Hackers are the new terrorists. At least according to UK law. This heated language showed sentiment of real fear, different from only a few years ago when many people believed that if they were “safe” while on their computers, then they were exempt from the risk of being hacked. Whatever these “safe practices” were, they are no longer such an illusion. In our day of Facebook, Equifax, and other large-scale data hacks, which seem to have become somewhat of a daily occurrence, people no longer live with the delusion that their personal data is safe. Private data is private for a reason – it contains your financial information, as well as information that is the basis of your identity as a citizen (think social security number). And data breaches can manifest on any part of the ethics spectrum, from the outed cheaters of Ashley Madison to innocent minors having their identities stolen and finding debt worth hundreds of thousands of dollars leveraged for criminal activity, in their names. Whatever the perceived risk of your data, protecting it with antivirus software is an investment that is well worth it. To help you get started, here are some of the best antivirus software programs on the market:
BitDefender Antivirus Plus 2018: There’s a good reason this antivirus software program’s prices have been increasing dramatically over the past few years. Dubbed “one of the most accurate and reliable [engines] around” by TechRadar, BitDefender has a reputation as a golden child amongst independent testers. Its web filtering system blocks access to malicious sites, its anti-phishing module tells you when you pull up sketchy links in your search results, and it prevents you from entering websites that will cause you harm. Although it’s a bit more expensive than others and it is known to conflict with other programs, the BitDefender continues to rank high among both testers and Consumer Reports.
Norton Security Premium: With an even higher price tag than BitDefender, Norton has been in the game for quite some time now. But Norton’s staying in power has benefited others. It has maintained a user-friendly interface for easy installment and used by consumers, and won’t blast you with pop-ups. It uses the simple green, yellow, and red color scheme to keep users updated on their current risk level. Don’t let its hefty price tag of $110 a year scare you off – you can get a 50% discount for year 1, plus, this price is actually for ten devices. Pretty good deal when you take all of this into account.
Panda Antivirus Pro: Another user-friendly option is the cutely-named Panda. Complete with real-time malware detection, cloud-based scanning who’s speed you will appreciate, and URL-filtering to block dangerous websites, this antivirus software will protect your data from the terrorists of the Internet. Panda’s two-way firewall and application control system knows what is running on your computer, allowing it to recognize an intruder, even if it has never been discovered before. Prices run from $41.99 per year for 3 devices to $55.99 per year for 5.
The data revolution is here. With each day, new variables are created to turn you into a compilation of numbers and statistics, and everyone else wants to get a hold them. Whether it is for a purpose as benevolent as to better understand and prevent crime – or on the other end of the scale – your personal data is your personal data. If you choose to sell or give away your information that’s your choice. But in the meantime, practice safe Internet surfing with a trusted antivirus software program and protect your data from hackers and criminals.