PCMag SecurityWatch

Use antivirus to fight malware in internet search results.

Views expressed in this cybersecurity-cyber crime update are those of the reporters and correspondents.

Accessed on 07 June 2022, 2056 UTC.

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Russ Roberts

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PCMag SecurityWatch
Antivirus, Assemble! Use Software to Fight Malware in Search Results
Anyone who uses the internet regularly, especially for work, needs antivirus protection. It's an extra layer of safety between your computer and the wider online world. Even if you think you're at low risk for a cyber attack, know that hackers are always looking for ways to lure unsuspecting users into visiting web pages or clicking download links that contain malware. They achieve this by targeting keywords they know will get plenty of interest and traffic.

Why "Breaking Bad" Can Break Your Device

Surfshark, a cybersecurity company, recently released a list of the most dangerous pop culture search terms. When you search for these terms, malicious links will pop up in the results.

According to the report, Robert De Niro is the most dangerous pop culture term to search for, with more than half (54%) of all URLs containing potential malware. Nearly 40% of "Breaking Bad" searches result in URLs with potential malware, making it the most dangerous TV show to search for. On the video game front, Mortal Kombat 11 has the highest malware risk.

Those are shockingly high numbers, and an excellent illustration of why you need antivirus. Here's what you need to know.


Antivirus Features You Need

To search safely online, you need software that combats a variety of threats. As PCMag lead security analyst Neil J. Rubenking notes while introducing his top picks for antivirus in 2022, modern malware is about making money, so ransomware and data-stealing Trojans are all the rage. There are also bots that let a bot-herder rent out your computer for nefarious purposes. Modern antivirus utilities handle Trojans, rootkits, spyware, adware, ransomware, and more. 

When picking antivirus software, look for some or all of the following features:

  • real-time malware protection

  • spyware detection

  • phishing protection

  • ransomware protection

  • spam filtering

  • application whitelisting

  • sandboxing

  • a VPN

Rubenking explains in detail what each of these features does in his reviews for both free antivirus and premium packages. You may even want to invest in a high-powered security suite to ensure total protection online. 

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What Else Is Happening in the Security World This Week?

LastPass Goes Passwordless for Desktop Vault Logins. The password manager's passwordless login replaces a master password as the primary method of authenticating your LastPass vault on the desktop.

16 Essential Apps for Ironclad Online Privacy. Another day, another data breach. Sidestepping trackers and protecting your personal information might seem like a hopeless task, but these top privacy apps can really make a difference.

Interpol Nabs Nigerian Man Behind Massive Email Phishing Campaigns. The unnamed 37-year-old suspect allegedly launched phishing schemes and business email compromise attacks on thousands of companies and individual victims.

This Ransomware Demands Victims Donate to the Needy to Free Their PCs. The so-called Goodwill ransomware was likely created by someone in India using another open-source ransomware program, according to security firm CloudSEK.

Your Online Activity and Location Is Being Exposed 747 Times a Day. That's on average for a person in the US, and your data is shared with thousands of companies.

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TODAY'S TOP NEWS
Cryptocurrency Scams Have Cost Consumers Over $1B Since 2021

The US Federal Trade Commission estimates consumers lost more than $1 billion to crypto scams between January 2021 and March 2022. According to PCMag's Michael Kan, the estimate is based on fraud reports the FTC received from 46,000 victims.

The reports suggest “cryptocurrency is quickly becoming the payment of choice for many scammers, with about one out of every four dollars reported lost to fraud paid in cryptocurrency,” the FTC wrote in a blog post. The median reported loss among the individuals was $2,600.

Most of the money, at $575 million, was lost to scams about bogus cryptocurrency investment opportunities. Another $185 million was lost to romance scams. “The median individual reported crypto loss to romance scammers is an astounding $10,000,” the FTC noted.

Want to avoid losing big while playing around with virtual money? Check out our guide for ways to fend off cryptocurrency scammers.

Evil Corp Switches to Ransomware-as-a-Service to Evade US Sanctions

ExpressVPN Pulls Physical Servers From India Over Country's Data-Logging Rule

Why Russia's Cyberattacks on Ukraine Have Failed to Make a Significant Dent

Why Build a Panopticon When You Can Just Buy One?

Russian Officials Have Spent Millions on VPNs Since Invading Ukraine

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