Malware is on the rise. And phishing attacks. And ransomware, identify theft, data breaches, and much more. Not only are cybersecurity attacks and vulnerabilities on the rise, but their impact also costs more, takes longer to recover from, and can be extremely damaging.
It’s high time for you to consider your system security. There are so many anti-this and anti-that programs out there, it can be difficult separating the security wheat from the cyber chaff.
Confused about computer security? Don’t know how to protect your computer? In this guide, we’ll show you the software and tools we use to secure our own computers. Here are the best security software and tools.
1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019
Rock-solid and reliable protection
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Ransomware protection and remediation, privacy tools, VPN, Safepay
2. Norton AntiVirus Basic 2018
Operating system: Windows only | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Advanced privacy security, financial security, global civilian intelligence network
Norton offers plenty of tweaks, options and settings for those who need them, as well as features like a handy URL blocker that keeps you away from malicious websites. If that misses something, an excellent file reputation service heuristically recognises suspect downloads immediately. And if malware still finds a way through, intelligent behaviour monitoring uses its up to date virus definitions to quarantine threats at the first sign of trouble.
If you’re a more hands-on type, you can easily run scans on demand. Maybe set up and save custom scans to check just the areas you need. Even schedule them to run at a particular time, but only if your system is idle, and it’s not running on battery power.
There can be problems with some of the browser extensions. The bundled Norton Identity Safe is a capable password manager when it’s running properly, but we’ve found the Chrome version sometimes stops working for no apparent reason. We’ve seen plenty of reviewers reporting similar problems, so there does seem to be a real issue here.
Still, you don’t have to use Identity Safe at all, and Norton AntiVirus Basic’s main functions deliver on all fronts: it’s easy to use, has the configuration options experts need, comes highly rated by the testing labs, and is carefully designed to have the least possible impact on your system performance.
3. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus
Operating system: Windows and Mac | Maximum devices covered: 1 | Stand out features: Always-on security, identity protection, real-time anti-phishing, firewall monitor
Just about every antivirus tool claims to be ‘lightweight’, but Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus is the only one to really deliver on this front. Installation takes seconds, the program files barely grab 2MB of your hard drive, RAM footprint is tiny, and there are no bulky signature updates to tie up your bandwidth.
There’s no compromise on features, though. Along with the core protection, there’s smart behaviour monitoring, accurate real-time antiphishing, a firewall and network connection monitor, enhanced anti-ransomware, and other interesting extras.
It’s not easy to compare Webroot’s accuracy with the competition, as the big testing labs rarely evaluate the company’s products. But when they are reviewed, they generally score well, and our own tests show solid and reliable protection.
There’s a lot to like about SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, and Webroot’s 70-day 100% money-back guarantee suggests it’s confident in the product, too. If you’re tired of overly complicated and bloated engines, Webroot must be on your shortlist.