Kaspersky Internet Security 2017
Adobe Acrobat XI Pro
It works behind-the-scenes with intelligent scanning and small, frequent updates, while proactively protecting you from known and emerging Internet threats. Features and Highlights Real-time Protection defends against new and emerging viruses, spyware and more. Proactive Detection identifies unknown malware — and lets you rollback harmful activity, if your PC has been infected.
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Phishing Protection Results Chart The four independent testing labs I follow all include Kaspersky in their regular test reports. Kaspersky earned the highest possible score in every test by every one of the labs.
I don’t remember ever seeing that before. Bitdefender came very, very close, with just one score slightly below the very best. Kaspersky didn’t fare as well in my hands-on malware protection test, but when results don’t jibe, I defer to the labs and their dozens of researchers. The best score against my current malware collection is 9.
One way to fend off malware attack is to make sure the malicious software never reaches your computer. It wiped out roughly another 40 percent during the download phase, almost all just as the download began. Kaspersky’s score of 92 percent is quite good, but a few competitors have done even better. Bitdefender recently earned a near-perfect 99 percent in this test, and Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic managed 98 percent.
Phishing websites don’t host malware; they just trick users into giving away their login credentials. When I tested Kaspersky’s ability to detect these frauds, it initially earned a truly dismal score, 44 percent.
I have since learned that the developers had been working on the antiphishing servers at that time. When I ran the test again, Kaspersky proved extremely effective, using heuristic detection to foil frauds too new to be blacklisted. With percent protection, Kaspersky beat out the built-in protection in Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. It also beat the competition. It does install Kaspersky’s VPN, but unless you pay for a separate subscription, you can use just MB of bandwidth per device per day, and you can’t choose the VPN server.
You do get an on-screen keyboard, to foil both hardware and software keyloggers, and the browser extension marks up dangerous links in search results. System Watcher and Ransomware The System Watcher component aims to detect malicious activity, including ransomware activity, in processes missed by the main real-time antivirus. To test this feature, I disabled real-time protection and launched a collection of real-world ransomware samples.
I couldn’t do that in my evaluation of Kaspersky Free, because in the free edition the protection settings are all locked in the enabled position. In every case, System Watcher detected suspicious behavior and blocked execution of the ransomware. That includes the uncommon disk-encrypting Petya ransomware that slipped past the equivalent feature when I disabled Bitdefender’s regular real-time protection. Kaspersky didn’t block my simple-minded fake ransomware program, but then, it really isn’t true ransomware.
I’ve occasionally encountered ransomware protection programs or program components that don’t start early enough in the boot process, allowing ransomware that launches at Windows startup free rein. Kaspersky didn’t fall for this trick. I also tried running KnowBe4’s RanSim ransomware simulator, but Kaspersky eliminated the whole program as suspicious. You can also create a bootable USB drive, but the instructions are rather daunting.
Rufus or Win32 Disk Imager. We recommend using the ISO mode. The bootable DVD sounds like an easier choice. It’s worth noting that Bitdefender Antivirus Plus makes the process a lot easier. You just select Rescue Mode and reboot. There’s no disk to burn or USB to prepare. When I booted from the rescue disk, I had to make a few choices. I had to pick a language and decide if the system would show full graphics, or limited graphics?
When I ran a scan, it finished in minutes, because all it checked was hard drive boot sectors, fileless malware, and startup objects. If you’re going to boot into a special alternate operating system scan, I advise clicking Change Parameters and setting it to scan everything. When I did so, it took a bit over an hour. Vulnerability Scan People write software. People aren’t perfect.
Ergo, software isn’t perfect. Malware coders look for ways to exploit vulnerable code in popular programs. Once an exploit comes out, the program’s designers work feverishly to patch it.
And if you ignore the patches, you’re hosed. Kaspersky’s vulnerability scanner looks for missing security patches in the operating system and in browsers and other popular programs. On my test system, it found nine OS vulnerabilities and four in applications. I was disappointed to find that the output is a simple, static list of applications.
The software updater that comes with Avira Total Security Suite handles update tasks automatically, as does Avast Premier. Note, though, that these two are the top tier suites in their respective product lines—lesser products don’t include automation.
The list of operating system vulnerabilities didn’t include any missing Windows updates, which makes sense because I keep my test systems fully updated. What it did show was a list of settings that make for poor security. Several involving Autorun showed the status “Strongly recommended to fix” or “Recommended to fix.
If for some reason you don’t like the effect of the fix, you can view fixed items and roll back any that don’t suit you. Once you’ve used it, a second option becomes available to roll back any changes you made. I didn’t get much out of this feature at first.
There was no progress bar for the scan; it just immediately reported no problems found. As it turns out, there’s a good amount of overlap between this component and the vulnerability scanner. When I went back to the vulnerability scan and un-fixed the items related to Internet Explorer, I saw some results, in a kind of tree format, all under the heading “Problems that can be fixed.
I’m sure there are cases when this component and the vulnerability scan don’t step on each other’s toes. I just didn’t get to see those cases. Privacy Cleaner As you surf the web and use your computer, you accumulate a trail of activity traces. A snoop could learn a lot by examining your browser history, cookies, recent file lists, and so on.
If that possibility worries you, the Privacy Cleaner component can help. At the start, this component does warn that its cleanup could cause some inconvenience. For example, clearing out cookies can wipe out your saved settings for websites that use them. On my test system, the scan finished in a flash and listed dozens of activity traces. As with the browser check, it divided them into strongly recommended actions, recommended actions, and available actions, with all items in the first two categories checked off.
The recommended actions included clearing cookies, history, and temp files for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Opera. Firefox is present on the system, but didn’t appear in the list. It also suggested clearing the temp folder, and wiping the cache and temp files used by Flash Player. Cleanup went quickly. On completion, it pointed out the option to roll back changes. Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting In past reviews, I’ve seen Kaspersky offer to run the Microsoft Windows Troubleshooting wizard after malware cleanup.
That didn’t happen this time around, but you can run the troubleshooter at will to check for any malware-created damage. This scan follows the pattern of offering strongly recommended, recommended, and available fixes. On my test system, its advice duplicated the Autorun-related items from the Vulnerability Scan.
I’m thinking that perhaps Kaspersky should merge all these overlapping scans into one. Impressive Scores Kaspersky Anti-Virus gets the very highest scores in all the tests from all the labs that we follow, and it comes with a feature-limited version of Kaspersky’s VPN.
The core antivirus technology is the same as what’s in Kaspersky Free, but the paid edition includes a collection of bonus scans, full access to configuration settings, and the ability to get direct tech support by phone or live chat. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus scores just a hair behind Kaspersky with the labs, and it packs enough useful bonus security features to almost qualify as a suite.
Symantec Norton AntiVirus Basic scores well both in lab tests and our tests, and includes top-notch exploit protection. Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus uses behavioral detection along with a journal-and-rollback system that can reverse malware damage.
And while McAfee AntiVirus Plus doesn’t score quite as high, it lets you protect every device in your household. From the dozens of available antivirus products, we’ve picked these four, along with Kaspersky Anti-Virus, as Editors’ Choices. Kaspersky Anti-Virus.
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