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Why We Are Against Antivirus [Free Guide]

Why We Are Against Antivirus. Findings from independent laboratories such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, feature pieces from a variety of magazines such as Ars Technica and PCMag, as well as white papers and releases from organizations and companies like Usenix and Google’s Project Zero.

You may have looked into computer viruses, ransomware, spyware, and other types of malware that have been common in recent years to learn more about the kinds of threats that now threaten most people’s PCs or laptops.

Over the years, you may have also spoken with security experts, IT professionals, and the information security team that have helped you filter out the noise of the typical antivirus table tennis headlines, such as: “Antivirus is becoming increasingly useless,”  it’s still pretty handy,” “Antivirus is unnecessary,” “Wait, no, it isn’t,” and so on.

Putting all of your trust in a single application to secure your system, data, and privacy is a risky bet. This is especially true when you consider that virtually every antivirus program has had security flaws in the past.

Why We Are Against Antivirus

No antivirus program will safeguard your laptop or computer

No antivirus program, commercial or free, will safeguard your computer against every harmful piece of software that may find its way onto it. In addition, you will need to implement safe passwords, two-factor logins, data encryption, system-wide backups, automated software upgrades, and browser extensions that provide intelligent privacy features.

You need to be careful about what you download, and you should try your best to restrict software downloads to official platforms only, such as the Apple Mac App Store and the Microsoft Store for Windows and Windows Phone. It is best practice to refrain from downloading and opening attachments sent to you through email unless you are completely familiar with their contents.

Reasons why we are against antivirus

It is not enough for a security program to only guard against a certain category of well-known “viruses.” When the file is opened, it contains a potentially infinite number of malware variants that have been encrypted, which means they have been encoded to appear as legitimate, trustworthy applications.

These malware programs, once opened, deliver their products, which damage the system. Antivirus companies are always updating their detection methods to get around encryption services, but they will never be able to keep up with malware developers who are determined to get around their protections.

A brief introduction to the terminology: Malware is short for “bad software,” and it refers to any program or file that executes on your computer and produces results that were not intended and are typically dangerous.

Antivirus, on the other hand, is an antiquated phrase that is still used by software manufacturers. This is due to the fact that viruses, Trojan horses, and worms were significant dangers throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

In a technical sense, every single piece of malware is a virus, but not every single virus is a piece of malware.

If you want to err on the side of caution, installing a comprehensive antivirus suite made by a well-known company is the best course of action you can take. Because, among other valid reasons:

  1. Vulnerabilities: The manner in which antivirus programs offer security presents a challenge due to its inherent nature. According to TechRepublic, “Security software necessarily requires high access privileges in order to operate effectively. However, when the software is itself insecure or otherwise malfunctioning, it becomes a much higher liability due to the extent to which it has control over the system.” In the past, major flaws have been found in Symantec, Norton, Kaspersky, and most of the other major antivirus software companies.
  2. Slowing down: Antivirus software is notorious for slowing down computers, blocking the best security features of other applications (such as in the Firefox and Chrome browsers), popping up with distracting reminders and upsells for subscriptions or updates, and installing potentially insecure add-ons such as browser extensions without clearly asking you for permission. Performance: Antivirus software is notorious for slowing down computers by blocking the best security features of other applications (such as in the Firefox and Chrome browsers).
  3. Privacy Issues: Free antivirus software contains all of the aforementioned issues, as well as privacy-related ones. Good security does not come for free, and apps that are available for free download have a greater propensity to collect data about your computer and how you use it, as well as to sell your private browsing data. Furthermore, these apps are more likely to install browser extensions that hijack your search and break your security, as well as to add an advertisement to your email signature. Good security does not come for free.

Because of all of these factors, we do not advise the majority of individuals to invest their time or money in installing conventional antivirus software on their laptop or personal computers.

There are two qualifications to our suggestion:

  1. If you have a laptop that has an antivirus program or other security measures already installed and it was issued to you by your workplace, school, or another institution, you should not delete such programs. Organizations have systemwide security demands and threat models that are different from those of personal computers. Additionally, organizations have to take into consideration differing degrees of technical ability and safe practices among their staff members. Do not make your IT department’s hard work even tougher.
  2. People who need to secure sensitive data (medical, financial, or other), or who have habits of surfing that take them to riskier portions of the Internet, face special dangers that they need to take into consideration. Our guidelines about safety and habits are still an excellent place to start, but scenarios like these could require more stringent actions than those that we address in this article.

Your laptop don’t require any additional protection

Malwarebytes is able to identify malware that antivirus software may have missed, as well as malware that has made its way onto a Mac. If you spend a lot of time in sketchier corners of the Internet, or if you think you may have already downloaded malicious software that your antivirus software didn’t catch, then you should consider using Malwarebytes.

We’ve found that it is mostly unintrusive, and it can identify malware that Windows Defender may have missed. However, the majority of users do not require the premium version.

Malwarebytes is able to identify some sorts of zero-day attacks that antivirus software or Windows Defender might not, which means that when the two apps are run in tandem, they can collaborate effectively (provided that you set it up correctly).

The premium edition includes live scanning of downloads, which is helpful if you download a lot of software or email attachments.

When you suspect that you may have downloaded malware onto your computer, you may use the free version of Malwarebytes to do a manual scan and remove it from your computer.

Layers and healthy habits provide the best protection

Layer 1: Keep your operating system, browser, and other applications up to date.

Computers, browsers, and critical software are updated more regularly now than they were during the late 1990s/early 2000s virus heyday, and the upgrades are frequently automated and difficult to ignore. That’s a good thing, because these upgrades frequently include critical security patches.

Layer 2: Install Malwarebytes Premium afterwards.

All viruses are malware; however, malware encompasses much more than viruses. Most security professionals we spoke with suggested that consumers install Malwarebytes Premium on Windows and macOS.

Malwarebytes is a real-time scanning utility that works without interruptions and scans your system thoroughly without consuming resources. Rather than depending on a list of known malicious software, it searches for any program or process that exhibits suspicious behavior.

It has some of the same protections as Windows Defender, which is a good thing because much malware is designed to work around the security built into the most popular operating systems.

Layer 3: Helper applications

After you’ve fortified your computer with an up-to-date operating system, browser, and antivirus and/or anti-malware programs, you should try to keep the activities you do on your computer secret, as well as to keep your accounts and sensitive data safe using powerful tools.

Layer 4: Healthy behaviors

It’s not as necessary to have a well-tuned automobile with the newest safety systems as it is to have decent driving habits. Similarly, the choices you make when using your gadgets are the last thing you must address after establishing a safe system, but they are no less crucial.