You can get solid cyber threat protection for free, according to Consumer Reports

SAN ANTONIO – Protecting your property from criminals is something most of us do, whether it’s locking your house, your car, or even your bike. But what about protecting the personal information on your computer from viruses and cybercriminals?

To help you out, Consumer Reports tested antivirus software and found that you don’t have to pay much, if anything, to get solid protection.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Report makes it clear how important it is to protect your computer from intrusions. The FBI received nearly 800,000 reports of cybercrime last year, up 69% from the previous year.

There are plenty of antivirus programs to choose from, which is why Consumer Reports put over 30 of them through a battery of tests. They exposed computers running both Windows 10 and macOS to malware, malicious websites, and phishing attempts.

“For the first time, we also assigned each of the programs a data privacy score. It’s based on how the company says it collects, shares and uses your data, ”said Bree Fowler, technical editor for Consumer Reports.

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What they found is that you don’t have to pay for solid virus protection that protects your personal information as well.

According to Consumer Reports, Kaspersky Security Cloud Free and AVG Antivirus for Mac both offer very good threat defense.

“They’re both free and they both got an Excellent advertising score, which means you won’t be bombarded with ads to improve your service,” Fowler said.

Still, Consumer Reports says paid programs offer additional benefits. The top-rated F-Secure SAFE offers parental filter, banking protection, and anti-ransomware and spyware technology.

If you choose to pay for software, experts at Consumer Reports warn that a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better protection.

Consumer Reports also says to make sure you download antivirus software from a trusted site instead of clicking an ad promising free virus protection. It is best to go straight to the source and manually enter the web address of the desired product.

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