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In the latest tests by security specialists AV-Comparatives, it was one of only four antivirus packages to achieve a perfect 100% score – and it didn’t flag a single false positive while doing so, something no other security suite can claim. AV-Comparatives rated it “very fast” for both launching applications and web browsing, and the suite’s signature “Autopilot mode” makes it perfectly unobtrusive.
When this is switched on, the software silently decides what to block and what to allow without involving you at all.
However, your security software can only examine messages that are stored on your PC, through a client like Outlook or Windows Mail.
If you use Gmail or Hotmail, your security software has no way of looking inside attachments to see that they’re safe. Security experts have been warning for years that smartphones and tablets are just as vulnerable to malware attacks as computers, and many security suites are partnered by apps for Android and i OS – both free and paid-for.
Nowadays, Windows comes with a very capable firewall of its own, and it’s quite common for the developers of security suites to leave this in place, rather than providing their own.
Advanced users, who feel at home customising network rules, may prefer a bespoke firewall – but unless you fall into that category we’d suggest that the Windows firewall is likely to provide all the protection you need. One of the easiest ways to get infected by malware is to inadvertently visit a dodgy website.
Web security is especially important on banking and shopping sites: if someone managed to hijack your transactions here, they could steal your financial details and cause very serious trouble.If you like the cross-platform approach, it’s worth considering a suite that comes with a suitable companion app.Price when reviewed: £33 (three PCs, one year) When it comes to malware protection, Bitdefender’s pedigree is impeccable.Things move so quickly that simply checking for known malware is no longer good enough: your antivirus program needs to monitor and analyse everything that’s happening on your system, so that even brand new “zero-day” exploits can be blocked.The question is, out of the dozens of security packages on the market, which one should you trust to safeguard your computer and your precious data?