Why antivirus alone won't protect you: The anatomy of REAL security software

Stefanie Smith 23 Feb 2017

Antivirus has become multi-layered security, securing your Wi-Fi network, passwords, and connection. We explain what top security software should include.

When computers were still relatively new, antivirus software defended against the only existing threat at the time – viruses. Today, users must protect themselves and their devices from viruses and from malware such as ransomware, as well as malicious activities carried out by cybercrooks, including Wi-Fi snooping to steal personal information, account breaching, and infecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices to perform DDoS attacks. You may be wondering, then, how to protect yourself from so many – and such diverse – threats.

The answer is actually simple: REAL security software.

What makes security software “real”?

While most people still call products like Avast’s “antivirus,” the truth is we now provide multi-layered online security solutions, vastly more robust than what we launched two decades ago. The label “antivirus,” which has stuck in people’s minds, simply hasn’t evolved along with it. Regardless of what it’s called, modern third-party security software from dedicated security experts like Avast now includes multiple protections – well beyond antivirus – all in one package.

So how do you know if the security software you’re considering covers the necessary bases? In addition to incorporating firewall, intrusion detection, heuristics, virtualization, and sandboxes to detect malware, good “antivirus” today should give you easy-to-use tools, all in one place, to protect you from every kind of new, emerging threat.

The best antivirus protection you can get ... and then some

Avast 2017, the new version of our flagship desktop security, includes antivirus, of course, but also Wi-Fi Inspector, Passwords, and SecureLine VPN (virtual private network), which address the dangers that put the personal data on your PC at risk, as well as compromise your online accounts and connected devices. And our software’s interface makes all these features simple to use, so you can protect yourself on all fronts.

Cybercriminals today use large-scale botnets – such as the Mirai botnet that took down Twitter and Netflix last October – to infect IoT devices and use them to commit virtual crimes that harm real people and businesses. So not only might your favorite website go down, your devices might have done part of the dirty work, without your realizing. Wi-Fi Inspector scans your home network for vulnerable devices and gives you step-by-step instructions for addressing any online security issue it finds.

Are your passwords secure?

Avast Passwords, one of the tools included in Avast 2017, is a cross-platform solution that keeps all your accounts secure while letting you manage passwords easily. The average person has 19 online accounts, most use one password for several of them, and most of those passwords are weak to begin with. However, the online businesses and services you use are all at risk of being hacked – and the more valuable the data (think: banking), the greater that risk.

Every data breach, however small, generates personal data sold on the darknet, for other cybercrooks to buy and further abuse. You can avoid becoming their next victim with Avast Passwords, which creates strong, unique passwords for every single one of your accounts – all you have to remember is one password – your “master” password. Then you can easily change them all on a regular basis, and, with the premium version, be alerted if any account has been affected by a data breach.

Make sure Wi-Fi hotspots don’t leave you exposed

Open Wi-Fi is another threat to privacy and personal data for smartphone and laptop users who often don’t think about wireless network security when they need to connect. How do you know if a Wi-Fi network is open? If you don’t need to use a password to connect to it, it’s open – not only to you, but to hackers who can see everything you’re doing online and steal your personal information or log-in credentials.

To help our customers safely and securely take advantage of Wi-Fi hotspots, in addition to our security software we offer our SecureLine VPN (virtual private network) solution. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection, tunneling traffic to a proxy server, which both keeps you anonymous and prevents anyone else from accessing your data while you’re using open Wi-Fi.

Because today’s online threats are multi-dimensional and hackers just get more clever, you need to think beyond antivirus solutions and do more than rely on the default Windows operating system (OS) tool. You need online security software that can out-clever the hackers, and the best place to get it is from a dedicated security company whose sole business is to always stay a step ahead of cybercriminals, so you can take advantage of all the internet offers, worry-free.


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