In today’s connected world you browse the internet daily, probably through multiple different devices: a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone. And without protection you are exposed to the numerous malicious hackers out there who want to take advantage of people who are easy to compromise with non-targeted, broad attacks. It’s practically impossible to avoid this by simply “being careful” when browsing online. Even if you only visit trusted sites, these sites can be temporarily compromised and loaded with malware. Or if you are careful about opening emails, all it takes is one mistake. The best bet is to invest into a comprehensive antivirus solution that you can install on all your devices, not just your PC.
Relying on Windows Defender
If you run Windows on your desktop/laptop, like many of us do, then you have a free antivirus software built-in, called Windows Defender. It wasn’t very effective when Microsoft first launched it, but they have improved it over the years, and now it has pretty good performance when it comes to detecting and neutralizing malicious software on your computer.
But this doesn’t protect your smartphone (or your Mac/MacBook). Most people think that you are only vulnerable if on a computer with Windows. While it is true that the vast majority of viruses attack the Windows operating system, it doesn’t mean that you are immune when using other devices. Your smartphone is vulnerable precisely because you are not likely to think of protecting it as much as your PC. Even if it doesn’t get infected by a virus, you can more easily open a link to a phishing site if no tool warns you about it.
In addition to that, a premium internet security solution offers lots of extra features that protect you from multiple angles, not just a direct malware infection on your computer. It usually includes:
And many other features, depending on the product, but every premium product will provide this among many more. Also, Microsoft doesn’t offer you any guarantees or support if your system does get infected. They will say that you should have used a dedicated antivirus solution. I think it’s more sensible to rely on protection from a company that is dedicated to providing you such solutions and has a proven track record in this domain.
Investing in a premium antivirus
I use Bitdefender Family Pack as they have a reputation for world-class quality, and their solutions are also very reasonably priced. They also happen to be a company from my home country, but this is a small bias, I still wouldn’t use them if they were not top-notch. On top of the software that you install on your computer, they have apps for your smartphones and also a version for Mac, so all your devices are protected. I also like that the software stays out your way once set up, you can leave it on autopilot. And with the family pack license, I can get their software installed on all the devices of family members. You can get the Bitdefender Total Security package if you don’t need that.
Besides what I use, two other premium options I would consider are Norton 360 Deluxe and McAfee Total Protection. You can compare the pricing and features of them and see what makes sense for you, as these are likely to change depending on when you read this article.
But I strongly recommend that you choose a premium antivirus and invest in a license. It’s quite cheap for the benefits that you get. Which antivirus software are you using? Let me know in the comments.