With so many threats from so many sources, PC and laptop security software these days needs to be more than a simple firewall and anti-virus combo. The best packages close down on vulnerabilities and block attacks from every angle, while providing the kind of security you need when you’re shopping or banking online.
While free anti-virus packages are a step in the right direction, they can’t provide the total peace of mind that a more feature-rich, integrated security suite provides. What, then, should you look for from security software? Well, all of the following will help.
Anti-virus and anti-malware protection
Good security software does more than scan and clean; it takes a proactive approach, constantly watching for virus-like behaviours. In Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015, for example, Active Virus Control’s dynamic detection technology monitors processes in real time, looking for suspicious activities that might indicate the presence of malware.
It’s the kind of technology that has helped Bitdefender win the Best Protection award from the independent test labs, AV-Test, three years straight: an impressive achievement when facing one of the world’s most rigorous anti-malware test programmes.
Of course, finding malware isn’t the end. Some packages may try to clean your system, but struggle with rootkits that can’t be easily removed. Bitdefender’s products get around this by rebooting the system in Rescue Mode: a controlled environment where you can quickly clean and restore your PC.
Advanced Firewall Protection
Windows has its own Firewall, but it only protects your system from outside attacks, not programs that abuse your outbound connection or hook-in through a Wi-Fi link. This leaves you vulnerable to keyloggers or spyware, which upload sensitive information to cybercriminals. A two-way firewall, as found in Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015, watches both inbound and outbound traffic, checking which program is sending information, and whether you’ve authorised any such connection. If you haven’t, it can shut it down.
Good security isn’t just about checking for viruses that are already there, but about blocking the vectors through which malware can attack. The best security suites look for vulnerabilities and monitor other potential channels that a threat might exploit.
For example, Bitdefender’s 2015 products feature a Quick Vulnerability Scanner, which automatically warns you of missing or outdated software, missing Windows security patches and potentially unsafe system settings. Meanwhile, Bitdefender’s USB Immunizer blocks and eliminates viruses stored on a USB drive at the moment it’s connected to the PC.
Secure Browsing, banking, shopping and social networking
The Web can be a hostile place, but strong security software acts like a virtual bodyguard, blocking threats as they emerge. Search for something online, for instance, and Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015 can tell you if a link is safe to click before you click it, or prevent access to infected links you might have clicked on before. Meanwhile, Bitdefender’s Safego filters scan links you receive from Facebook friends for signs of trouble, and monitors your privacy settings to put you in control of what you share.
For optimum security, some suites also include a dedicated secure browser, designed specifically to secure your data when you’re banking or shopping online.
Bitdefender’s Safepay browser, part of Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015, identifies, blocks and offers protection against keylogging and unauthorised screen captures, and examines every page for threats. It also blocks attempts to tamper with your files and processes, with features to fill in credit card details safely and automatically. It’s a must-have feature when you’re shopping or banking, but can also protect your laptop and its data when your browsing over public Wi-Fi.
Bad security software is obtrusive, crippling performance when you need it most or throwing up continual alerts. Good security software isn’t; it works quietly in the background, uses resources efficiently and makes intelligent decisions on your behalf.
Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015 use a system of profiles to track whether you’re working, playing or watching movies, and will actively prevent other apps from popping up to slow you down. Meanwhile, Bitdefender’s Autopilot feature gives users a hassle-free environment at a click, with no prompts, no pop-ups, no alerts. Autopilot simply looks at threats as they emerge, then takes the action it feels most appropriate on your behalf. And when it comes to system resources, Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015 have minimal impact, as shown in five-star ratings for Performance from AV-Test.
The best security suites round out the package with other features – and ones you’ll actually want to use. Bitdefender Internet Security 2015 and Bitdefender Total Security 2015, for example, include tools for optimising your PC and protecting laptops in the event of loss or theft, not to mention tools for monitoring and managing security across all your PCs. They also include advanced parental controls, so that you can block inappropriate content from a child’s computer, monitor activity or restrict Web access to specific hours. Just another way that good security can help give you peace of mind.
This article is brought to you in association with Bitdefender. As well as security software for the home, Bitdefender provides business protection with Small Office Security - always-on security for companies with up to 25 employees.