As a wise person has said “Prevention is better than cure”, the quotation fits well when talking about an antivirus software. Since the last decade, millions of netizens worldwide have opted for antivirus software as a mandatory online security tool. The reason lies on an increasing number of cyber threats, Trojans, worms, malware, and more vulnerability. With endless threats prowling around on internet, it would be unwise to keep one’s device unequipped with the best antivirus software.
“About 29 major consumer security breaches have been recorded in 2017 at companies such as Gmail,Equifax, Verizon, Arby’s, and Blue Cross BlueShield/Anthem, compromising users’ confidential information”.
With passing days, hackers have begun to demand more from victims where an expansion in average ransom can be seen rising from $294 to $1,077 in 2016. Besides, the number of fresh hacking and ransomware families has almost tripled in last year, expanding the infections by 36 percent. With such a massive scale development in exploits, it has become mandatory for every users, businesses, organizations, and government authorities to protect their data through the best antivirus software.
Antivirus software at first place makes a system foolproof and surefire against a number of undiscovered vulnerabilities, ensuring the users stay safe at all costs. In addition, the best antivirus software aims to maintain a balance between robust protection and performance, ensuring a safe experience at all times.
Top 5 Recommended Antivirus Of 2018
The Best Antivirus for Robust Online and Data Protection
Which antivirus should users opt for? Whom should you trust? Are all antivirus software safe to use? An answer to these questions is simple, there’re a number of things to consider when choosing an antivirus software. The considerations include malware detection mechanism, defense against worms and Trojans, detection techniques, and most importantly how it affects your PC or mobile’s performance.
For our editorial guide, we conducted an in-depth research and went through factual reports and users’ reviews about the most reliable antivirus software till date. After completing our research and individual testing,we have come up with the following most reliable, worthy and best antivirus software in 2018 to achieve an unbeatable antivirus protection.
Why do You Need Antivirus on PC, Laptop or Mobile?
As a matter of fact, every operating system pose individual loopholes and threats that hackers could use as freeways to exploit users’ data. Until now, cyber criminals had been focusing on releasing individual apps and tools to target users and organizations. However, trend has changed over time and with an emergence of mobile devices and IoTs, a fresh breed of cybercriminals has come into the bigger picture, targeting users through emails, newsletters, and promotional messages.
“According to a research, it takes around only two minutes to compromise an IoT device.”
The hacking landscape has transformed dramatically in the 2016, with a large number of cyber criminals showing engagement in political and public activities. Highlighting the Presidential Elections of the United States, conflicts in Ukraine, and the Olympics, all were affected by hacking campaigns. As a result, a wave of distrust has been created, influencing mindset of the public.
Not only this, the popular WanaCry ransomware in 2017 victimized more than 200,000 users, demanding $300 to $600 for decryption of the infected files.In addition, the hacking mercenaries have continued to refine their tactics, moving away from toolkits and relying more on software that could compromise and exploit the targeted networks.
“In the last 8 years, the number of identities exposed has increased to 7.1 billion.”
Apart from this, following is a representation of prominent hacking incidents that occurred last year:
Antivirus for Windows
While number of data breaches remained constant, the cases of identity theft increased drastically. With a jump from 563.8m to 1.1b identities stolen, the users of Microsoft Windows are now highly recommended to opt for an antivirus as a first layer of defense against a wide range of potential threats.
“The default features in Microsoft Windows such as PowerShell and Macros can facilitate remote access and malware downloads without requiring any vulnerability or malicious tool.”
With having more than 90 percent of market share in the digital industry, Microsoft Windows has millions of users around the world. With a massive customers’ base, Windows has become a luscious target for thousands of hackers worldwide. Considering the potential threats, it is recommended to protect a system running on MS Windows with a reliable antivirus for PC such as Bitdefender.
The reason lies on Bitdefender’s ability to warn netizens of vulnerable search results and restricting them from opening malicious links and files. Not only this, Bitdefender comes with state-of-the-art protective features that make it a recommended antivirus for Windows.
Best Antivirus for Mobile
Android and iOS stand as the mainstream platforms for mobile devices today. Both platforms hold subscribers’ base of about millions of users worldwide. However, overall volume of vulnerable and malicious Android apps has increased last year, expanding by 105 percent. On another hand, iOS operating system has also proven to be vulnerable against zero-day exploit after the Pegasus malware attack on iOS devices in 2016.
“Mobile malware threats have been increased by 105 percent where 18.4 million mobile malware were detected in 2016.”
Having said, there is a need of robust and best antivirus for mobile devices. In addition, no antivirus offers much stronger protection than Avast on mobile devices. Avast outshines other antiviruses by having more than 100 million installs. When installed on an Android device, Avast offers an impregnable layer of protection against phishing attacks through email, calls, SMS, and malicious sites.
On another hand, iOS devices don’t support any third party antivirus software, thus iOS users require to update their firmware to stay protected against new malware. Below is a graphical representation of mobile vulnerabilities in recent years.
Source: Symantec Threat Report 2017
Best Antivirus for Mac OSX
Once considered a foolproof operating system, Mac OSX has proven to compromise on its security against various vulnerabilities. In 2016, a threat named as the KeRanger (OSX.Keranger) emerged as the first ever widespread ransomware that targeted Mac OSX machines. The KeRanger was spread through a compromised version of BitTorrent client installer.
Considering the massive threat to Mac OSX users privacy, it’s essential to equip a Mac OSX system with a full-fledge and best antivirus for Mac OSX such as Kaspersky.
Kaspersky Internet Security takes Mac OSX security to next level, making it secured against phishing, vulnerable downloads, malicious sites, webcam spies, trackers and much more. It boosts overall security of a Mac OSX machine, ensuring a safe and secure user experience. Below is a chart showing an increasing number of malware threats on Mac OSX in the 2016.
Source: Symantec Threats’ Report 2017
Features to Consider in the Best Antivirus Software 2018
With passing days, data is becoming gold for hackers, state sponsored authorities, and various tech companies. The reason lies on the fact that our information holds prime value for the specified bodies. In fact, malware was initially created as a challenge, but soon the attackers identified worth of stolen data, and thus cyber security industry came into existence.
On top, malware along with various other vulnerabilities are unceasingly becoming stronger than before and opted by even the government authorities, cyber criminals, hacktivists, and spies to eavesdrop on users’data. Therefore, antivirus software need to be updated regularly, ensuring a user is protected against almost every cyber threat prowling in the digital world.
Following are the features that users should look for in antivirus software to ensure maximum protection:
Data Protection Aspects
Full-Fledged Data Protection
This feature in antivirus software ensures protection against a wide range of threats such as viruses, worms, Trojans, malware, ransomware, zero-day exploit, spyware, and rootkits.
Advance Threat Detection
The modern-day antivirus come equipped with behavioral detection technique that aims to monitor apps that are active. Whenever it detects something suspicious, it takes an immediate action for defense.
Advanced Multi-Layer Ransomware Protection
With this feature, a user can make confidential documents protected through various layers of protection. In this way, they stay safe against various encryption virus programs that would later demand for ransom to decrypt the files.
Protection against Phishing Attacks
The modern-day antivirus software are equipped with anti-phishing techniques that sniff and blocks websites that are vulnerable and could steal confidential information such as passwords, financial information, credit card number and more sensitive information.
Some of the best antivirus software encompasses features such as fraud detection system that notifies you whenever you come across sites that may try to scam through poker, casino, illicit material, loan offerings and much more.
Safe and Secured Browsing
This feature allows the users to identify if a website on search engine results’ page is safe to access before actually clicking on it. In this way, it protects you from clicking into infected links.
Rescue and Recovery
Certain files such as rootkits and others need to be removed before Windows starts. A worthy antivirus detects such threats effectively and reboots a computer in Rescue Mode for restoration and cleanup.
The Autopilot Mode
Some of the best and popular antivirus today comes with autopilot mode that makes it capable of taking decisions without even asking you. In this way, it doesn’t interrupts you with annoying popups and dialogue boxes.
This technology allows antivirus software to adapt to hardware and software configuration of a system, saving various resources and enhancing overall performance.
Cloud Based Network
This approach allows antivirus to perform heavy scanning in cloud, leaving a zero impact on your PC’s resources. In essence, the files are stored on cloud networks, ensuring they stay safe at all times and system performance doesn’t get effected.
The latest antivirus software come equipped with a fantastic feature that allows it to detect whether you’re surfing, playing game, or watching a movie. In addition, it doesn’t bother you with unwanted notifications when you’re watching a movie.
This handy tool of antivirus allows it to tweak system settings by adjusting display, system temperature, wireless connections, and some performance settings to reduce power consumption.
Fraud Protection& Password Manager
Decent antivirus software offers a dedicated browser that aims to secure online transactions from frauds. In addition, it can automatically fill out credit card details, usernames, and passwords.
This feature allows antivirus software to scan for loopholes and vulnerabilities that could compromise a system’s security. In addition, it can identify outdated software, missing Windows security patches and unsafe system settings.
Best Free Antivirus to Use in 2018
“Nothing in this universe comes for free”, the quote fits well when it comes to free antivirus. Undeniably, antivirus provides users with an additional layer of defense against severe threats but it’s essential to choose a worthy and reliable provider.
Many times, a free antivirus programs work as a honeypot to collect users’ data that could be later sold to advertisement agencies or even at the highest bid on dark web. Considering the severe privacy risk a free antivirus poses, it’s recommended to only opt from the reliable and trustworthy providers that are mentioned above and stay safe against almost every cyber threats.
Best Antivirus Software – Final Thoughts
In the recent years, hacking attacks have increased massively setting a global risk of ransomware. Hackers are on a pursuit to discover loopholes in the legitimate tools and cloud networks to exploit users’ private data.
Having said, it’s sole responsibility and right of every netizen to update computer or mobile devices, and only opt for reliable and premium antivirus providers that offer air-tight protection against a wide range of cyber threats. In addition, the providers that we have listed in this guide have proven to protect users with an impregnable and robust protection in the contemporary digital world.