Q&A Need to know the best anti virus vendor by reputation (i.e. prefer US vendors compared to other vendors)??


New Member
Thread author
Dec 3, 2021
I am a stock trader, so lot of financial transaction is done on my PC. I have come across info where lot of anti virus vendors have got into scandals in past:
  1. Avast AV was caught capturing all info on your PC and selling it to companies for targeted ads
  2. Kaspersky was suspected to be collaborating with russian govt and suspected to have passed on NSA files to russian intelligence
  3. Popular security extension web of trust (WOT) was caught capturing user info and selling it few years ago.
So more than effectiveness, my first priority now is reputation/integrity of anti virus vendors.

Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Norton are considered as top 3 anti virus vendors by several review sites. I am ruling out kaspersky for above reasons. I have not come across any allegation against bitdefender so far but it is eastern european based vendor. My guess is as Norton is US based, they would have to comply with much stricter privacy rules of US govt. (i know US govt is part of 5 eyes program but the average person may not need to be concerned about it)

Even though Bitdefender offers more security features (EX: isolated browser for financial transaction, etc) and is considered slightly more effective than Norton, iam thinking of going with Norton.

I would like to know if others have also had similar concerns? Also feel free to tell me your opinion if you feel iam being overly paranoid or overlooking something?


Level 66
Top poster
Mar 29, 2018
I would like to know if others have also had similar concerns?
Many members would say the three examples you cited are old news and generally things have changed ...
iam being overly paranoid or overlooking something?
Indeed ...
Even though Bitdefender offers more security features (EX: isolated browser for financial transaction, etc) and is considered slightly more effective than Norton, iam thinking of going with Norton.
Between these two I'd pick BD over Norton, hands-down. Just my personal preference.

Others will surely have different opinions.

Digmor Crusher

Level 13
Top poster
Jan 27, 2018
Firstly I would be more concerned about the US gov't than a lot of other countries. How about Microsoft Defender augmented with Configure Defender and Simple Windows Hardening, UBO, and Malwarebytes Browser guard. Basically as good as it gets unless you really want to spend money on programs that may or may not offer better protection.


Level 2
Jul 30, 2019
Something to add: You're avoiding Avast because of past controversy (As I am, but whatever) but Norton just bought Avast. Add to the fact that Norton doesn't exactly protect your privacy either.

PERSONALLY I'd do Microsoft defender with DefenderUI, along with a firewall control UI for Windows firewall, like Binisoft/Malwarebyte's option. Done. Anything else is basically paranoia, but paranoia is what almost the entire AV industry is built upon.

Unless you're a stockbroker and this is your work computer, I'd stop worrying.


Level 27
Top poster
Jul 2, 2014
Since I mostly use Linux these days I maybe biased to say that you would be safer using a good Linux distro for privacy and security reasons, especially financial transactions. Good browsing habits need to be followed either way.
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Level 34
Top poster
Content Creator
Jun 24, 2016
First off, let's set priorities friend.

You say you're a stock trader, meaning you use your electronic devices for moving money, which makes you an interesting target for cybercriminals (for fraud, hacking, phishing, attacks).

Having said this, your main focus shouldn't be on a product that detects a good bunch of malware, but instead some kind of lockdown protection, because you wouldn't want malware to even sit in your system for any second. So what you're looking isn't good "detection", but some kind of anti-execution or reputation based protection.

Therefore, you should focus on products that deny execution of everything, but what's already pre-considered to be safe, a.k.a. whitelisting software, anti-executables, Application Control like software. This works as "denying execution of any file, unless it's been included previously on a whitelist". This whitelist usually comes built-in in your software, and has "Trusted Vendors" which your antivirus considers harmless, and will allow files signed by these vendors to run, but nothing else.

Products such as this, include Kaspersky Internet Security (has Application Control, you need to correctly configure it first). Comodo (has auto-containment/virtualization of unknown files). VoodooShield (it's literally an anti-executable program you can configure within your needs).

Once you've defined your first line of defense, which is the anti-execution part of your protection, any signature-based antivirus will work just fine.


Level 32
Top poster
Content Creator
May 29, 2018
Norton is good enough

If you want free :

I would use voodooshield + any av . Since voodooshield is very informative tool and tells you if you shoud or not to run file

If you bother read comodo blocks, comodo firewall (cs) + av is another goood option


Level 41
Top poster
Mar 16, 2019
What @RoboMan said makes sense. So the best thing would be to stick to Microsoft Defender with Configure Defender and Comodo Firewall in CS settings. In the browser, use something like TrafficLight or go with Malwarebytes Browser Extension which is very good and a bit aggressive.


Level 3
Apr 4, 2021
I think that since you work with finances and are worried about data leakage, it is preferable to install F-Secure or Emsisoft as products with the best reputation, but you also need to complement them with data leakage (and web) protection with firewalls like Portmaster or BlackFog Privacy. Ordinary anti-viruses can not do much here - this is not their profile. BlackFog is paid but requires almost no settings, Portmaster is free but requires settings - activation of the secure DNS, blocking DNS bypass mechanisms, blocking direct connections without DNS, enable security filters.

South Park

Level 8
Jun 23, 2018
Emsisoft and F-Secure have an excellent reputation for protecting privacy, but both are non-U.S. companies. Microsoft Defender and Webroot are two U.S.-based products I would trust. Microsoft's AV privacy policy specifically says they won't try to identify or contact any user. Notably, some banks give their customers a free subscription to Webroot (referred to as the "bank version.")