Consumers Beware of ‘Impartial’ AntiVirus Software Reviews

For multiple years in a row, Bitdefender has received editor choice awards from many of the top tech journals, blogs, and product authorities.

Yet, our research indicates it may be the worst antivirus program available. Not long ago, they had an ‘F’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their rating is now up to a ‘C’ so they obviously aren’t earning their #1 position that so many reviewers are giving them.

In 2015, we reviewed their product and found so many problems with their customer service, website, and the product itself, it was completely too time consuming to continue using the product.

So, how is Bitdefender getting so many good reviews? Well, it could be a result of the paid commissions that the reviewers get for every sale they send to the company.

PC Magazine unceasingly awards Bitdefender their coveted Editor’s Choice award and Tom’s Guide currently rates Bitdefender the top Antivirus program in the world.

Let’s take the Tom’s Guide article as an example. There are multiple conflicts and problems with the review. First of all, according to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s illegal to include advertising in an article and not declare it as advertising. That article is a glaring text book case of this violation. Secondly, it’s illegal to be a blogger or describe yourself as an independent reviewer if you’re being paid by the company you are giving favor to in the review. This needs to be disclosed.

It’s unlikely that a formal arrangement was made with these reviewers, but the reviewers should do whatever they can to be fully transparent and disclose any financial gain they have from promoting a specific product.

The Tom’s Guide article contains paid affiliate links to the Bitdefender software. When you hover over the huge ad, the link below it discloses that it’s a Google Leads affiliate link as seen in the screen shot below.

20161028fr2312-bitdefender-antivirus-ad-graphic-black-background-showing-google-leads-758x562

The screen shot above shows the revealed link below the ad when a mouse pointer is hovered over the ad.

Notice also that AntiVirus is spelled AntiVius (with the ‘r’ missing’) in both of the huge ads found in the Tom’s Guide article.

20161028fr2312-bitdefender-antivirus-ad-graphic-gray-background-758x562

Antivirus software isn’t the only area consumers need to be leery of. Just about every product, service, and business review is potentially susceptible to being influenced either to make a positive or negative review based on who is paying them.

As always, buyer beware.

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