Kaspersky has updated its range of consumer antivirus packages for 2021 and they now include protection from stalkerware, similar to spyware but which is harder to detect.

Protecting users’ privacy is becoming ever more important for security products and that’s why modern security suites are offering an increasing number of features that help to do just this. In its Anti-Virus, Internet Security and Total Security packages, Kaspersky has added this stalkerware protection, and you’ll see a new pop-up window to warn you if this type of malware is detected.

Kaspersky stalkerware pop-up

The company says that stalkerware has grown by 35% in 2019 (compared to the previous year).

It has also added the ability to automatically add email addresses that you type into login forms online to its Account Check service, so you don’t have to add them manually, though you can do so as well. This will alert you if any accounts with which you use those addresses have been compromised so that you can change your password and take any other action to protect your identity and finances.

Kaspersky’s Password Manager is now included with Anti-Virus and Internet Security, not just Total Security, but limits you to storing only 15 logins. Those buying the latter package or the flagship Security Cloud get the Premium version of Password Manager which allows unlimited storage. If that’s an important feature for you, note that there are great free password managers available including LastPass.

There have also been updates to the bundled VPN service, primarily the brand new interface and support for Dark Mode on iOS and Android, but also faster connection times. There’s still a limit of 200MB of data per day, however.

Although Security Cloud is the top-end offering, there’s a completely free version (available for Windows and Android – it does barely anything on iOS) which includes the antivirus component, browser extensions and access to the limited VPN and password manager tools.

Since the antivirus engine received a perfect score in AV-Test’s latest report (June 2020), it’s still a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to pay for antivirus software, and prefers to get their identity protection elsewhere.

“Despite the popularity of mobile devices, we see a high demand among consumers to protect personal information they store on computers – so it is crucial to secure it properly. For this reason and in response to numerous requests from our users, we have added advanced detection of commercially available spyware – known as stalkerware – to PCs. Furthermore, the Account Check feature within Kaspersky Security Cloud on mobile devices has recently found 85% of users’ emails were in the public domain. This underlines the risks of private data being compromised online, so we have updated a feature on Windows to now automatically check if users’ email addresses could be used to access their accounts without their knowledge. We have also extended privacy protection within our basic products – Kaspersky Anti-Virus and Kaspersky Internet Security – with a free version of Kaspersky Password Manager, allowing everyone to secure up to 15 entries in an encrypted vault. While online activity brings new opportunities, we provide the services to ensure every detail that can be found in your personal information is safeguarded and our solutions prevent it from falling into the wrong hands,” commented Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

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