Top 10 Antivirus Software of 2022

What is the best antivirus for PCs in 2022? We’ve analyzed all the manufacturers to show you the best. Compare the best brands.

We tested the software in depth. To support our research, we charged a fee through one of the links.

Why do we need an antivirus? Our security is at risk. Any Windows PC is hackable. Any click can be tracked. By buying the best antivirus program, we get our security and privacy back. And, equally important, we get our peace of mind back. Our device will be safe from malware. Our passwords will be protected from hackers. Our online activity won’t be spied on by companies looking to flood us with ads. And our children will be protected from inappropriate online content.

But there are literally hundreds of antiviruses available. How do we choose one? That’s what we’re here for. We’ve been testing and analyzing the best antivirus for Mac, Windows, Android iOS since 2014. We’ve selected the best out of fifty antivirus apps, and we present them below. Arm ourselves with anti-malware, firewall, webcam protection, password managers, virtual private networks (VPN), parental controls, game boosters, and anti-tracking software: these are the Swiss army knife tools that the cybersecurity industry puts at our disposal.

So, what are the best antivirus for Windows 10 PCs?

1. BitDefender

Bitdefender

Best antivirus for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS.

Antimalware, firewall, VPN, password manager, parental control, webcam security.

  • Malware Protection 100%
  • Online Privacy 100%

✓ Windows, Mac, iOS and Android✓
Refundable up to 30 days✓
VPN: 200 mb free per day.

Read our review of BitDefender

ScoreSEE

2. Norton

Excellent antivirus for Windows.

Antimalware, firewall, VPN, password manager.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 100%

Read our Norton review

3. Panda

Excellent antivirus for Windows.

Antimalware, firewall, VPN, password manager.

  • Protection against malware 100%
  • Online privacy 96%

Read our review of Panda

4. Intego

Excellent antivirus for Mac.antimalware, firewall, VPN, parental control, cleaning utility.

  • Malware protection 100%
  • Online privacy 96%

For Mac only (not Windows)

Refundable up to 30 days
VPN: optional

Read our Intego review

5. BullGuard

Very good protection for Windws.

Antimalware, firewall, optional paid VPN.

  • Malware protection 94%
  • Online privacy 76%

Windows, Mac, and Android ✓
Refundable up to 30 days ✓
VPN: optional

Read our BullGuard review

6. McAfee

Very good protection for Windows.

Antimalware, firewall, VPN, password manager.

  • Malware protection 94%
  • Online privacy 56%

Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android
Refundable up to 30 days
VPN: free and unlimited

Read our McAfee review

BitDefender Antivirus review

The best antivirus for Windows 10 PCs of 2022.

Advantages:

  • Perfect antimalware for Windows – BitDefender discovered one hundred% of the 10.

·  No impact on PC speed: BitDefender scored 97.1% in the PC Mark Performance Test. This means that it will not slow down your computer.

·  Antiphishing: We will receive a warning before we visit suspicious websites, known for stealing confidential information, such as credit card details.

·  Firewall: Automatically blocks any unauthorized device in its attempt to connect to our PC and access our private data.

·  Password Manager: Generates and stores unique passwords for all our accounts.

·  Free limited VPN: We can encrypt our internet connection, so that we are anonymous online and safe from hackers.

·  Webcam protection: We will receive a warning when an application tries to activate our webcam and block its access.

·  Parental Controls: We can limit screen time and filter inappropriate websites for our children, even remotely.

·  Additional features galore: BitDefender includes anti-ransomware, anti-tracking, microphone protection, secure online banking, and many other internet security features.

·  Discounts: BitDefender offers great discounts for users in Spain and Latin America. It has, therefore, the best value for money.

Cons:

  • Free VPN limited to 200 MB per day: Unlimited VPN comes at an additional cost. However, it is well worth the cost. We’ll get a version of Hotspot Shield’s lightning-fast VPN at a discounted rate.

To learn more, you can read the review of BitDefender Total Security or BitDefender VPN.

See the price of BitDefender

Norton Antivirus review

One of the best antivirus software for PC

Advantages:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Windows – Norton discovered one hundred% of 10,249 malware samples in software detection tests.
  • No impact on PC speed: Norton scores 97.3 in the PC performance test. This means that it will have no impact on your PC’s speed.
  • Antiphishing: We will receive a warning before accessing a fraudulent site, those who try to steal our confidential information, such as our credit card details.
  • Firewall: When we connect to the Internet, any suspicious traffic is prevented from accessing our PC, so that it cannot obtain our data and files.
  • Password manager: We can create secure and unique passwords for each of our accounts, and store them in a virtual safe.
  • Free and unlimited VPN: We will surf the net anonymously by encrypting our internet connection and hiding our IP address.
  • Webcam protection: We will block spyware and hackers from accessing our webcam from abroad.
  • Parental Controls: We’ll be able to filter what our kids do online and set limits on their screen time, among other things. Norton’s parental controls are the best in the industry.
  • Additional features: Norton includes cloud backups and a slew of identity theft protection features in its premium packages.

Drawbacks:

  • No VPN in AV Plus: Norton’s most basic antivirus package, AV Plus, doesn’t include VPN. It is included in the 360 Standard, Deluxe, and Premium packages.

To learn more, you can read the review of Norton’s antivirus 360 Deluxe or the Norton Secure VPN.

See Norton’s price

Panda Antivirus review

Excellent antivirus protection for Windows 10

Advantages:

  • Perfect antimalware for Windows: Panda detected 100% of the 10.249 malware samples in the malware detection test.
  • No impact on PC speed: Panda scored 97.0 in the PC performance test. This means that it won’t slow down your computer at all.
  • Antiphishing: We will receive a warning when we SEE malicious websites that try to steal our personal or financial information.
  • Firewall: Automatically prevents any unauthorized device from connecting to your PC or laptop.
  • Password Manager: Panda has created a brand new password manager, which allows us to create and store a specific password for each account.
  • Free VPN: We can encrypt our Internet connection with Panda’s VPN -based on Hotspot Shield technology- to become anonymous online.
  • Parental Controls: We can manage what our children see and do online, and what applications they can access.
  • Additional features: Panda has a few useful additional features, such as a dedicated scanner for USB drives and a cleaning tool to speed up our devices.

Cons:

  • Less effective anti-phishing: Panda’s anti-phishing discovered fewer malicious URLs than BitDefender and Norton.
  • Android-only password manager app: On Windows and Mac, it only works as a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.
  • Free VPN limited to 150 MB per day: 150 MB is not enough. And if we want the unlimited version, we’ll have to go through the cashier or get Panda Dome Premium.

To find out more, you can read Panda Dome’s antivirus review or Panda’s VPN review.

See Panda’s price

Intego Antivirus review

Excellent antivirus for Mac

Advantages:

  • Exclusive for Mac: Intego was designed exclusively for MacOS, making it one of the best solutions for protecting Apple’s operating system.
  • Perfect anti-malware for Mac: Intego found 100% of malware in independent tests.
  • No impact on your Mac’s speed: Intego outperformed the industry average in all performance tests, which means your Mac won’t lose a single speed tip.
  • Antiphishing: We will receive a warning before accessing a fraudulent site, those who try to steal our confidential information, such as our credit card details.
  • Firewall: When we connect to the Internet, any suspicious traffic is prevented from accessing our Mac, so it can not get our data and files.
  • Parental Control: We will be able to manage what our children see and do online, and what applications they can access.
  • Additional features: Intego has a few useful additional features, such as a backup and cleanup tool to speed up our devices.

Drawbacks:

  • No password manager: Intego doesn’t give us the option to create and save unique, highly secure passwords.
  • No free VPN: Intego does not include a free version of its VPN. If we want to be anonymous online, we’ll have to purchase the VPN.

To learn more, you can read the Intego Mac antivirus review.

See the Intego price

BullGuard Antivirus review

Excellent antimalware, but some features missing

Advantages:

  • Perfect anti-malware for Windows: BullGuard uncovered one hundred percent of malware in independent tests.
  • No impact on PC speed: BullGuard outperformed the industry average in all performance tests, meaning your PC won’t lose a single speed tip.
  • Antiphishing: We will receive a warning before entering a website that has been confirmed to be trying to steal sensitive information, such as our credit card information.
  • Firewall: Prevents any device not authorized by us from connecting to our PC and accessing our personal data.
  • Parental Controls: You can block categories of websites, such as gambling or adult entertainment, set time limits for internet use, and much more.
  • Additional features: BullGuard incorporates a game booster, a home network scanner, cloud backups, and a few other useful features.

Drawbacks:

  • No password manager: BullGuard doesn’t give us the option to create and save unique, high-security passwords.
  • No free VPN: BullGuard does not include a free version of its VPN. If we want to be anonymous online, we will have to purchase the VPN.
  • High-priced VPN: BullGuard’s VPN is a basic version of NordVPN, but it costs the same as NordVPN. We would be better off subscribing directly to NordVPN.
  • Norton’s parental controls are better: Those of us parents who want every last add-on would do better to go with Norton instead.

To find out more, you can read the BullGuard antivirus review.

See the BullGuard price

McAfee Antivirus review

Near-perfect protection

Advantages:

  • Excellent anti-malware protection: McAfee detected 10,242 (99.93%) of 10,249 malware samples in the malware detection test.
  • No impact on the speed of our PC: McAfee scores 97.8 in the PC performance test, so our PC will continue to fly as usual.
  • Antiphishing: We’ll receive a warning before accessing a website known to be trying to trick users into revealing sensitive information.
  • Firewall: Automatically prevents any program or device from connecting to your PC without your permission.
  • Password Manager: McAfee’s password manager, which helps us create and store unique passwords, is the best of the five antivirus programs in this particular test.
  • Free unlimited VPN: We’ll be anonymous online by encrypting our Internet connection and masking our IP address with McAfee Safe Connect.
  • Parental Controls: We’ll block our children’s access to inappropriate websites and specific applications, set screen times, and track their location.
  • Additional features: McAfee includes performance optimization, home network protection or encrypted file storage, among other features.

Drawbacks:

  • Anti-malware protection a notch below others: McAfee missed more malware samples than BitDefender and Norton in detection tests.
  • Norton’s parental controls are still the best: If we buy an antivirus because of parental controls, we recommend Norton instead.
  • VPN with an invasive logging policy: McAfee’s VPN tracks what we do online. Yes, we’ll outwit hackers, but we won’t be anonymous. We recommend avoiding this VPN.

To learn more, we can read the review of McAfee antivirus: LiveSafe, also known as McAfee Total Protection.

See McAfee price

Other comparisons

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Our approach

Digital privacy and security are essential. And knowing which sources to trust when choosing our security software is equally important.

Therefore, we want to be transparent about the methods we use to analyze and select the best antivirus programs for Windows 10 PCs in our comparison.

Below are the three factors we consider most important. They all matter, but not in equal measure. That’s why each of them has a different impact on the final score. To find out more about what each factor contributes, just read below.

Protection

The main function of an antivirus program is to protect against malware threats and phishing attacks. The test labs AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, one German and the other Austrian, respectively, carry out several in-depth studies every year to analyze how the various brands handle these threats.

To do so, they subject each of the security tools to the three tests described below. Rather than duplicate their work, we use their findings to determine the score for each brand in our comparison.

Real-time protection testing

The objective of this exercise is to find out how antivirus software responds to online malware threats.

This is done by accessing a malicious URL and observing whether or not the URL is blocked. If it is blocked, the antivirus passes the test.

If the URL is not blocked, the malware is allowed to run. If the antivirus software detects the malware at this stage (either by digital signature or behavioral detection methods) and blocks its execution, the antivirus also passes the test.

If neither the URL nor the malware is blocked, then the system is compromised and the antivirus fails the test.

Malware protection tests

During these tests, computers are exposed to malware via USB or network drives, rather than via the Internet.

After a PC is exposed to a malware sample, an on-demand scan is run. If the antivirus detects the digital signature and prevents it from executing, the antivirus passes the test.

If it does not detect the digital signature, the malware is allowed to run. Here, the antivirus has a second chance to «hunt» the malware. This time, using its anomalous behavior detection functions.

If, again, it fails to detect the malware, the antivirus fails the test.

Antiphishing test

Phishing attacks attempt to trick users into revealing sensitive information to hackers, such as their credit card details. This is done by imitating legitimate websites, often PayPal and banks, and asking users to enter their login details.

This is an important test, because phishing attacks do not infect a PC with malware, but attempt to manipulate the user through social engineering and spoofing. Therefore, antivirus requires a different set of capabilities than is necessary to detect malicious code or suspicious file behaviors.

The test itself is very simple. It determines whether the antivirus program, or its browser extension, warns the user when the user attempts to access a fraudulent website. If not, fail the test.

Privacy

The privacy industry is taking the world by storm. At a time when governments, internet service providers, and big data companies can track our every digital footprint, consumers are clamoring for privacy. To meet this demand, cybersecurity companies are adding privacy features to their products.

Below, we describe the most essential privacy features. This comparison is based on our experiences with these tools.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A VPN allows us to encrypt our internet connection and mask our IP address. The advantage of this practice is that neither hackers, internet service providers,debig data companies, nor governments will be able to see what we do online. In practice, this restores our anonymity when surfing the net.

Until very recently, antivirus and VPNs were separate industries. This is no longer the case. Almost all antivirus manufacturers now offer VPN connections as part of their product. However, the way in which they do this varies considerably. In our analysis of the various VPNs, we found the following:

  • The impact on upload and download speeds, and latency (ping).
  • Whether Netflix streaming and torrenting are allowed, and whether they work.
  • The number of servers available and where they are located.
  • Security features, such as 256-bit AES encryption and OpenVPN protocol.
  • The price of the VPN.
  • Who the VPN creator and owner are, and what their logging policy is.

The last point – the logging policy – is of particular importance. Although we are anonymous online when we use a VPN, the VPN company itself can still track what we do. After all, our online activities flow through their servers.

Of course, a VPN shouldn’t track our movements. A VPN is a privacy product. And that means privacy in the eyes of everyone, including the VPN provider itself. Unfortunately, many free VPN services, and even some paid ones, abuse their power by collecting and reselling our data.

So what about the companies in our comparison – are they reliable, and are their VPNs worth the money?

1. Norton: A trustworthy brand with a good VPN offering.

Norton has developed its own VPN, called Norton Secure VPN. It’s included for free with all of their antivirus products, except for their most basic product, AV Plus.

The VPN has some flaws (it doesn’t allow for torrenting and lacks an auto-switch), but it’s secure, fast, works with Netflix, and enforces a clear zero-logging policy (i.e., it doesn’t track anything we do online).

And the fact that it’s included for free makes it the best VPN offering among the big antivirus brands.

2. BitDefender and Panda: Both are reliable companies and offer good terms for their VPNs.

BitDefender and Panda have not developed a VPN of their own. Instead, they «sublet» the Hotspot Shield VPN under their own brand name.

The Hotspot Shield VPN, owned by Pango, is one of the global leaders in the industry. It is fast, very secure, allows for streaming and works with Netflix. It can easily compete with other big names like CyberGhost and NordVPN.

The VPN marketed by BitDefender and Panda is a slimmed down version of the Hotspot Shield VPN, as we lose several server locations and the automatic switch in the deal. However, it is offered at a very significant discount. While Hotspot Shield puts its subscription at around $100 per year, we can get our hands on BitDefender’s for $39.99.

It’s worth noting that while BitDefender and Panda own our data, Pango processes it on their behalf. Fortunately, Pango has a clear zero-logging policy, which means that none of our online activity is stored. Thus, we are guaranteed to be completely anonymous online.

3. BullGuard: A reliable brand, but their VPN is no bargain.

BullGuard markets a basic version of the NordVPN service under its own name. While NordVPN is excellent (fast, secure, works with Netflix and eltorrenting, and enforces a clear zero-logging policy), not all of its features are available in BullGuard’s version (only sixteen server locations and no auto-switch).

This in itself is not a problem, as long as the price reflects it, as in the case of BitDefender and Panda. After all, if we get less, we should pay less.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Bullguard VPN and NordVPN have very similar prices, which doesn’t make sense. So, if we want to get NordVPN’s excellent service, we’d better go directly to the source. We recommend not paying more for less with BullGuard’s service.

4. McAfee: A company unworthy of our trust and therefore a terrible choice for our VPN.

McAfee took over TunnelBear (a VPN company) in 2018. Since then, it’s included its VPN (now called Safe Connect) for free in its McAfee Total Security package. Unfortunately, it’s a VPN to avoid.

McAfee’s VPN is fast, relatively secure, and allows for torrenting, but it doesn’t support any streaming services (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Disney+). And to make matters worse, McAfee’s logging policy is simply a calamity:

McAfee saves our IP address, our location, the websites we visit, the links we «click» on, and a host of other nonsense. It retains our data forever and reserves the freedom to sell it to third parties. It doesn’t get any worse. There is very little difference between McAfee’s logging policy and that of any average ISP.

Anti-tracking

Certain antivirus brands, such as BitDefender, now also include an anti-tracking tool, in the form of a browser extension. While there are many good and free anti-tracking tools on the market, it is good news to see how BitDefender has increased its privacy features.

As the name suggests, anti-tracking tools block things like cookies. This will put a stop to all those annoying ads that are nipping at our heels online. This has the dual benefit of boosting our privacy and making websites load much faster.

Microphone and webcam security

Loshackersson was able to activate our laptop’s microphone and webcam without us noticing. It’s as creepy as it sounds. Luckily, both Norton and BitDefender include webcam security by default in their antivirus packages.

Speed

Any program that runs permanently in the background requires a certain amount of resources. Antivirus is no exception. However, their impact varies significantly. While some are barely noticeable, others can slow down our system by up to 20%.

The AV-Test and AV-Comparatives labs both run performance tests, in which they measure the resources required by antivirus software to perform its tasks.

The tests measure the slowdown caused by an antivirus program when copying, downloading and organizing files, installing and launching applications, or browsing websites.

AV-Comparatives runs the tests on low-spec Windows 10 computers (Intel i3 CPU, 4GB of RAM and an SSD as a hard drive), using tests they developed themselves, in addition to standard performance tests, such as the PC Mark 10 Professional.

AV-Test runs the benchmarks on both low-end (Intel i7, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM) and high-end (Intel i7, 256 GB SSD, 16 GB RAM) Windows 10 PCs.

We use their results, combined with our own test results, as the basis for our verdict in the speed section.

Free antivirus

We sometimes wonder why we don’t recommend free antivirus programs. The answer is simple: their features only include basic antivirus protection and sometimes a WiFi scan.

This leaves your online life completely unprotected. In addition, some free antivirus programs (such as Avast) have collected user data and sold it to marketers.

Don’t take chances with your security or privacy. Get real antivirus protection.

The most common features

What is anti-malware?

Antimalware programs detect and remove malware (malicious software) from our devices. They also prevent us from downloading and installing new malware. In their war against digital threats, they have three strategies in their arsenal:

Digital signature-based detection – When an anti-malware program identifies potentially malicious software, it can analyze some of its code and check it against a database containing all known malware. If there is a match with any of the malware signatures contained in the database, the program is flagged as malicious. The disadvantage of this detection method is that the database contains only known malware, which means that new malware can slip through undetected.

Behavior-based detection: To detect unknown malware in the jungle of emerging threats, the behavior of programs can be analyzed. If an application behaves in an unusual or unauthorized manner, it will be characterized as malicious. This method is at the forefront of cybersecurity and often uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect malware.

SandboxingUnsandboxo«sandbox» is an isolated digital testing environment in which suspicious programs can run. In this hermetic environment, their behavior can be safely analyzed, without running the risk of infecting the rest of the system. In order not to compromise the processing power of our device, sandbox analysis is usually performed in the cloud.

What is anti-ransomware?

Ransomware is a modern form of malware that blocks us from accessing our own files or devices. It then demands payment via an untraceable method, such as a cryptocurrency transaction, to unlock it again. The best way to protect against ransomware is to prevent it from ever being installed. There are four ways to do this:

Invest in cybersecurity software: The best antivirus programs have features that prevent the exploitation of vulnerabilities to protect valuable files and prevent ransomware from taking our devices hostage.

Backup regularly: Whether it’s online, through a cloud storage provider, or to a separate hard drive, a backup can be a real lifesaver. Whatever you choose, be sure to employ an encrypted system with multi-factor authentication.

Don’t skip security updates: When our device requests an operating system update, we should do so without delay. Often, these are security updates. For example, the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack exploited a Windows vulnerability for which Microsoft had already released a patch. However, many users simply had not updated their system.

Don’t let your guard down: Ransomware is often installed by end-users themselves. Through clever use of social engineering, users are tricked into downloading attachments or clicking on links they shouldn’t touch. If it looks bad, it usually ends badly.

What is anti-phishing?

A dephishing email comes from a seemingly legitimate sender or trusted source and asks for login credentials or payment information. They are often sent in a barrage of emails to thousands of users simultaneously. Because they are very general, they are often quickly identified by digitally literate users.

This is more difficult in the case of targeted phishing attacks. These are highly personalized offensives, using information from social networks to focus on specific individuals. An email can appear to come from a co-worker, a boss, or even our spouse, significantly increasing its likelihood of success.

While it is incredibly difficult to prevent a phishing attack that we are the defined target of, anti-phishing programs are very effective against generic attacks. The vast majority of these attacks are easily prevented with the following methods:

Anti-spam: By blocking emails that are suspicious, or that other users have marked as spam, most phishing emails go directly to the spam folder.

URL analysis: With the help of a browser extension, anti-virus programs will warn us before accessing a website known to promote phishing.

What is anti-theft?

Phones and laptops are constantly being stolen. Their portability is what makes them both convenient and vulnerable. In the unfortunate event that a device is stolen, anti-theft software can do four things for us:

Location tracking: Using very low-powered tracking software, the location of our device is tracked and updated in a central management panel.

Data protection: Many anti-theft tools will allow us to remotely retrieve photos and documents, encrypt our hard drive, or completely erase all files on our device.

Alarm and spying tools: Some anti-theft tools will allow us to display a message on the login screen, activate an alarm, or take pictures of the thief using the front camera of our device.

Device management: In the case of corporate anti-theft programs, all devices can be monitored and tracked and organized under a single administrator.

What is a firewall?

A firewall is a barrier between your device and a network, such as the Internet. It can filter traffic and prevent unauthorized intruders from accessing our files. In principle, it can be both a hardware and asoftware solution. However, in the case of antivirus, it is restricted exclusively to the latter.

In the case of a two-way firewall, not only external connections are monitored, but also internal connections. This means that applications can’t just connect to any server of their choice. The firewall monitors their activity and prevents any suspicious data flow.

Not having a firewall on your device is the equivalent of leaving your front door wide open. Thus, we allow any hacker to access our device and our network. This makes it possible for them to steal data, perpetrate identity theft, or hijack our device.

What is a VPN (or virtual private network)?

With the help of a VPN, we can surf the web anonymously and securely. This means that no one, not even our own government or our internet service provider, can see what we do online.

There are many advantages we gain this way. We will be able to download torrents securely, circumvent censorship, unlock Netflix catalogues from overseas and use public wifi networks without fear of hackers.

Although the technology is complex, the basic idea is easy to understand:

Typically, when we visit a website, our device creates a direct connection to it. This allows computer-savvy owners of such sites to record a lot of information about us, such as our IP address, which is the digital equivalent of our home address.

When we use a VPN, we initially create an encrypted connection to a VPN server before visiting the website. The owner of the site can no longer see your IP address. Instead, he sees the IP address of the server. This makes us virtually untraceable online.

In addition, the data we send to the VPN server is encrypted, which is a fancy way of saying that it is scrambled and unreadable. This allows us to safely use public wifi networks without having to worry about being spied on.

In short, our online anonymity is restored.

What is an anti-tracking feature?

Online ad companies track our browsing habits and collect data about our devices and browser settings. Together, this information creates a personalized digital footprint of who we are, allowing these companies to generate a customer profile and send us personalized advertising.

The results can be just plain annoying, like a pair of sneakers we saw on Amazon and now they keep chasing us in ads all over the web. Or outright unfair, like that plane ticket whose price increased overnight.

Over time, all these ads add up. After all, most users are more honest with their search engine than with their spouse! Consider, for a moment, everything we’ve searched for on the web, or the websites we’ve visited, in the last twelve months. Would we want anyone to have access to that information?

Good anti-tracking tools have a few tricks up their sleeves to prevent all these annoyances:

  1. They can block ad companies’ attempts to track us.
  2. They can disguise our digital footprint, so they don’t know who we are.
  3. They can clear our browsing history on a regular basis and delete cookies.
  4. They prevent ads from being displayed, without altering the websites that host them.
  5. They can show us tracking attempts that have been thwarted.

What is webcam protection?

Let’s imagine that someone is looking at us right now, through our webcam, without us knowing it. The indicator doesn’t even light up. And they could still be watching us without us knowing. It’s a terrifying prospect. And, frankly, it’s perfectly possible.

We may have downloaded a seemingly legitimate program, or clicked on a seemingly harmless link, only to end up installing malware that acts like remote desktop sharing programs. From that point on, a hacker can remotely activate our camera and watch us.

By updating our operating system, installing an antivirus with a firewall, using secure wifi networks and avoiding dangerous areas of the internet, we reduce the risk of our webcam being hacked. However, we can go one step further.

By installing an antivirus with dedicated webcam protection, our camera is continuously monitored. When an unknown or suspicious application tries to activate it, the attempt is blocked and we are notified.

Depending on the webcam protection feature, we can also use the webcam settings to block access completely, block specific programs (such as browsers), or create a «whitelist» of allowed applications.

What is a password manager?

Do you use the same email and password combination for every site? Does our password include the name or date of birth of a loved one, or a pet? Or, perhaps, is it something along the lines of 1234567 or qwerty123? All of the above are extremely common, and very unsafe.

Personal data breaches on popular websites happen all the time. If we use the same email and password for every site, if just one of them is hacked and our account login information is stolen, all of our other accounts will be compromised as well.

A password manager avoids this problem. By helping us generate random, highly secure passwords, each of our accounts has a unique, bulletproof password. What’s more, the password manager stores them all in a safe that only we can access.

The best password managers even autocomplete our email and password when we navigate to our favorite websites, giving us access without us having to do anything. It’s one of those tools that will make us wonder how we ever lived without it.

What is Parental Controls?

The Internet is a wonderful thing. But it’s also full of inappropriate content. Stuff that we probably don’t want our kids to see. That’s where parental controls come in. Its mission is to allow us to moderate our children’s use of the internet in a multitude of ways:

Filtering and blocking: We can block access to specific websites, categories of websites (such as adult entertainment or gambling), and particular terms on Google or other search engines.

Outbound information blocking: We can prevent our children from sharing sensitive information, such as our home address or payment information, either through email or websites.

Limiting hours: We can set time limits for Internet use, or for specific websites. We may also determine what times our children may access the Internet.

Monitoring: We can track which websites our children visit, and be notified when they do. And without them even realizing it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Adware?

Adware is the universal name for computer programs that are designed to play various advertisements on a person’s computer. Adware programs can redirect search requests, play unwanted advertisements in your browser, and even collect data such as that used in advertising campaigns.

Adware programs can be either malicious or non-malicious. Malicious adware programs are those that collect advertising information without the user’s consent and cannot be located on the computer. Such «invisible» pieces of software that operate in secret, often enter the user’s computer through freeware, infected web pages and emails or remote installations through a backdoor.

Read the main types and examples of Adware

What is Antivirus?

Antivirus is a type of software, in principle designed to help eliminate computer viruses. Over time, this type of software has evolved to the point where it can prevent various cyber threats from entering a computer.

Antivirus programs are usually packages of tools known to protect computers against malware, viruses, hackers, keyloggers, worms, adware, spyware, spam, phishing, rootkits, among others. These programs use so-called «definitions» that need to be updated regularly in order to ensure protection against the latest threats. They can also use sandbox detection (behavior-based detection), data mining, or even machine learning algorithms to detect, quarantine, and finally remove threats.

Read the main types and examples of Antivirus

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS refers to Distributed Denial of Service. This type of attack often disrupts traffic on individual networks or servers. It works by flooding the target with large amounts of data traffic, thereby slowing down its performance. A DDoS attack can be directed towards the target or towards its infrastructure.

It is also important to know that most DDoS attacks are launched through the use of so-called botnets or botnets. Because they can make use of multiple corrupted or compromised devices, these attacks can have devastating consequences and disrupt the regular flow of data and information.

Read about the main types and examples of DDoS attacks

What is a SQL Injection Attack?

A SQL injection attack is often used to impersonate an identity and modify or corrupt existing data. This type of attack vector is quite common and is often employed against online sellers, marketplaces, or any other business that uses a SQL database. The main purposes of these attacks include gaining access to hidden data, modifying balances, and destroying data.

The attack is perpetrated by inserting malicious SQL code into a field for execution or request to the database. Although there are many types of SQL injection attacks, they are considered less threatening compared to other types of malware and exploits, due to the constant improvement in the field of network security.

Read the main types and examples of SQL injection

What is a Botnet?

Botnets, also known as zombie armies, are used by black hat hackers, or hackers, for a wide range of uses. Primarily, a botnet is a series of interconnected devices (computers, smartphones, etc.). Each of them operates its bot unconsciously. This type of network can be created without the consent of the device owner and can be remotely managed by one or more individuals.

The most common use for the botnet is launching strong DDoS attacks, stealing personal information and sending spam, among other things. The combined computational power of many devices, hijacked and connected through bots is what makes bots so dangerous and protection against them so difficult. Botnets can also be rented to individuals or groups that need computing power to attack.

Read about the main types and examples of botnets

What is a Trojan Horse?

Trojan Horse is the name for malicious software that does not self-replicate or spread across networks and appears to be benign in nature. There are many types of Trojan horse viruses, and they are categorized according to the type of action they perform. As such, there are remote access Trojans, backdoor Trojans, and proxy Trojans, among others.

The typical method of spreading Trojan viruses is through social engineering techniques, such as phishing and spoofing. The victim unknowingly downloads them onto their computer, usually attached to a seemingly legitimate file or software component.

Read the main types and examples of Trojan Horses

What is Cyber-Crime?

Cybercrime, originally referred to as computer-oriented crime, is any form of criminal activity involving a computer or computer network. If computers, networks, or other mobile devices are used either as tools to commit crimes or as intentional targets, the criminal act is classified as cyber-crime.

Under the term cyber-crime are also crimes that use telecommunication networks or services (chat rooms, emails, etc.). Cybercrimes have multiple classifications, which depend on the actions or tools used. Thus, there are financial fraud crimes that fit into cybercrime, as well as cyber-terrorism, online harassment, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and others.

Read the main types and examples of cybercrime

What is a Scam?

A scam is any action that involves a fraudulent scheme carried out for the purpose of stealing money, goods, or confidential information from individuals or groups. In this digital age, more and more scams are being conducted over the internet, due to the ease of simultaneously targeting many individuals or targets.

Some notable examples of scams can be auction fraud, phishing, donation fraud, the Nigerian prince scam, catfishing, telephone marketing, chain emails, online surveys, and others. Scams can be targeted scams or simple steps in larger scams and serve as a means of advancement within the planned scheme.

Read the main types and examples of scams

What is a Zero-Day Exploit?

A zero-day exploit can be one of the hardest things to protect against. The reason is that there is really no way to protect yourself from a vulnerability that no one knows about. This name is given to unknown exploits, and it means that only the person or people who are taking advantage of them know of their existence.

Once the zero-day exploit is known and published to other programmers and security experts, it is no longer called that. Instead, the exploit becomes known as an N-day exploit, where the N refers to the number of days since the discovery of the exploit.

Read about the main types and examples of zero-day exploits

What is a Computer Exploit?

The name computer exploit can refer to software, data, scripts, or lines of code that exploit vulnerabilities in certain software or hardware. By using an exploit, one can either gain remote access to someone’s device or cause significant damage to their software or hardware components. This occurs as a result of unintended behavior caused by the attacker.

Computer exploits can come in various forms and are usually classified according to the type of vulnerability they exploit. There are also both local and remote exploits. These classifications refer to the level of access needed to use the exploit against a computer or network of devices. Zero-day exploits are the most dangerous, as there is no protection against them.

Read about the main types and examples of computer exploits

What is a Computer Worm?

A computer worm is a self-replicating malicious program that typically spreads across entire networks, causing significant disruption to traffic. Although not typically designed to deliver any payload, as most computer viruses do, worms are frequently used to establish a botnet.

Worms can install backdoors on the user’s computer. This, in turn, allows a third party to control those devices, install bots and create botnets, which can be used for stronger attacks, or rented out to others with nefarious plans and a need for great computing power. Worms can also cause traffic disruptions or make systems unreliable or unresponsive by consuming portions of the computing power of infected devices.

Read the main types and examples of computer worms

What is Computer Hacking?

Computer hacking can be used to describe two types of activities. It is sometimes used with a negative connotation when it refers to activities practiced by those with malicious intent. These individuals or groups use various computer exploits and malware programs to take control over the systems of other computers, with the intention of causing disruption or generating financial gain.

This term is also used in association with activities practiced by programmers working against malware programs, those who create antivirus programs, firewalls, and patches for various system vulnerabilities. Thus, the hacker is usually used for a hacker who works on security, while a cracker is a term associated with individuals with malicious intentions.

Read the main types and examples of hacking

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering refers to any action of psychological manipulation against individuals or groups in order to spread confidential information, or generally perform actions that may be harmful to them or their organizations.

There are different types of social engineering, which depend on how the manipulation is carried out or what goal it aims to achieve. Usually, the social engineering tactic is just another step in a larger fraud, a means to take the scheme to the next step. One of the most common tactics is to impersonate trusted entities through direct contact or phishing.

Read the main types and examples of social engineering

What is a keylogger?

A keylogger can be a hardware component or a software program, which is used to monitor and record keystrokes on the keyboard. The keylogger is usually designed to run in the background and is completely invisible to the user’s eyes. Keyloggers can also be part of a malware package, known as rootkits, and serve as the basis for a larger attack.

Not all keyloggers are used for malicious purposes. Some companies use them to monitor the activity of their employees, some parents use them to monitor their children’s online activity, while others are used in the field of cognitive writing research. However, keyloggers can also be used to steal passwords and other sensitive personal information.

Read the main types and examples of keyloggers

What is Malware?

Malware, or malicious software, is the term used to describe any type of software designed to provide unauthorized access to devices or networks of devices. Malware can also be used to steal, corrupt, or harvest data and hinder the target’s computer or the processing power of a network. Some common examples of malware include adware, spyware, keylogger, etc.

Depending on the type of malware affecting a system, specific actions will need to be taken to stop the situation and repair the damage. For this reason, the best protection against most types of malware is usually a strong antivirus package that has adware and spyware detection functionality, a comprehensive, regularly updated virus directory, and a firewall.

Read the main types and examples of malware

What is Phishing?

Phishing is one of the most popular techniques used in social engineering. It denotes any malicious attempt to obtain confidential or personal information illegally while posing as a trustworthy entity. Phishing is often done through email spoofing.

While most phishing attacks involve the use of fake web pages and redirects to these web pages with corrupted links or attachments, some phishing attacks are performed using old-school methods. For example, voice phishing typically uses fake caller ID and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services to gain the victim’s trust and obtain sensitive information.

Catfishing is a popular method of phishing, in which the perpetrator tries to engage the victim in an emotional environment in order to get them to send money. Law enforcement can also use catfishing techniques to catch criminals.

Read the main types and examples of phishing

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software, most commonly used to hold various important files, programs, or entire networks hostage until a ransom is paid. It is also used to blackmail targets with the threat of making sensitive information public unless the perpetrator’s conditions are met.

These attacks are usually launched with a Trojan virus, which typically emulates legitimate files that the user would download and open. What makes ransomware so dangerous is not only the difficulty of decrypting the encrypted keys but also the difficulty of tracing the attack back to the perpetrators. This happens because most ransomware is paid in cryptocurrency, which is virtually untraceable.

Read the main types and examples of ransomware

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a crime where someone deliberately uses another person’s identity as a means to gain a financial advantage or other benefits, while also causing the victim to suffer the consequences of the perpetrator’s actions.

When considered cyber-crime, it means that identity theft has occurred as a result of various computer exploits, hacking, use of malware, or packages to collect personally identifiable information necessary to obtain the aforementioned benefits. Identity theft can also be used to describe actions in which a person’s personal information is used by a cybercriminal to steal money from their bank account or to open a new account and charge high bills.

Read the main types and examples of Identity Theft

What is a Rootkit?

A rootkit is usually a collection or package of software tools, designed to grant remote access and ultimately control over an external computer system or network. It is often used with malicious intent, such as establishing a backdoor into a system. This backdoor can then be used to install other malware.

When its use is not malicious, a rootkit program can be used to provide the end-user with support for various programs or applications. Since the rootkit is not classified as a computer virus or worm, it cannot spread by itself, which means that it has to be installed directly. For this reason, rootkit malware often disguises itself as a legitimate program or hides inside one.

Read about the main types and examples of rootkits

What is Spam?

Spam is the designation used for the action of sending unwanted emails in large quantities. While the most popular method involves sending unsolicited and unwanted emails to trick people into providing their personal or confidential information, spam can also be used for what is known as spam marketing campaigns. Spam campaigns can be initiated by botnets and are considered very cheap, even though they are not very reliable to most people.

Of course, the term is not only used for emails. In reality, spam defines any kind of unsolicited electronic message sent in bulk. This includes emails, phone messages, search engine messages, blog posts, social media posts, forum posts, classified ads, among others.

Read the main types and examples of spam

What is Email, IP or DNS Spoofing?

Spoofing is the practice of altering any form of communication from unknown sources in order to make it appear to be from trusted sources.
IP spoofing is used to disguise a computer in order to gain access to an otherwise restricted network or to hide anyone’s activity on the network.
Email spoofing often involves the use of fake email accounts that look almost legitimate, carrying links or attachments that either request confidential information or lead to other web pages that may spread malware.

DNS spoofing is usually done to redirect traffic from trusted websites to fake ones that may spread malware. Sometimes email spoofing and DNS spoofing go hand in hand.

Read about the main types and examples of spoofing

What is Spyware?

Spyware is any type of malicious software, such as adware, Trojans, system drivers, or even tracking cookies, that can be used to collect and transmit sensitive information from individual computers or computer networks without the user’s consent.

Although spyware is typically used with malicious intent and the programs often operate underground without the user’s knowledge, keyloggers could also be classified as spyware. As such, not all spyware is used to steal information. Sometimes it is simply used to monitor someone’s actions to better assess their productivity, interests, or level of loyalty to their bosses.

Read the main types and examples of spyware

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is the most common type of malware, affecting millions of operating systems every day. It is basically malware potentially capable of reproducing itself through the corruption of other programs, much like how the flu virus works. It inserts its own code into other programs, thereby infecting them and causing them to function poorly or in a very specific way.

Not only is it one of the most damaging types of malware, but it can be costly because of the way it wastes resources, corrupts important data, and even causes systems to crash. Not to mention its potential use for identity theft, DDoS attacks, spreading political propaganda, terrorist propaganda, and much more. Computer viruses do not attack until the file or program to which they are attached is opened. Thus, many can be removed before they cause any damage.

Read the main types and examples of computer viruses

Sources

Trustpilot / Airo
Trustpilot / Avast
Trustpilot / BitDefender
Trustpilot / BullGuard
Trustpilot / Intego
Trustpilot / Kaspersky
Trustpilot / McAfee
Trustpilot / Norton
Trustpilot / Panda Security
Trustpilot / Total AV

AV-Test / Windows
AV-Test / Mac
AV-Test / Mobile

AV-Comparatives / Test Results