Securing your PC from malware, trojans or a computer virus is a full-time job. Especially if you surf a lot of strange new websites or are fond of downloading apps from the Internet.

PC users continue to be vulnerable even if they are running the latest security software solutions. Hackers and malware creators have found ways of using websites, browsers and installers to propagate their malware before a solution can be found.

Security threats such as malware, ransomware, viruses and trojans can slow down your work, lead to data loss or even force you to reset and reinstall your system.

The Importance of Security Software

Most PCs come with system security software pre-installed and Microsoft has bundled Windows Defender with each install. I find that with most careful PC users, Windows Defender is very effective in keeping viruses away on most of my PCs.

As a rule of thumb, I don’t download software from untrusted websites, I avoid websites that my browser says may be unsafe and I use a VPN (Virtual private Network) when using my PC in coffee shops.

This helps reduce the chances of malware, trojans or a computer virus getting into my system. Aside from Windows Defender, I also use Malwarebytes, which offers four-layers of protection and focuses on ransomware which can come from websites.

This combination plus fastidious PC use and awareness are what works for me on my work PCs and even this is not bulletproof as I have still gotten stung by malware.

If you are using or managing PCs used by members of your office or family, especially children, then you will need to keep your antivirus game on point. There’s a higher chance that users can stumble into unwanted malware situations.

What Do We Need to Protect Against?

Ensuring antivirus and malware are working in your system adds necessary protection to your PC. This includes protection from e-mail trojans, websites that may contain viruses and apps that install themselves when you are installing something else.

Viruses and other malware can quickly take over your system. Some will hijack your browser, opening unwanted tabs until your system crashes.

A lot of malware is so insidious that it can even uninstall or deactivate your antivirus software, rendering it useless or ineffective. When this happens, it becomes difficult to track down or stop the malware. You need to dig deep into the system and uninstall the most recent applications or the ones that may be containing the virus.

Even Macs, which are famously resilient towards viruses and malware can be infected by e-mail trojans or web-browser based attacks. While not as susceptible to viruses, Macs can still be slowed down by unwanted malware.

Options for Protection

As mentioned earlier, Windows 10 does come with its own free antivirus solution called Windows Defender and while this suffices as basic protection, there are options for more broad-spectrum protection.

A lot of virus protection solutions are made available as freeware or shareware and while they do offer some features, I suggest considering investing in your solution.

I pay for a Malwarebytes subscription because I know there will be regular updates as well as a number to call in case things go wrong.

What users need to determine is the amount of protection they need? Do they have multiple PC? How long do they want to get a subscription for and which works best for their specific situation?

Below are some notable Antivirus suites worth considering.

Norton Security Premium (PC/Mac) -10 User Standard

Don’t take chances with valuable information, protect your devices and your identity with Norton Security Premium.

This easy to install program protects 10 devices for a year by safeguarding against spyware, malware, and unsafe websites. Plus, it helps protect your children from unsafe web content.

  • Secures up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones and tablets for one year. You can add more secure online PC storage as your needs change.
  • Includes premium family safety features so your kids browse their connected world safely, and it helps you manage protection for all your devices with an easy to use web portal.
  • Includes 25GB of secure cloud PC storage it also safeguards your identity and online transactions.

Bitdefender Total Security 2810 (PC/Mac) – 5 Users/ 1 Year

Safeguard sensitive files and browse with worry using Bitdefender Total Security 2018. It features technology to automatically scan for the latest e-threats and security issues, plus tools to encrypt your own files, as well as Webcam Protection to ensure your privacy.

It protects up to five Windows, Mac, and Android devices for one year.

  • Offers complete protection for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android
  • Has malware detection, and multi-layer ransomware protection prevents malicious programs from encrypting your personal data
  • Webcam Protection offers users more security and privacy. Optimized speed and cross-platform performance

McAfee Total Protection 2018 (PC/Mac/ Android/ Chrome/iOS) 3 Users – 1 year

Enjoy fortress-like protection against malicious threats with McAfee Total Protection 2018. This comprehensive one-year subscription software vigilantly blocks viruses, malware, spyware, and more while keeping your personal data out of the wrong hands. McAfee  remembers passwords, thumbprints, and faces to provide secure access to authorized users.

Includes a one-year subscription to McAfee Total Protection 2018. This Can be installed on up to three devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.

  • Premium anti-virus protection blocks viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware, unwanted programs, and more
  • True Key technology remembers your passwords and recognizes your face or fingerprint to log you into your websites and apps, safely and securely
  • Anti-spam protection blocks dangerous messages before they reach your inbox by removing emails that may include risky links and viruses
  • Parental controls allow you to set internet time limits, block inappropriate sites, and see what your kids have been doing online
  • Features a File Lock that combines password and encryption protection to keep your personal files out of the wrong hands

It is compatible with Android 4.1 or higher; iOS 9.0 or higher; Mac OS X 10.11 or later; Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit); and Chrome OS.

ESET Internet Security (PC) – 1 user -1 year Best Buy Only)

Stay several steps ahead of digital hackers with ESET Internet Security. This software secures your data while you surf the web at home or on a public Wi-Fi system, and automatically secures transactions on internet banking sites and online payment gateways. It even monitors your webcam to ensure no hidden threat tries to access it.

This version features a one-year subscription for a single user, including both antivirus and antispyware software proactively protects against all types of online and offline threats, and prevents malware from spreading to other users.

  • Script-based attack protection detects attacks by malicious scripts and JavaScripts that can strike via your web browser
  • Automatically secures transactions on internet banking sites and helps protect payment gateways for safer online banking and shopping
  • Personal firewall protection prevents unauthorized users from accessing your computer and stealing or exploiting your personal data
  • Parental controls are included and give you the option of choosing from predefined categories of protection, according to the age of your children
  • Anti-phishing protection safeguards your privacy and assets from fake websites trying to steal your sensitive personal information, including passwords and banking details

Remember to keep your PC, Mac and mobile devices safe. If you don’t have a solution in place, you can find a comprehensive selection of antivirus and security software at Best Buy.

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