Hackers use other ploys, as well. One common technique is called “phishing,” in which someone tries to trick you into using a fake website (such as one that looks like your bank’s website) to steal your personal data.

The good news is that antivirus software like Bitdefender and Norton, which both placed in our ratings of the Best Antivirus Software of 2021, can help protect you and your computer from these and other threats. However, there’s no substitute for using strong passwords and other common-sense internet security measures.

Antivirus software can scan information and files sent to and from your computer in real time when you’re surfing the web, sending emails, streaming videos, or doing anything else online. The software will warn you not to click on any website or file that may be a threat to your internet security. In addition, if you accidentally download malware to your computer, antivirus software will try to quarantine and delete it before it causes any harm.

Antivirus protection packages from companies such as McAfee and Avast offer additional features. These include a virtual private network (VPN), which disguises your online activities, a firewall, which monitors network traffic, parental controls to protect children, and a password manager to encrypt your passwords. Read on to see our full rating of the Best Antivirus Software of 2021.

To help protect your Windows computer, here’s the Best Antivirus Software of 2021:

#1 Bitdefender
#2 Kaspersky
#3 Webroot
#3 Norton
#5 Trend Micro
#6 McAfee
#6 ESET
#8 Avast
#9 AVG Technologies
#9 Sophos

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