Often, malware is presented as streaming apps and, when downloaded, can cause severe damage to your system. Hackers also post phishing, scams, and other malicious links in the comments section of videos. When watching videos online, it’s important to protect your PC from disturbing pop-up ads, phishing sites, and other malware threats. I have laid out the steps to do just that in the steps below. Stream safely with Norton

Quick Guide: 3 Easy Steps to Protect Your PC While Watching Videos Online

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Step-By-Step Instructions to Protect Your PC While Watching Videos Online

When streaming online, you’re likely to face threats like malware, phishing, and disturbing pop-up ads. You can protect yourself while streaming with the following steps.

Step 1: Download a Reliable Antivirus

Top-tier antivirus software offers web security features that allow you to stream safely. For example, premium antiviruses like Norton and McAfee offer features such as:

A firewall that blocks network intrusion attacks Anti-phishing protection that protects against sophisticated phishing attacks An adware remover tool that blocks disturbing pop-ups from your device Real-time protection that prevents you from installing malware disguised as streaming apps A password manager that allows you to generate, store, and share your passwords securely

A top-tier antivirus would give you maximum protection when streaming and protect you from malware. You only have to install the software and the necessary browser extensions.

Step 2: Choose the Right Browser

There are numerous browsers out there, with Chrome and Mozilla Firefox being the most popular among internet users. Each browser has its unique experience, but you should always choose the browsers that optimize performance and guarantee safe and secure online streaming. Here’s how popular browsers differ: When considering the best browser for streaming, you should know that Chrome and Microsoft Edge both use the same engine (Chromium). However, Edge consumes less RAM, making it much faster. Firefox is great for privacy and offers many tools that stop third parties from tracking you. Also, Chrome has the largest web store for browser extensions, including tons of extensions for streaming. Opera stands out for having a built-in VPN and ad blocker, but it’s not the best for privacy.

Step 3: Add a Browser Extension

You can choose browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers to get a high-quality streaming experience. You’ll find the following extensions helpful:

Safe Web Browser: Norton’s Safe Web browser extension alerts you when you visit a suspicious streaming site or click on a malicious/phishing link. WebAdvisor: McAfee’s WebAdvisor is an extension that protects you from phishing attacks and other scams. WebShield: TotalAV’s WebShield and Safe Site browser extension includes several features that help you stream safely and blocks malicious links, annoying ads, and site notifications. HTTPS Everywhere: Automatically switches thousands of sites from insecure “HTTP” to secure “HTTPS,” protecting you from account hijacking. UBlock Origin: Filters out ads, trackers, and malicious URLs with its massive blocklist. AdBlock/AdBlock Plus: fights off malware advertising, pop-ups, and ads while granting users a faster browsing experience. NoScript: Blocks Javascript and other potentially harmful content from being executed except those you allow. Ghostery: Identifies and blocks active tracking cookies to prevent them from collecting your information. Particularly helpful when streaming on social media.

Step 4: Use a VPN

A VPN provides an additional layer of security, allowing you to stream your favorite shows securely. It also allows you to watch your home content when traveling. All the antiviruses on this list have an in-built VPN as part of the antivirus plan.

The Best Antivirus Software to Watch Videos Online — Full Test Results in January 2023

1. Norton — Best Antivirus With Comprehensive Protection When Streaming

Key Features: Norton helps you stream movies and shows safely. It offers multiple security and privacy features that blocks intrusive ads and makes streaming malware-free. While watching a video on YouTube, I mistakenly clicked a malicious link in the comments section. Norton’s real-time protection immediately picked up the threat, blocking the link and warning me that it was dangerous. I was very impressed with Norton’s detection abilities. During my tests, Norton detected every phishing link, malicious site, and malware introduced to my PC while streaming. With 100% malware detection rates, I’m assured of maximum protection when watching my favorite shows. Norton offers other security features that protect you when streaming. Its VPN allowed me to access my Netflix US account and HBO Max and kept me safe while browsing on a public WiFi network. Norton’s password manager helped me to generate secure passwords for all my streaming accounts and share them with my family and friends. I also found Norton’s firewall helpful. It monitors new applications and blocks them if it notices any malicious actions, keeping my device safe from malicious programs and network attacks. Norton’s ad blocker also helped me block annoying ads across all my browsers. I also use the best antivirus to protect my iPhone when watching social media videos. Norton offers multiple subscription plans. I found the Norton 360 Deluxe plan to be the best value for streaming. It covers up to 10 devices and provides all the anti-malware and ad-blocking tools. Nortons offers a 60-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. So you’re sure you’re buying in confidence. Stream safely with Norton

2. McAfee — Offers 100% Protection for All Streaming Sites

Key Features: McAfee provides 100% protection against simple and sophisticated threats that frequent movie and show streamers might encounter. These threats include malicious software (disguised as streaming apps), viruses, spyware, ransomware, and disturbing pop-up ads. Once I installed McAfee’s WebAdvisor browser extension, I got full protection while streaming. The browser extension is very effective against phishing, malicious URLs, and cryptojacking, scoring 98.8% protection. McAfee also removed every adware on my system and prevented annoying pop-up ads while I was streaming. I was impressed with McAfee’s customizable firewall functions. It provided more features than the Windows Defender firewall. I find the Net Guard feature particularly useful as it monitors programs and prevents them from making risky connections. I’m also happy that I could stream safely with McAfee’s VPN. The VPN encrypts my internet traffic so hackers cannot access my personal information. The password manager (True Key) allowed me to save all my streaming passwords. McAfee offers competitive pricing plans with relevant features that protect you when streaming. However, the Total Protection Premium plan offers the most comprehensive protection. You can try McAfee risk-free for 30 days using the money-back guarantee. Stream safely with McAfee

3. TotalAV — Tons of Web Security Features for Safe Streaming

Key Features: TotalAV offers a wide range of web security features that protects you when streaming. It offers real-time protection that blocks malicious streaming apps and links. During my tests, I visited multiple streaming sites. TotalAV detected all the malware-laden links and protected me from them. TotalAV’s WebShield and Safe Site browser extension includes several features that help you stream safely. I was particularly impressed with how WebShield detected and blocked ransomware and phishing links on some streaming sites. The Safe Site extension includes an ad blocker that stops every disturbing pop-up ad that could have interrupted my streaming experience. TotalAV’s VPN is one of the best tools for streaming securely. Not only could I access my Netflix US account and other streaming sites, but it also didn’t allow my ISP to spy on what I was watching. Sometimes, you just want to watch adult content and not get served annoying ads afterward. You can also save all your passwords on secure cloud storage with TotalAV’s password vault extension. After setting up the vault, I created very strong passwords for all the streaming platforms I’m subscribed to and saved them. With a secure password, it’s pretty difficult for hackers to guess or steal it. TotalAV comes with 3 subscription plans. However, I found the Internet Security plan to be the best for protecting my PC when streaming. It covers 5 devices and gives you top value for money. You can try TotalAV’s Internet Security plan risk-free using the 30-day money-back guarantee. Stream safely with TotalAV

Quick Comparison Table: 2023’s Best AVs for Watching Videos Online

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How I Tested and Ranked the Best Antivirus for Watching Videos Online Safely

Malware Protection — I chose an antivirus that offered perfect detection scores. All the antiviruses on my list can catch zero-day threats, including viruses, malware disguised as streaming apps, ransomware, and spyware. Ad blocking — I ensured that the antivirus software on my list could block every ad, including pop-up ads, pop-unders, and trackers that interrupts streaming. They also proved helpful in removing adware responsible for injecting ads into my browsers. Browser Extensions — A good browser improves your streaming experience when watching online videos. I chose the browsers that offer antivirus browser extensions that can protect me when streaming. Real-time Protection — I selected the antivirus software that could protect me in real-time from streaming-associated threats like phishing, scam, and malicious links. VPN Protection — A VPN can protect your connection from prying eyes. I focused on selecting the antivirus software with the most effective and simple-to-use VPNs. I ensured the VPN could access popular streaming sites and keep me safe when watching my favorite shows. Value for Money — I selected the best-value plans for each antivirus software. In addition, I only chose plans that offered excellent streaming-related security features and money-back guarantees.

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How to watch videos online safely?

To watch videos online safely, you need to ensure that you are protected from all types of threats. Malware, phishing, malicious sites, and disturbing ads are some of the challenges you face when streaming online, which could harm your PC or cause your data to be stolen. You can stay protected when watching videos online when you use antivirus software. However, not every antivirus offers the right features for watching videos safely. Fortunately, I found a few antiviruses that protect you from every threat you face when streaming. For instance, Norton provides the right security tools that help you stream movies safely.

Can streaming shows give me a virus?

Not really. Streaming shows do not give you a virus. However, streaming shows from unpopular or free movie streaming sites can pose a great danger. You could be downloading a virus to your device without knowing. Even when streaming on popular sites, you could get your device infected with a virus if you click on suspicious links posted in the comments section. To stay protected from viruses when streaming, you need robust antivirus software. Norton and TotalAV offer maximum protection when streaming.

How can an antivirus protect me while I’m streaming videos?

An antivirus can protect you while streaming videos. When streaming videos, you can mistakenly download a malicious streaming app, click on phishing links, or download malware from a free streaming site. Top-tier antivirus software like Norton and McAfee offer many security features that detect and block malware and other threats in real-time. You can also stream interruption-free with an antivirus ad blocker feature that blocks disturbing pop-up ads. Stream safely with Norton

Protect Yourself When Streaming Videos Online

Your PC can get exposed to different types of threats when streaming. Hackers spread malware in the form of streaming apps, which, if downloaded, can cause harm to your system. When watching videos on social streaming sites, you may click on malicious sites and phishing links and find scam ads that could cause you to lose your data or money. Luckily, there’s a fix for this issue. You can protect yourself when watching videos online with robust antivirus software like Norton. Whenever you come across a disturbing pop-up ad or phishing link, Norton blocks it, allowing you to stream videos online without interruptions. With Norton’s VPN, you can also safely access all your favorite shows on popular streaming platforms when traveling.

Summary — The Best Antivirus Software to Protect Your PC While Watching Videos Online