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The best antivirus software for 2021

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Every day it gets harder to protect your personal information online. Yes, our online lives are richer and more convenient than ever, but that comes at the cost of sharing our data with everything from streaming apps to social media accounts. Even more concerning is that cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and high-profile attacks like the are becoming more and more common place. 

This just means that your security quiver needs plenty of arrows, including a secure  to protect your internet traffic, a  to keep track of login credentials and an  to stop others from spying on your communications — basically, all the most important security features. And, if you’re running Windows, that list should also include an antivirus tool (or three), including things like malware protection and antivirus software that monitors downloads and observes your system’s activity for malicious software and suspicious behavior. It’s just all too easy for an insidious program to wind up on your machine — even with a secure browser and other threat detection software — and that can lead to chaos.

If you’re looking for malware protection and antivirus software with the best security features, here’s the first thing you need to know: Microsoft Defender Antivirus — the free antivirus software and virus protection program that comes with  — does a decent job of protecting your PC and offering internet security. (Amazingly, Microsoft provided no built-in protection for Windows back in the days of Windows 98 and XP.) Using Microsoft Defender for threat detection should be your starting point for the best antivirus security on Windows and most people will find they don’t need to go any further when it comes to nailing down an antivirus solution.