast, lightweight, and capable of operating in conflict with many other security tools.

VISIT MCAFEE


6. ESET NOD32 Antivirus

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 4 devices
  • Highly configurable
  • Device access control
  • Relatively expensive
  • Not for beginners
  • Ransomware Shield
  • UEFI Scanner
  • Exploit Blocker
  • Cloud Analysis

If you judge antivirus software by the length of its feature list, ESET NOD32 Antivirus could be a disappointment. There is no firewall, password manager, file shredder, vulnerability scanner or other options that you will often find elsewhere.

This does not mean that the package is running out of power, but rather that it is more focused on the basics. ESET NOD32 Antivirus comes with real-time malware protection, one of the best detections on the market, an anti-ransomware layer, URL filtering to block malicious websites and modules to prevent attacks using PowerShell and malicious scripts.

A device control module limits the risk of infection from other devices by controlling access to USB sticks, external hard drives, optical storage media and even devices connected via Bluetooth and FireWire. This is an unusual addition, but it could make a difference if other people regularly plug devices into your PC.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is not intended for beginners. The interface is sometimes clumsy, some features are very advanced, and even the help is not always very useful.

Experienced users will appreciate ESET's power and configurability. Above-average protection ensures your safety and a lightweight design ensures it won't slow you down.

One of the new features of the latest update is the UEFI scanner that protects you from threats that attack your PC before Windows has even started.

ESET Internet Security is based on NOD 32 and triples the number of devices covered, in addition to offering a firewall, botnet protection, webcam protection, anti-spam, etc.

You can also purchase the ESET Smart Security Premium Edition for a little more, which adds all of the above as well as password management and secure data management.

VISIT ESET NOD32


7. Thor Home Antivirus

  • Operating system Windows
  • Maximum number of devices 3 PCS
  • An excellent Antivirus
  • Enjoy the power of Avira
  • Powerful URL filter
  • Automatic software updates

Although Thor Premium has passed our malware detection tests without difficulty, we normally turn to independent testing labs to get an overview. Unfortunately, they do not currently evaluate Thor, so they have nothing to tell us.

We can still look at the current results of Avira, which provides Thor's antivirus engine, and they are very impressive. For example, in the real-world protection test AV-Comparatives in February-May, Avira was one of only three out of sixteen products to achieve a protection rate of 100 %. Kaspersky came first, as it had no false positives; Avira was only slightly behind, with one; F-Secure third, with 20.

Although Thor Premium has the basic Avira engine, it will not necessarily implement it in the same way, and there is no guarantee that you will see this level of accuracy, but it is clearly a very good starting point.

Thor Premium doesn't just include the usual antivirus features - its proactive layers try to filter out threats before they can reach your PC. This sounds good in theory, but it's also very difficult to test, and so far we see no clear evidence that Thor keeps you any safer than more conventional tools.

VISIT THOR HOME


8. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus

  • Operating system : Windows and Mac
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 5 devices
  • Extremely light on system resources
  • Lightning fast
  • Permanent security
  • Identity Protection
  • Real-time anti-phishing
  • Firewall monitor

Almost all antivirus tools claim to be "light", but Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is the only one that really works on this front. Installation takes seconds, program files take up as little as 2 MB of your hard drive, RAM footprint is minimal, and there are no cumbersome signature updates to absorb your bandwidth.

But there's no compromise on functionality: in addition to basic protection, there's intelligent behavioral monitoring, accurate real-time antiphishing, firewall and network connection monitoring, enhanced anti-ransomware and other interesting options.

It's not easy to compare Webroot's accuracy with that of the competition because large testing labs rarely evaluate the company's products, but when they are examined, they generally perform well, and our own tests show strong and reliable protection.

There's a lot to love about SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, and Webroot's 70-day 100% money back guarantee suggests they're confident in the product. If you're tired of overly complicated and heavy engines, Webroot should be on your list.

VISIT WEBROOT


9 Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices Up to 5 devices
  • Affordable prices
  • Easy to use
  • Strong protection
  • Could slow you down
  • Visible limitation of options
  • Protection against ransomware
  • Protection against email scams
  • Pay Guard

Trend Micro Antivirus+ Security is high-performance, easy-to-use software with above-average antispam and an effective 'Folder Shield' module to block ransom software. And it seems to get better and better with time.

How good is it exactly? The best testing labs all rate it very highly for its protection, although there is some disagreement on the details. In particular, AV-Comparatives says it gives a high number of false positives, which could be a real nuisance. But AV-Test reports high levels of accuracy and no problems with false positives at all.

If there's an issue here, it's probably the impact on performance. PassMark's March 2019 performance report evaluated 14 security products on various performance-related benchmarks, and Trend Micro was at the bottom of the list.

Our experiences with the product are a little more favorable: protection levels seem similar to those of Bitdefender, false positives are only marginally higher, and it doesn't significantly slow down our system any more than anything else.

We recommend that you try Trend Micro for 30 days before purchase to see if you notice any problems, but if you are not affected, its high detection level and excellent bonus features make Trend Micro a good choice.

VISIT TREND MICRO


Pay Antivirus Rating updated in February 2020

Best Free Antivirus Software

Free Antivirus Suite, Fast and Complete
Windows, Mac, IOS, Android
Up to 10 devices
Fast and light
Fast scan
Password Manager
The Best Free Antivirus Scanner in 2020
Windows, Mac, Android, IOS
Automatic analysis
Absolute Protection
Automatic analysis
Fast and light
Excellent antivirus, stay out of harm's way
Windows, Mac, Android, IOS
Free VPN
Up to 5 devices
Cloud Analysis
AdGuard (anti pub)

By paying for a premium service, you get more features, such as spam filters, parental controls, system scans and advanced firewalls. This makes them more suitable for experienced users, those who want a little more security and anyone who wants their system to work as well as possible. It also means you avoid annoying pop-ups that try to entice you to upgrade to the full version. And, as you discovered above, they don't really cost too much to buy.

But nowadays you can get high-quality protection absolutely free, with just about every major vendor offering free antivirus. By doing so, developers have access to a larger number of devices from which they can collect data and thus improve their knowledge and security platforms, so it is not in their interest to reduce the level of protection offered by the free version.

Windows has come a long way in terms of security, but it's still fair to suggest that Windows 10's integrated solution, Windows Defender, is the latest free AV application you should trust to keep your system clean.

So, if you're determined to get free antivirus, we strongly suggest you check our list of the best security downloads in 2020 below. We've highlighted their features - and their shortcomings - so you can choose the best.


1. free Avast Antivirus

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited free version
  • Does not slow down your computer
  • Good protection against viruses
  • Irritating privacy settings
  • Virus detection
  • Game mode
  • Password Manager
  • Malware Analyzer

Avast and AVG have not yet fully merged, although the former officially acquired the latter in mid-2016. The newly merged company claims that the two free antivirus products will remain separate, although it appears that there will soon be a common antivirus software under development. Clearly, Avast now has much more data to work with, having expanded its user base (and therefore its threat detection network) to an impressive 400 million users.

The latest edition of Avast adds an automatic game mode to cut popups and reduce system load when you start a processor-intensive game, which is very handy, and the interface has been redesigned. There is also a password manager, which is a definite asset to your security portfolio.

It scores well on the AV-TEST malware benchmark and continues its flawless scan against zero-day attacks, so we can assume that the wide detection network is really useful.

VISIT AVAST


2. free Kaspersky

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited free version
  • Precise and reliable antivirus engine
  • Easy to use
  • Basic functions only
  • Limited technical support
  • Real time analysis
  • Anti-phishing
  • Mail analysis
  • Protection against spyware

The paid version of Kaspersky's Windows security software often tops the list of the best virus prevention solutions and AV-TEST has once again fully rated it in its latest round of tests.

As you would expect, Kaspersky Free is a reduced version of the full program, a tool we really like. The free version gives up extra features such as privacy and secure payment to focus on powerful, no-frills and, most importantly, free protection for your PC. The result is an extremely easy to use software that protects you effectively against viruses.

Using the scanning engine of the paid suite, Kaspersky Free is diabolically hard to crash for viruses, and we love that it doesn't constantly bother you with popups to upgrade to the full version.

But, ironically, we're going to bother you just for a moment, because it's not expensive to buy and yet offers much better protection for your PC(s). The standard price is €29.99 to protect three computers and includes more muscle when it comes to preventing spyware, trojans and ransomware.

VISIT KASPERSKY


3. free Avira Antivirus

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited free version
  • Little impact on system performance
  • High detection rates
  • Installer promotes other Avira products
  • Virus detection
  • Protection against phishing
  • embedded VPN
  • System optimization tools

Avira Free Antivirus continues to achieve excellent results in AV-TEST's rigorous testing program, cancelling 99.7 % of the tested threats, and it generally does not place too much of a burden on your hardware.

It has a clear interface with a smooth redesign ready for 2018 and rejects a minimum of false positives. The introduction of a free security suite to run alongside it with optional malware and phishing protection, a 500MB/month VPN and various acceleration promises only softens the deal. It is one of the best free antivirus software of 2018.

So why did we drop it from the top of our list? It's the constant harassment. There is a certain level of popups and advertisements that is acceptable for a free product and Avira has started to cross the line. It's not as much as some but booting up your PC to see Avira yelling at you once again is unbearable.

VISIT AVIRA


4. free Bitdefender Antivirus

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited free version
  • Fast scans
  • Excellent virus detection
  • Analyses cannot be scheduled
  • Protection against phishing
  • Behavioural analysis
  • Automatic analysis

Essentially consisting of the AV section of the complete product, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition's clean, lightweight and well-built scanning mechanisms are almost universally faster than the industry average and unmatched virus definitions mean that Bitdefender is back at the top of the list.

The insistence of the free version on running in autopilot mode is a double-edged sword, making the process of virus management easier but taking it out of the user's hands; although we are inclined to trust it, there have been cases in the past of automatic systems becoming slightly malicious, such as the incident a few years ago when Panda Antivirus identified itself as a virus and broke a large number of Windows systems.

However, AV-TEST's testing has highlighted some flaws in its handling of zero-day threats. And it's important to note that you can currently get our top-rated paid solution Bitdefender Antivirus Plus for the equivalent of about €2 per month. That's a small fee for a ton of extra features, such as online banking protection, built-in password manager, permanent file shredder and free 24/7 online support.

VISIT BITDEFENDER


5. Sophos Home

  • Operating system : Windows, Mac, Android and IOS
  • Maximum number of devices : Unlimited free version
  • Simple and non-intrusive
  • Good control of protected devices in the cloud
  • Limited controls for advanced users
  • Protection against phishing
  • Parental Controls
  • Protects up to 10 computers in paid version

Sophos Home does a little more than most free anti-virus software, and actually seems more suitable for families.

You get standard anti-virus and anti-malware protection, as well as browsing tools such as anti-phishing and, most importantly, content control. Combined with centralized management of up to 10 PCs, this means you can effectively lock down your children's browsing options.

Although AV-TEST has not formally assessed Sophos's skills, AV-Comparatives provides a decent assessment of its skills.

Although Sophos Home has always received desktop notifications, there was no premium version of the software to encourage an upgrade to. This changed in February with the launch of Sophos Home Premium.

VISIT SOPHOS


Free Antivirus Rating updated in February 2020

Malware, Spyware and Adware Protection

We have tested more than 40 antivirus utilities in practical tests to help you make the best choice. If you don't have an antivirus, now would be a good time to install one.

We call it antivirus, but in reality, it is unlikely that you will be hit by a real computer virus. These days, malicious software makes money, and there is no easy way to profit from the spread of a virus. Ransom software and Trojans that steal data are much more common, as are bots that allow the bot-herder to rent your computer for malicious purposes. Modern antivirus utilities deal with Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransom software and more. PCMag has reviewed over 40 different commercial antivirus utilities, not to mention the many free antivirus tools. From this vast field, we have named the FourEditors' Choice products.

Some non-standard commercial antivirus utilities have proven to be effective enough to achieve an excellent four-star rating alongside their more traditional counterparts. VoodooSoft VoodooShield bases its protection on removing all unknown programs when the computer is vulnerable, such as when connected to the Internet, and also acts to detect known malware. The Kure resets the computer to a known safe state each time it is rebooted, thus eliminating any malware. If you have malware, one of the ten products in the table above should fix the problem.

These commercial products offer protection beyond the antivirus built into Windows 10; the best free antivirus utilities also offer more. However, Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center seems to be doing a little better lately, with very good results from independent test labs. In our field tests, it showed a clear improvement over our previous review, enough to finally raise it to three stars.

Listen to the labs

We take the results reported by independent virus testing laboratories very seriously. The mere fact that a particular vendor's product appears in the results is a kind of vote of confidence. It means that the laboratory considered the product important and the vendor felt that the cost of testing was worth it. Of course, it is also important to get good test scores.

We monitor four laboratories that regularly publish detailed reports: SE Labs, AV-Test Institute, MRG-Effitas and AV-Comparatives. We also note whether vendors have contracted with ICSA Labs for certification. We have designed a system for aggregating their results to get an idea of the quality of the software.

We test defenses against Malware, Spyware and Adware.

We also subject each product to our own practical malware protection test, in part to get an idea of how the product works. Depending on how effectively the product prevents malware from being installed, it can earn points for malware protection.

Our malware protection test necessarily uses the same set of samples for months at a time. To verify support for a brand new malware product, we test each product using 100 new malware hosting URLs provided by MRG-Effitas, noting the percentage of these URLs blocked. Products receive equal credit for preventing access to the malicious URL and for removing the malware during download.

There are some products that get absolutely outstanding marks from independent laboratories, but do not perform as well in our practical tests. In such cases, we rely on the laboratories because they devote far more resources to their testing.

Multi-layer malware protection

Antivirus products are distinguished by going beyond on-demand scanning and real-time malware protection. Some evaluate the URLs you visit or that appear in search results using a red-yellow-green color-coding system. Some actively block processes on your system to prevent connection to known malware hosting URLs or fraudulent pages (phishing).

Software has flaws, and sometimes these flaws affect your security. Prudent users keep Windows and all programs patched, fixing these flaws as soon as possible. The vulnerability scan offered by some antivirus products can verify that all necessary patches are present, and even apply the missing ones.

Spyware comes in many forms, ranging from hidden programs that record all your keystrokes to Trojans that pose as valid programs when scanning your personal data. Any antivirus must deal with spyware, as well as all other types of malware, but some include specialized components dedicated to spyware protection.

You expect an antivirus to identify and eliminate bad programs, and leave the good ones alone. What about the unknowns, programs that it can't identify as good or bad? Behavior-based detection can, in theory, protect you from malware that new researchers have never encountered. However, it's not always an unmixed blessing. It's not uncommon for behavioral detection systems to report many innocuous behaviors executed by legitimate programs.

Whitelisting is another approach to the problem of unknown programs. A whitelisted security system only allows good, known programs to run. Unknowns are prohibited. This mode is not suitable for all situations, but it can be useful. The Sandbox function allows unknown programs to run, but it isolates them from full access to your system so that they cannot cause permanent damage. These various added layers serve to enhance your protection against malware.

Firewall, malware protection, etc.

Firewalls and spam filtering are not common anti-virus features, but some of our flagship products include them as a bonus - in fact, some of these anti-virus products are more feature-rich than some products sold as security suites.

Other bonus features include secure browsers for financial transactions, secure deletion of sensitive files, wiping of computer tracks and browsing history, virtual keyboard to thwart keyloggers, cross-platform protection, and more. You'll even find products that enhance their automatic protection against malware with the expertise of human security technicians. And of course, we've already mentioned sandbox, vulnerability scanning, and application whitelisting.

We are seeing more and more antivirus products adding modules specifically designed to protect against ransomware. Some work by preventing unauthorized changes to protected files. Others monitor suspicious behaviour that suggests the existence of malware. Some even aim to repair the damage. Given the growth of this scourge, any additional protection is beneficial.

Beyond Antivirus: VPN

Your anti-virus utility runs in the background to prevent any possibility of malware infestation, but its capabilities do not extend beyond the limits of your computer. When you connect to the Internet in the wild, you risk the possibility of your data being compromised in transit. Sticking to HTTPS websites whenever possible can help, but for complete protection of your data in transit, you should install a virtual private network, or VPN. This component is important enough that we are starting to consider it a bonus in some anti-virus tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we have summarized the most frequently asked questions about cybersecurity and the top antivirus software.

What is an antivirus?

Antivirus software helps you fight all forms of malware. The software protects and repels at the same time, which means it helps you avoid the installation of new malware, as well as removing existing malware from your device.

It does this by scanning your system using the signature and file detection methods described in the previous section and offers a wide range of user-oriented protection features such as antiphishing, password managers, etc. Your antivirus can also block certain invasive advertisements such as those on the streaming sites.

What is malware or malicious software?

Classically, malware was used to describe any type of software that could infect your device and cause damage. Typically, this damage includes slowing down your device, stealing sensitive information, or showing you unwanted advertisements.

In the modern era, where cybercriminals not only create malware, but also attempt to manipulate users into providing information, malware has become a much broader term.

Types of Malware

Below we describe many forms of malware, as well as a series of surrounding terms that are not considered malware in the conventional sense, but are nevertheless important to know.

What is an AdWare?

An AdWare is software installed on your device, designed to show you ads in the form of pop-ups or toolbars. These are completely harmless adware. Other versions will track your Internet usage or even monitor your keystrokes to steal sensitive data. An AdWare can be removed by dedicated anti-adware software or good anti-virus software.

What is a Botnet?

Botnet is the abbreviation for Bot Network and is sometimes referred to as an army of zombies. It is a network consisting of a large number of malware-infected devices that can be remotely controlled by a hacker. The purpose of a botnet is to organize DDoS attacks, steal sensitive data or spread other malware.

What is a computer virus?

A computer virus is code or software installed on your device without your knowledge or permission. Computer viruses can be annoying or incredibly destructive. They are designed to spread automatically between computers and networks and include all types of malware. Famous examples are CryptoLocker and Storm Worm.

What is a computer worm?

A computer worm is a form of malicious software that automatically replicates itself and can slow down your computer to incredible proportions. It is usually spread through email attachments and file-sharing networks and can be used by governments in other cases, as if to neutralize the opposing nuclear.

What is a computer exploit?

When software, hardware or a network has a particular vulnerability and a hacker uses it to hack into the system, it is called an exploit. The hacker often uses a piece of code or software to gain control. Vulnerabilities are usually discovered when hackers have already hacked into the system and caused damage.

What is hacking?

Hacking is the manipulation of a computer and its network, often for malicious purposes. By using malicious software that modifies data that travels over the network, a hacker can access information on the system. Using any form of malicious software to achieve an objective is considered hacking.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is any form of digital crime that is carried out using the Internet or electronic devices. In the age of the Internet, cybercrime is one of the most common forms of crime and is growing every year. It comes in two main forms: one-time attacks in which sensitive data is stolen and ongoing crimes such as extortion and cyberbullying.

What is a DDoS attack?

Usually, when a consumer website is inaccessible or incredibly slow, it falls victim to a DDoS attack, which stands for Distributed Denial of Service attack. A DDoS attack is executed by overwhelming a website with Internet traffic from thousands of devices, typically malware-infected and remotely controlled devices, also known as Botnet.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your tax, credit card or passport information and impersonates you. The criminal in question opens a new account in your name, such as a mobile phone contract, or uses your existing account, such as your Internet banking credentials, to pay for products and services.

What is a Keylogger?

Keyloggers are a special type of spyware that record the information you enter on your device, allowing criminals to track your activities and steal your passwords, credit card numbers, banking information and more.

What is phishing?

Phishing messages are schemes to trick people into revealing personal information, such as credit card details, bank account numbers or passwords. Often, phishing attacks take the form of emails claiming to come from real organizations such as your bank or PayPal, asking you to validate or update information. For example, you may have WannaCry who's been in the news a lot..

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, also known as rogueware or scareware, locks your device until you pay a ransom to unlock it. Some of the largest ransom attacks in recent history, such as WannaCry, Petya, Locky, Cerber and CryptoLocker, have made headlines around the world.

What is a rootkit?

A rootkit is malicious software that provides administrative access to your device to a hacker. It is often hidden deep within the operating system, where it can provide remote control of your device. Rootkits are used for a variety of purposes, from relatively harmless use for you personally, such as setting up DDoS attacks, to serious forms of identity theft.

What's a scam?

An Internet scam is a general term used to describe various types of fraud. In each of these scams, scammers try to get you to give up your personal information or pay for a product that you will never receive. The most common scams include Nigerian email scams, dating site scams and Craig's list scams.

What is Social Engineering or Social Engineering?

Social engineering is the concept of exploiting people to give out important personal information such as credit card details or passwords, or to give access to a computer system. It usually involves appealing to a person's greed, vanity, curiosity, altruism or fear of authority. Since the weakest link in the chain here is the person themselves, even the best anti-virus software has trouble protecting you from it.

What is spam?

Spam describes unwanted emails and messages that (badly) advertise a product or service. These are often mass sent messages with little or no personalization. The best anti-virus software is all equipped with spam filters, as are most modern email clients.

What is Email, IP or DNS Spoofing?

When a hacker impersonates someone else to spread malware, steal or access sensitive information, it's called Spoofing. IP Spoofing means sending a message from a trusted computer. Email Spoofing means designing the email, and the email address, to look legitimate. And SpywareSpywareDNS Spoofing means modifying the DNS of a domain to redirect traffic to a specific IP address.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is used by hackers to steal all kinds of personal information. It scans the websites you visit, records your browsing history and steals personal and financial information such as bank details or credit card numbers. A common form of spyware is keyloggers that track the information you type.

What is a SQL injection attack?

When a hacker adds malicious SQL (Structured Query Language) code to an input field on a website, which usually asks for a username and password, it is called an SQL attack. SQL code is designed to read, create, delete or modify data in the website database, either to access the site itself or to steal sensitive information.

What is a Trojan horse or Trojan?

A Trojan is a malicious software program that hides itself in an email or download, pretending to be useful while downloading other malicious software such as ransom, spyware or adware to your device. The most famous Trojan is called Zeus.

What is a Zero-Day Exploit?

Software vendors frequently release new products or product updates. When such a product or update contains a cyber security vulnerability that neither the software vendor nor the cyber security companies are aware of, we call it a zero-day vulnerability. A zero-day exploit means that someone is taking advantage of this vulnerability.

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