Founded in 2002 by Danish entrepreneurs, BullGuard is a global, privately held software company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. They develop computer software for home users and small businesses, focusing on anti-virus, anti-phishing, parental controls, and system backup software. In 2008, the company partnered with Steel Series to introduce the first internet security product specifically for gamers. Today, they offer online backup tools and mobile security in addition to traditional PC anti-virus coverage. 

The Good

  • Great detection
  • Parental controls
  • Quiet mode

BullGuard combines signature-based detection with behavior detection to identify and stop viruses from infecting your computer. They provide anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-malware along with identity theft protection. BullGuard's identity protection monitors the web-including social networking sites and the dark web-for signs that your personal data is being traded. If identifying details are discovered, such as usernames, passwords, passport information, credit cards, and bank account numbers, you will be alerted to that information so further damage can be prevented. The parental control features are pretty extensive. Not only can parents monitor searching and browsing activity online, but they can (discretely) keep tabs on their kids' Facebook friends and interactions. Users can be notified when inappropriate or dangerous content is shared over Facebook. That includes behavior that might be linked to bullies or predators. Furthermore, in the mobile security parental controls, parents can locate their kids via GPS and choose key "alert" words to watch for in text messages. Once installed, BullGuard's default setting is set to quiet mode, which keeps pop-ups and notifications to a minimum. The interface itself is pretty minimalist and is set to auto-scan, so it's pretty hassle-free to use these products, even for customers who aren't particularly computer-savvy. BullGuard's prices seem pretty reasonable, and customers can opt for a 6-month subscription (rather than 1 year) for the basic anti-virus package. Subscribers to the standalone identity and social media protection package can pay by the month, allowing for more payment flexibility.

The Bad

  • No data shredder
  • Minimal Apple coverage

Besides not having a data shredder, the main beef with BullGuard is that it has minimal coverage of Apple products. The anti-virus computer products cater only to PC users, and the mobile security product doesn't run on iOS devices. That being said, the mobile security works for Symbian, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile devices in addition to Androids.

The Bottom Line

If you're a PC-using parent concerned with your child's online activity-particularly on Facebook-this is very likely the anti-virus company for you. Whether you go with their PC or mobile security option (or both), you'll be able to monitor for computer threats as well as many of the social dangers that threaten kids.

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