Top 10 Antivirus Software of 2017

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The Importance of the Top 10 Antivirus Software

Choosing a top 10 antivirus software provider can be confusing. There are so many choices and sometimes it feels like they are all just saying what they think you want to hear. However, antivirus software is essential to keep computers and mobile devices running effectively.

We have tested the below products in order to give you a side-by-side comparison and let you make an informed decision. We only evaluated companies that currently offer a 30 day money back guarantee. We broke up the list into two sections to help make your decision even easier.

The recent cyber attacks of the last few months have shown us that protecting your PC and mobile devices from a cyber attack has never been more important. According to Top 10 Jungle’s recent cyber threat report, there are 245 new threats every minute or more than 4 every second.

 

 

Disclosure: We receive advertising revenue from our partners. Click for details.

Disclosure: We receive advertising revenue from our partners. Click for details.
We receive advertising revenue from our partners. Many advertisers pay us a referral fee if you purchase products or complete lead forms after clicking links or calling phone numbers on our website. This enables us to continue promoting our comparison reviews without any fee from the consumer. We sometimes offer premium or additional placements on our website and in our marketing materials to our advertising partners. Partners may influence their position on our website, including the order in which they appear on a Top 10 list, based on conversion rates or commissions. For example, when company ranking is subjective (meaning two companies are very close) our advertising partners may be ranked higher. While we try to feature as many products on our site as possible, we recognize that our site does not feature every product available on the market.  At Top10Jungle.com, we are all about transparency. If you have any questions about this disclosure, [email protected]

The Importance of Antivirus Software

Choosing an antivirus software provider can be confusing. There are so many choices and sometimes it feels like they are all just saying what they think you want to hear. However, antivirus software is essential to keep computers and mobile devices running effectively.

We have tested the below products in order to give you a side-by-side comparison and let you make an informed decision. We only evaluated companies that currently offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

The recent cyber attacks of the last few months have shown us that protecting your PC and mobile devices from a cyber attack has never been more important. According to Top 10 Jungle’s recent cyber threat report, there are 245 new threats every minute or more than 4 every second.

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“Advanced System Care, owned by iObit, has just presented the 2017 Top 10 Jungle Deal of the Year. Advanced System Care is an amazing PC optimization product plus they include McAfee Internet Security for FREE – a $79.99 Value. I don’t know how anyone can go wrong with this deal!”

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“If trust is important to you, McAfee is your choice. They have been around for 20 years and are the most well recognized antivirus brand all over the world.”

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“Norton has built a rich and widespread intelligence network, constantly gathering data on threats from over 40 million endpoints in over 150 countries.

The Computer Virus

“Virus” is a blanket term used to describe malicious programs that are installed in your computer without your express permission. They are designed to cause damage, from mild glitches to complete data corruption. A good way to explain viruses would be to call them “malware”, or programs that are malicious in nature. These software programs can be commonly broken down into Classic Viruses, Worms, Trojans, spyware, and adware.

Classic Viruses

The term “Classic Viruses” came around in 1983. These viruses are malicious programs that rewrite your computer’s present code.

Trojan

Trojans, or Trojan Horses, are additions to the computer system. These dangerous programs are disguised as legit files in your email, deceiving you into deliberately opening and adding them into your hard drive. Trojan viruses rely on users to open them intentionally. Once they have sneaked into your system, they operate as independent programs that function discreetly. Generally, Trojan steals passwords or carries out “denial of service” attacks. Examples of this type of virus include Nuker and Backdoor.

Worms

Also referred to as Internet worms, Worms are also undesirable additions to your computer system. However, they are different from Trojans, since they duplicate themselves without any direct help and mechanically make their way into emails, where they start broadcasting duplications of themselves without any permission. Since they don’t need user intervention to multiply, worms reproduce at an incredibly fast rate. Examples of worm include Swen, SoBig, and Scalper.

Spyware and Adware

These two types of viruses are cousins to worms, viruses, and Trojans. What they do is prowl on your machine to observe your online habits. After sufficient observation, they either hit you with ads, or send that information back to their owners through secret messages. In some cases, these programs will utilize your hard drive to collect and broadcast pornography and ads back to the internet.

To a nonprofessional, these definitions and semantics of viruses/malware can be unclear. However, it is not important to distinguish between the products technically. What is critical is how smartly you safeguard your system against these malicious infections.

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What is Malware?

Malware is a shortened term for “malicious software”. This software is especially created to harm or gain access to a computer without the owner’s knowledge. There are many different kinds of malware, including keyloggers, spyware, worms, true viruses, or any kind of harmful code that creeps into a computer.

Typically, software is seen as malware based on the creator’s intention rather that its actual qualities. Malware creation is rapidly increasing due to the utter volume of new kinds created on a daily basis and the temptation of money that can be made by carrying out an organized online crime. Malware was initially created to carry out pranks and experiments, but they eventually resulted in destruction and vandalism of targeted machines.

At present, a majority of malware is created for the purpose of making profits via forced ads (adware), stealing critical information (spyware), extorting money (ransomware), or spreading child pornography or email spam (zombie computers).

Numerous factors can make computers vulnerable to malware attacks, which includes errors in the operating system design, giving users too much permission, having all the computers on a network run the same operating system, or just using Windows (because of its popularity, most malware targets Windows).

The best kind of protection from malware continues to remain the typical advice: be cautious regarding what email attachments you open, be careful when surfing the internet and staying away from fishy websites, and install and maintain an up-to-date, high-quality antivirus program.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is malware installed on your computer, without you know about it. The malware collects your sensitive data, including private information. Spyware is hidden from the user for gathering data related to their internet interaction, passwords, keystrokes (keylogging), and other critical data.

Spyware can also adversely impact a computer’s performance by installing extra software, redirecting searches related to web browsers, changing the settings, reducing the connection speed, resetting the homepage, or even disrupting the connection to the home or office network..

Spyware can also include adware. This means you will view ads related to your online behaviour. In general, users install spyware accidentally, because the software it comes with is genuine (and free, in most cases). When you install the software, the spyware clings to the installation and begins fetching information from your activities. You may be deceived into installing it, as it is presented as either free security software or is a Trojan Horse.

Spyware authors are known to pay shareware developers to pack their spyware with a legit software or by repacking freeware and combining it wither own spyware. Another term used for installing spyware on an oblivious user’s computer is drive-by downloading.

What is Adware?

Adware is a name assigned to programs that are created to show ads on one’s computer, redirect the user’s search requests to advertising websites and fetch marketing-type data about the user – for instance, the kinds of websites that the user visits – so that tailored ads can be displayed.

Adware collects data after seeking the user’s permission. You should not confuse it with with Trojan Spyware that collects data without the user’s consent. If Adware fails to notify you that it is collecting data, it is considered as malicious – for instance, malware that uses a behavior similar to that of Trojan-Spy.

How Adware Affects You?

Besides collecting your sensitive information and displaying ads, Adware does not typically announce its presence. Generally, there will be zero signs of its presence in system, and absolutely no indication in your program menu that some files have been installed in your machine.

Adware can enter your computer in two ways, namely

  1. Through Shareware Or Freeware – Adware can be combined with some shareware or freeware programs as a legit way to generate ad revenue that helps fund the development and distribution of the shareware or freeware program.
  2. Through Infected Websites – A visit to a website that is infected can cause an unauthorized installation of adware in your computer system. For this, criminals use hacking technologies. For example, your computer can be intercepted through a vulnerable browser, and Trojan are created specifically for discreet installation. Adware software programs that work in this manner are often referred to as Browser Hijackers.
What is Pornware?

Programs that show pornographic material on devices are known as pornware. Besides the programs that users install on purpose, to display pornographic material, Pornware also includes software programs that have been installed maliciously, without the user’s knowledge and consent. Usually, the idea behind unrequested Pornware is to promote free-based pornographic services and websites.

How Can Pornware Affect You?

Developers of malware can take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities via the operating system or frequently applications to install Pornware on a user’s device. Additionally, Trojans, like Trojan-Dropper and Trojan Downloader, can be utilized to adulterate a device with pornographic materials. There are numerous types of Pornware, including:

  1. Porn-Downloader – This program downloads pornographic files on the user’s device via the internet. Unlike other malicious programs, Porn-Downloaders indicate to the user of their actions.
  2. Porn-Dialer – Porn-Dialer dials PG 18 content, including telephone numbers, phone services, and/or a special code. This, too, notifies users of their actions.
  3. Porn-Tool – This program searches and displays adult content on the user’s computer. Examples include special video players and toolbars for internet.
Who Creates Malware?

If you are baffled as to why someone would take out the time and put in so much effort to attack computers or other devices, let’s take a minute to take into account the kind of people who become creators of malware, and what they gain from creating malware.

Swindlers, Blackmailers, Vandals, and other criminals

Although sad, it is true that eventually, individuals with wrong intentions find a way to take advantage of almost any new technology or invention with the intention to make money or cause damage. As the legal use of mobile devices, computers and the online world has expanded so have the chances for swindlers, vandals, Trojans, worms, computer viruses and other types of malware.

Anti-Malware

Antivirus products make themselves distinct by going beyond the basics of anti-malware. Some rate URLs that are often visited by you or that typically show up in your search results, with the help of a red-yellow-green color coding system. Some security programs actively block processors on your system from connecting with malware infested URLs or with scam pages.

All software programs have flaws, and sometimes those flaws can put your security at stake. Farsighted users keep Windows and other programs reinforced by correcting those flaws right away. The vulnerability scan offered by some antivirus programs can authenticate that all critical patches are present, and apply any that are missing.

Users can expect an antivirus to detect and get rid of bad programs, and leave good programs as they are. However, what about programs that are unknown; how are they identified? In theory, behavior-based identification can safeguard your system against viruses. However, it is not uncommon for behavioral identification systems to mistake harmless behaviors carried out by legit programmers and flag it in return.

Another way to deal with the problem of unknown programs is through Whitelisitng. A whitelist-based protection system only lets well-known innocuous software programs run, whereas suspicious programs are blocked. Although this mode is not suitable for all situations, it can be useful.

Sandboxing is another way that allows unknown programs to run, but keeps them from gaining your system’s full access, which means they cannot cause permanent damage. These numerous additional layers act to improve the system’s protection against malware.

Computer Virus Histoty

Computers and their users are under constant threat by hackers like never before, however, viruses go as far back as electronic computers themselves. Many people use the term “computer virus” to refer to harmful software programs, which we call malware. In reality, these viruses are just one type of malware, a self-duplicating program created to multiply and transfer from one computer to another. A virus is the earliest known type of malware to be invented.

Following is a history of some of the most well known malware and viruses:

  • Self-Multiplying Automata (1946 to 1966) – Self-multiplying programs were invented in 1949, to create a large number of viruses. John Neumann, known as the father of Cybernetic, wrote an article regarding “Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata” which was published in 1966.
  • Core Wars (1959) – Robert Morris and H. Mcllroy and Victor Vysottsky programmed a computer game in Bell Lab, and named it Core Wars. This game comprised of infectious programs called organisms that were designed to compete with the PC’s processing time.
  • The Creeper (1971) – Bob Thomas designed a trial self-duplicating program. It accessed via The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) and copied to remote host systems with the TENEX operating system. The term “Creeper” came into being because a message would be displayed stating that “ I am the creeper, catch me if you can!”. Later, a program was invented to eliminate the existing malicious program “the Creeper”.
  • Wabbit (1974) – This malicious program was created with the purpose of making numerous copies of itself on a computer, obstructing the system and thus reducing the computer’s performance.
  • Animal (1974 – 1975) – John Walker created a program known as ANIMAL for the UNIVAC 1108. This software was thought to be a no-malicious Trojan known to spread via shared tapes.
  • Elk Cloner (1981) – Developed by Richard Skrenta for the Apple II Systems, a program known as the “Elk Cloner” was created with the purpose of infecting Apple DOS 3.3. These software programs began to spread via folders and files that were transferred to other computers through floppy disks.
  • 1983 – The term “virus” was coined in 1983 by Fredrick Cohen for software programs that had an infectious nature and an ability to duplicate.
  • Brain (1986) – This type of virus is also referred to as the “Brain boot sector”, which is compatiblewith IBM PC. Two Pakistani brothers, Basit Farooq Alvi and Amjad Farooq Alvi, developed it.
  • Lehigh (1987) – This virus was created to corrupt command.com files from Yale University.
  • Cascade – This self-encrypted file virus was the result of IBM’s very own antivirus program.
  • The Morris Worm (1988) – This kind of malware was developed by Robert Morris to infect Sun machines and DEC VAX running BSD UNIX via the internet. The Morris Worm is famous for manipulating computers prone to buffer overflow weaknesses.
  • 1990 – In 1990, Symantec launched one of the first programs known as the Norton Antivirus, to safeguard systems against malicious viruses. Ralf Burger invented the first group of polymorphic viruses, known as the Chameleon.
  • Concept (1995) – Concept was the name of a virus developed to spread and harm Microsoft Word couments.
  • 1996 – A large-scale virus called Laroux was created to harm MS Excel documents. Another virus, Baza, was developed to infect Windows 95, whereas another virus called Staog was designed to affect Linux.
  • CIH Virus – (1998) – The launch of the first version of CIH viruses was developed by Taiwan’s Chen IngHau.
  • Happy99 (1999) – This kind of worm was designed to cling itself onto emails with a message that said Happy New Year. Internet Explorer and Outlook Express on Windows 95 and 98 were vastly affected.
  • Anna Kournikova (2001) – This virus was transferred by emails to the contacts present in the user’s address book of MS Outlook. The emails were reported to contain pictures of attractive female tennis players, but would in fact be full of harmful virus.
  • LMF 926 (2002) – This virus was created to harm Shockware flash files.
  • RAT or Beast – This backdoor Trojan Virus is capable of affecting all Windows versions
  • MyDoom (2004) – This malicious worm is known as the Novang, and considered to be the quickest mailer virus. It was developed to share files and also allow hackers full access to infected computers.
  • Leap-A/OSX – This malware is the first one ever to infect Mac OS X.
  • Nyxem – This kind of worm was developed to transfer by large-scale mailing in order to destroy MS Office files.
  • Storm Worm (2007) – This spamming threat was a fast spreading one against MS systems and affected millions of them.
  • Zeus – This is a Trojan virus that affects already-used login details from banking sites and carries out monetary scams.
  • Kenzero (2010) – This virus was designed to spread online between websites via browsing history.
  • Cryptolocker (2013)- This is a Trojan virus that encrypts infected machines and then asks a huge amount of money in order to unlock the files.
  • Backoff (2014) – This Malware was designed to impact Point-of-Sale systems to snip sensitive credit card information.
Malware Protection

Which antivirus should you choose? You have a wealth of options.A single subscription for McAfee AntiVirus Plus lets you install protection on all of your Windows, Android, Mac OS, and iOS devices. We have broken up the list into the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Providers for top 10 antivirus software, but they’re not the only products worth consideration. Read the reviews of our top-rated products, and then make your own decision.

Note that I reviewed many more antivirus utilities than I could include in the chart of top products. If your favorite software isn’t listed there, chances are I did review it. The blurbs below include every antivirus that earned at least four stars.

Worst Computer Virus

Computer malware is as old as computing itself. While we usually think of viruses as dangerous programs that are spread through the internet, they were dispersed through old networks, too:

  1. HyperCard, which was an Apple-only platform with hypermedia qualities that predicted the WWW, was infected in 1988 by the notorious MacMag worm.
  2. ARPANET, a forerunner of the present-day internet, was deeply plagued by the Creeper malware in the early 1970s.

As computers have become stronger and more intertwined over the past decades, their disorderly potential of viruses has increased greatly, besides the stakes for active internet security countermeasures. The worst viruses all combine the ability to cause substantial harm and spread fast and efficiently to chokepoints like bank networks, airline systems and something as big as the 911 emergency service. Here we will look at three of the worst virus cases of all time:

1.     Melissa

During the late 1990s, Microsoft Windows ruled computing, which means almost every PC had Windows 95 or 98. The developers of Melissa virus exploited this situation by creating a program that took advantage of bundled programs, such as Word and Outlook. Melissa was the first massive email-activated virus, and its design remains influential. Individuals who received the Melissa virus were asked to open an attached Word document, after which the virus would duplicate itself into 50 new emails that were then sent to the top contacts present in the user’s address books.

2.     Conflicker

Conflicker is known to be one of the most resilient computer viruses and was identified in late 2008. It is a grab bag of high-tech malware with countless variants designed to dodge detection, making the virus the closest analogue to a real biological virus. The virus primarily relied on the release of remote files through an exploit in protocols for printing and file sharing on numerous versions of Windows Server. It also had the ability to attack admin passwords and create massive botnets to further spread itself. Conflicker could also disable Windows Safe Mode and anti-malware programs. 7 years after its discovery, the virus remains common, infecting around 1 million computers globally.

3.     WannaCry

The latest of the viruses we have on the list, WannaCry demonstrated a quantum leap in the impact and scope of ransomware, a particular kind of computer malware that keeps files hostage and asks for payment in return. WannaCryis a ransomware that encrypts its files and demands a bitcoin ransom, which doubled within 3 days if the payment is not made. The malware also threatens to delete files if the payment isn’t made in 7 days. WannaCry spread at an incredible speed in early May of 2017, not long after a major flaw in Windows was unleashed in a series of online leaks. It affects systems globally, including automobile factories, healthcare services and delivery services. Even though it has since been taken under control, WannaCry still has the potential to make a more advanced comeback.

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Ana Hemingway
Cyber Security Expert