Not too many years ago, I wrote a number of articles for a prestigious publication. My brain flipped back into that mode this afternoon when I came across an article written by the fine folks at Safety Detectives (attached). I penned the following for no-strings-attached distribution:
If you’re online, please use an antivirus. Hackers can’t launch distributed denial of service and many other attacks if everyone is using an antivirus.
If you’re using Windows 10, then Windows Defender is enabled by default, and it has become very good at handling nearly all of the stuff that’s out there.
Of the free antivirus programs, Bitdefender’s Antivirus Free Edition keeps winning top awards, and it’s available for Windows 10, MacOS, and Android (no iOS — sorry!).
Out of the paid versions, Symantec’s Norton Antivirus tops the list, but Bitdefender’s Antivirus Free Edition continues to beat it in most ways, so why pay?
The linked article reports, “Popular options like Avast, Bitdefender, and Avira often combat as much as 100% against these attacks.”
I like the idea of security suites, but you won’t find free versions. They’ll cost you between $30 for a single license and over $300 a year for 10 licenses.
Don’t believe the hype “you get what you pay for,” though, as one of the best security suites on the planet — Bitdefender Total Security costs just $45 for 5 licenses and $50 for 10 licenses, but that’s first year only. Renewals are double the price. Their Premium Security includes a VPN for $65 for 10 licenses, but renewals are $150.
If you’ve got money to burn (I don’t), I don’t think you can go wrong with Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus at $300 ($350 renewal) for unlimited PC’s, Macs, smartphones or tablets in the same household. In addition to LifeLock, it includes half a terabyte of encrypted backup, a VPN, Credit Monitoring, and many other financial and investments feature. It’ll even monitor your home title to prevent squatters from filing false documents to illegally obtain your property.
Finally, if you’re running a business, hackers took a $4.1 billion bite out of business’ backside in 2020, and that’s expected to crest $5.2 billion in 2021. You can’t rely on edge protection and “good employees.” All it take is one encrypted download or thumb drive containing ransomware and your system is going down. The VM approach isn’t immune, either, and Bitdefender’s GravityZone Security for Virtualized Environments might be the ticket, even if you’re already using Symantec for Musinesses and MSPs. After all, even the U.S. Government was hacked. How many entire cities were held for ransom in 2020? You can’t ignore it thinking you’ll save money. Sooner or later, they’ll get you, as well.
And don’t think they can’t touch us because we’re Americans! While the US doesn’t appear on top ten Countries with Highest Rate of Malware Infections, it doesn’t appear on the bottom ten Countries with Lowest Rates of Malware Infections, either.
Back to those mobile devices: 98.05% of malware is targeted against Android. Fortunately, most suites with multiple users includes protection for smart phones and tablets.
All in all, there’s a way to beat the bad guys. The basics are FREE. Additional protections will cost some bucks, but if you shop and buy smart, they won’t cost you much.