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What are some alternatives to Windows Defender?

Windows Defender is useful for Windows 8 security, but it can't keep up with malicious software alone. Several third-party products can help.

The widespread use of malicious software to steal data, take control of computers and commit other forms of cybercrime has led to the emergence of many alternatives to Windows Defender in the desktop security marketplace.

Even though Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 are more secure than the operating systems that came before them, the need for cybersecurity hasn't diminished, according to the PWC 2014 U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey and the RSA Cybercrime Report for 2014.

Fortunately, there are several well-established antivirus vendors and desktop antimalware offerings, including:

You should also consider adding other desktop utilities or security tools because vendors often bundle multiple products. For example, you might get antimalware and backup features from one vendor while another may offer antimalware, firewall and content filtering capabilities.

Firewalls are intended to prevent network traffic on ports that are not accessed by applications you routinely use. Content filters can help block malicious sites that you don't want employees accessing while at work, such as online gambling.

Next Steps

A more in-depth comparison of Windows 8 Defender and third-party tools

Windows Defender isn't on by default in Windows 8, requires more protection

Top five new security features in Windows 8.1

Watch third-party apps, privacy when evaluating Windows 8 security

Microsoft tightens security in Windows 8, but IT worries persist

Dig Deeper on Windows OS and management

Virtual Desktop