Bob has noticed that Leo hasn't been advocating for antivirus software lately, and his subscription is expiring. Should he renew it? Leo says that most malware hacks are Zero Day now, and security programs aren't really effective against them. Antivirus software even can cause problems. In general, antivirus software isn't really worth subscribing to. Windows Defender is free and offers protection that is perfectly fine. The best defense is his online behavior, and keeping the OS updated.
anti virus software
Joe wants to know how effective antivirus software is. Leo says it can work, but it really does give users a false sense of security. Zero Day exploits can still nail people within 24 hours of discovery. They can also expose people to more flaws. That doesn't mean Joe shouldn't have one, though, but Leo recommends not buying anything third party. He should stick with Microsoft's own Defender that comes with Windows 10. Ultimately, though, his online behavior is his last, best line of defense.
Intel has announced that the fix for the Spectre exploit can actually cause blue screens of death (BSOD) and crash your system unless you make sure everything is updated first — especially third-party antivirus. Leo says this is why it makes more sense to use Windows Defender and not use a third party app. They really do more harm than good.
Jimmy wants to know if the Fix Me Stick can remove viruses from his computer. Leo says don't get since it won't provide you with anything additional that you can already download from the internet. The most important thing to look for in antivirus software is the frequency of updates. You can also make your own "fix me stick". Antivirus software gives you a false sense of security. Windows existing security software is adequate and updated often. It's best to practice safe computing. Don't click on links and don't take candy from strangers. Be smart online.
Al's Norton Anti Virus is up for renewal. Is there an alternative? Leo says absolutely. Norton is actually making systems less secure, according to many security analysts. Windows' own antivirus, Windows Defender works just fine. Leo doesn't even recommend antivirus software anymore because all too often they cause more trouble than they're worth. The best defense is ultimately the user's behavior. Windows Defender is perfectly adequate, and it comes for free with Windows.
John is trying to run Windows Defender and it's been turned off in Windows 8.1. How can he turn it on? Leo suspects that since John is running Malware Bytes as well, that it is blocking Defender from being turned on. Leo says first, you don't want to run two different antivirus software. Often they see each other as a virus and frankly, they fight each other. So make sure you only run one. Also, Microsoft's own AVS is adequate to do the job. The real key to defend your computer is to modify your behavior.
Jay wants to know if removing viruses is the same between Mac and Windows. Leo says that there's a debate that Macs are either more secure, or are a smaller target because there are fewer of them. Leo says that malware writers are going to write for the largest segment of computers. But OS X is based on Unix and that's more secure than Windows. OS X also has an administrator requirement when installing software.
Sam bought a new Sony Vaio with Windows 7. What should he do about antivirus software? Leo suggests going with Microsoft Security Essentials. It comes bundled as Windows Defender in Windows 8, but he'll have to download and install it separately for Windows 7. Antivirus software won't protect him from his own behavior, though.
Jeff recently bought a Windows 8.1 computer and it comes with McAffee. Does he need it? Leo says no, Windows comes with a far better antivirus utility called Windows Defender. McAffee is put on the computer because the company makes money putting it on every computer. He should uninstall it immediately and activate Windows Defender.
Drew wants to know if Microsoft Security Essentials is good enough or should he buy an AVS. Leo says that MSE is good if he doesn't want to pay for one, but if he's willing to buy it, then he should. Eset's Nod 32 has heuristics that enables it to anticipate viruses before they happen. But the antivirus software can give a false sense of security. If he relies on that and doesn't change his online behavior, he's going to get infected anyway. If he runs as a limited user, he can protect himself against 90% of all the bad stuff out there.