Antivirus software has been in use for quite some time now, maybe a decade or so. We all use it to protect our precious machines from malicious software and programs that may cripple our computers, steal data or render them completely useless. But it’s 2018 and things have changed a lot since those beginnings. The old ways of computing has been dumped and attackers and hackers alike have turned towards new methods to infiltrate your digital life.
Let’s take a look at why you should stop buying Antivirus software. As usual, I am gonna list it in points which is in no particular order.
- Antivirus comes in the way of system operations
No, I am not saying this but a former Mozilla developer Robert O’Callahan says that antivirus software is terrible except for Microsoft’s own solution to which we will come after some points. Justin Suhuh, Google Chrome’s security chief also said that antivirus software is “my single biggest impediment to shipping a secure browser”. Further down that thread he explains that meddling AV software delayed Win32 Flash sandboxing “for over a year” and that further sandboxing efforts are still on hold due to AV. The man-in-the-middle nature of antivirus also causes a stream of TLS (transport layer security) errors, says Schuh, which in turn breaks some elements of HTTPS/HSTS.
So what is all this fuss about?
Antivirus, in an attempt to catch viruses before they can infect your system, forcibly hooks itself into other pieces of software on your computer, such as your browser, word processor, or even the OS kernel. Some AV software even introduce their own add ons for browsers and hog system memory thereby making the browser inefficient for use.
2. Attackers are now using online methods
Traditional AV software were meant to scan physical files and inform of you any threats but these days hackers aren’t going after your system, they are targeting the websites you visit because digital data is the new gold. Online phishing and scams are rampant and so is spreading of infected links through social media. Your AV software won’t be able to protect you in these cases and only your common sense and alertness can help you to avoid disaster. And to be very honest, physical infected files like malware and trojan horse are really getting rare these days.
3. Updating your browser and Operating system does most of the job
Most of our work these days is online. From documents to photo editing to storage, everything is cloud managed. Hence, hackers constantly try to gain access to your accounts by trying to steal your credentials. In these cases, its the browsers that prevent you from scams. Most browsers today are very powerful and come with built-in security features and tools to help you stay safe. Similarly, the lastest Windows 10 OS has a lot of new security features built right into its core processes. Hence, its always wise to update your browsers and OS regularly as soon as companies issue updates.
4. The native defenses are more than enough
In case of Windows (since, thats most widely used one), Microsoft has got its own Windows Defender software to guard you against threats from inside and outside. Its baked right into Windows 10 and works flawlessly and silently even without user interaction. It automatically updates itself and terminates threats. In case of Android, Google has a brilliant solution known as Google Play Protect which helps you stay away from malicious apps. They both update their databses online. Stick to the official apps from Google Play Store or Apple App store and you will perfectly fine since both Google and Apple enforce strict measures and detect and delete shady apps even before it reaches your phone.
5. Antivirus software makers generally dont make secure products
Yes, you read it right. AV software does more harm than good since without the AV software hackers have to look into your OS or browser vulnerabilities to get into your system. But now that the AV stands as the middle men, hackers instead find flaws in the AV software to gain access to your system. And AV softwares have been found with a lot of vulnerabilites. Read here.
5. Free AV does the job excellently
If in case you do need AV software for some reason like using older OS for development purpose then you might want to stick with the free options. They with come with most of the features that will keep you safe and the best part is, they are free forever. Avast is one such example. Its even ranked among the topmost AV softwares in the world.
Its not as if you dont need AV software or that the default security solutions provided by companies is the best. One should always remember that nothing in this world is 100% secure. Its just a matter of who finds the vulnerabilities first. As always, keep all your software updated to its latest versions and follow strict online ethics to help you save yourself from frauds and disasters.