You need to install antivirus software on every PC you own. PCMag’s Lead Security Analyst Neil J. Rubenking has tested over 40 antivirus programs and compiled a list of top options for every platform. The best services earned outstanding scores in independent lab tests and include malware-scanning and other security-centered features. Some of the highest-scoring software suites also offer access to a VPN for an added layer of privacy while browsing online.
In his roundup of the best antivirus protection, Rubenking notes that it is unlikely that readers will face an actual computer virus. Today, data-stealing Trojans and ransomware are all the rage among the malicious programming set. Luckily, most modern AV utilities seek out and eradicate many types of malware.
What do China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates all have in common? A ban on many popular consumer VPNs. India could soon join that list. In August, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs proposed a plan to block VPNs in India, reasoning that VPNs allow anyone to stay anonymous online, including criminals. It isn’t clear whether the proposal is only for consumer VPNs or all VPN activity. The committee also asked India’s Ministry to keep tabs on VPN technology and the dark web in the country.
As the pandemic continues its slow burn around the globe, many office workers use VPNs to conduct business privately on their home networks. A VPN ban would have terrible security consequences for those employees. Forcing workers to access sensitive information over an unsecured connection increases the possibility of data breaches, while requiring them to return to the office puts them at significant risk for contracting COVID-19.
Many people use VPNs to conceal their browsing history from their ISPs and hide their IP addresses, but you must do more to ensure your security. A VPN, for example, can’t stop you from downloading ransomware or giving up your data in a phishing scheme. That’s why PCMag recommends that readers install antivirus software, enable multifactor authentication wherever it is available, and use a password manager to create and store complex passwords for all their accounts.
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