Are you Still paying for Anti-Virus?

Malware

Are you Still paying for Anti-Virus?

I was recently reading this article “Still Paying for Antivirus Software? Experts Say You Probably Don’t Need It“, where the author is stating that most people really don’t need anti-virus software and they really don’t need to pay for it.

First let me state that I, we or Simply Web Services, LLC., are not representing any anti-virus company, nor are I, we or Simply Web Services, LLC., getting paid to talk about any particular anti-virus software.

I think what the author is trying to convey is that a virus is no longer the main threat as there are many other malware threats out there today. And I think that how he worded it is misleading and dangerous, let me explain.

The article is really mixing and matching a bunch of disjoined statements and not being clear on any of them. As an example, The opening statement in the article of “Viruses are no longer the biggest threats for most users, particularly now that software updates itself automatically and so much personal computing happens over the internet.“, this is very misleading. Malware is still very prevalent today and will be for some time to come. But the statement itself just doesn’t make much sense. How can being on a computer on the internet not a treat and trust me there are virus’s out there. In two weeks time the Simply Web Services, LLC., mail server stopped 7 different malware infections. And while doing research for this post, I actually visited a website that had been infected by malware and tried to infect my laptop.

Now you likely have already noticed that I stopped using the word “Virus” and started using “Malware“. Malware is a catch-all term for any type of malicious software, regardless of how it works, its intent, or how it’s distributed. A virus is a specific type of malware that self-replicates by inserting its code into other programs. And that is where I think the author is confused. Most modern antivirus software will do more than just stop a virus and I’ll get into that in a few minutes.

The main problem with this article is that the author wants readers to believe that Microsoft Defender is good enough for most users and the author also wants you to believe that updated software cannot be compromised or infected and that being on the internet isn’t a threat.

I guess the author has never heard of a zero-day, which is a computer-software vulnerability either unknown to those who should be interested in its mitigation or known and a patch has not been developed. Until the vulnerability is mitigated, hackers can exploit it to adversely affect programs, data, additional computers or a network.

First a little history about Microsoft Defender, which Microsoft purchased from GIANT Company Software, Inc and was formerly known as GIANT AntiSpyware, in late 2004. I bet you never heard of GIANT or GIANT AntiSpyware before, don’t worry, neither have I or many people for that matter.

Since 2004, Windows AntiSpyware, evolved to Windows Defender and was redesigned to receive definition updates via Automatic Updates. In the days of Windows 7, Windows Defender was replaced by Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). In fac MSE actually worked and was a contender in the Antivirus market. Microsoft discontinued MSE (we can only guess, because it worked well) and converted Windows Defender to antivirus and was very similar to MSE. In Windows 10, Microsoft once again changed the name of the software to Windows Defender Antivirus (now Microsoft Defender Antivirus) and it became part of the Windows Defender Security Center app (now Windows Security Center).

But, most independent reviews of Microsoft Defender Antivirus, will reveal that though the software is very capable, it is lacking and fails to catch all the test infections mostly because it is not updated as often as most antivirus programs. It seems that for Microsoft antivirus is a side hustle.

But today, antivirus protection just isn’t good enough and I think that is what the author of the NBC New article is trying to state.

In fact many reviewers don’t even include Microsoft Defender Antivirus in their tests.

Now that we have all that out of the way, let me talk about why antivirus software is not just “good enough”.

Antivirus software is just that antivirus. A computer virus is a type of computer program that, when executed, replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code. If this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be – “infected” with a computer virus, a metaphor derived from biological viruses. (Thank you Wikipedia). But there is so many more threats out there and today’s modern software will help protect you from those threats.

Threats like:

  • Webcam exploitation – Turning your webcam off and on remotely to secretly view what is going on Infront of the camera
  • Anti-Spam
  • Banner Protection
  • Ad Protection
  • Ransomware
  • Firewall
  • Antivirus (system and files; web; email) (Virus, trojans, Worms,)
  • keyloggers
  • and more

That is why I use and recommend a more complete solution:

  • Instead of Norton Antivirus use Norton 360
  • Instead of McAfee Antivirus use McAfee Total Protection
  • I personally use Kaspersky Total Security, which is their most robust endpoint solution

Kaspersky Total Security

which includes:

Parental Control – Kaspersky Safe Kids Premium

  • Adult Content Blocker – Stops your kids seeing harmful website content like adult videos, gambling & violence, including on YouTube
  • Screen-time Management – Allows you to set screen time limits by device & blocks computer and Android devices use it limits are exceeded
  • YouTube Safe Search – Lets you monitor your kids’ YouTube search history and block search results
  • GPS Child-Locator – Lets you find your kids 24/7 pinpointing their whereabouts on a digital map

Extended Protection

  • Password Manager – Secures your passwords, bank card details and confidential documents in an encrypted vault that can only be unlocked with a main password. Plus it generates strong passwords to help you safeguard your account privacy
  • Network Attack Defender – Scans inbound traffic activity for signs of network attacks on your computers. Upon detecting an attack, it blocks network activity from the attacking computer for one hour and sends you an alert with the option of blocking it for longer
  • Ad Blocker (Windows Only) – Stops annoying website banners and potentially malicious ads showing on your Windows PC. If you are happy to be served ads by particular sites, you can favorite these so you continue to see ads when you visit them
  • Keylogger Protection (Windows Only) – Automatically stops keyloggers from recording your keystrokes on your Windows PC, helping to protect your passwords, bank details and other confidential information when you enter them on your keyboard

Privacy Protection

  • Kaspersky VPN – Encrypts data you send and receive with a 256-bit AES cipher, preventing criminals from reading your emails, photos, and bank details. Plus it hides your IP address so your browsing can’t be tracked — not even by your ISP. Free VPN with up to 300 MB of traffic per day
  • Anti-Phishing – Guards you from spoof sites and emails created by cybercriminals to steal your identity. It identifies sophisticated scams and sends you warning alerts if phishing activity is detected
  • Private Browsing – Blocks the websites and social network platforms you visit on your Mac and PC from tracking your activities and collecting your private data. Preventing them from targeting you with annoying and intrusive ads
  • Webcam Protection – Stops unauthorized access to your webcam on Windows PC and Mac so nobody can watch you in your home. It alerts you when an app tries to use your website and lets you block unwanted ones or grant permission to trusted ones

High-Tech Protection

  • Malicious Link Detector – Works by referencing data from the Kaspersky Security Network to analyze links on webpages you open, informing you about malicious web addresses and color coding individual URLs based on their threat level
  • Malware Defender (Windows Only) – Guards your PC from a range of dangerous and sophisticated malware, such as “file-less” malware that is written directly to your PC’s RAM rather than to its hard drive
  • Application Control – Prevents untrustworthy apps from accessing critical system processes and your personal data
  • Custom Hardened Browser – Triggers screen alerts if you attempt to visit sites considered dangerous or potentially dangerous. It makes this assessment using a list of sites that have been attacked previously, and asks you if you wish to proceed or not

Anti-Hacking

  • Two-Way Firewall (Windows Only) – Helps you prevent hacker attacks against your PC by providing you with both incoming and outgoing network request detection. Enabling you to view, assess and manage every inbound and outbound connection that’s made
  • Payment Protection – Works on your Mac and PC by diverting you to a bank-grade protected browser when you make an online transaction. Preventing your credit card details and financial data getting intercepted by hackers
  • Anti-Ransomware (Windows Only) – Monitors your PC in real-time to identify activity that matches ransomware behavior. This enables suspicious activity to be blocked instantly, stopping ransomware attacks from locking you out of your machines
  • App Lock – Lets you protect apps on your Android devices by locking them with hack-proof security. Once you protect an app, it can only be unlocked with a private PIN code, by drawing a secret pattern or with your fingerprint

Anti-Virus Defense

  • Real-Time Antivirus – Continuously scans your devices for viruses, worms, Trojans, cryptolockers, rootkits and spyware — guarding you from both new and established online threats.
    Automatic Exploit Prevention (Windows Only) – Identifies complex network exploits across your PC. This includes the detection of the EternalBlue and SMBloris exploits, both of which can crash operating systems and make your computers unusable
  • Trojan Remover – Detects and removes Trojan horse viruses and Internet worms that slow down your Windows PCs and Android devices. This is done automatically, so there’s no need for you to manually edit system files
  • Instant Threat Detection – Delivers real-time, non-stop analysis of files, applications, and websites across your computers and Android devices, safeguarding you and your data with rapid threat detection

Safe Money

  • Secures your online transactions & credit card details with bank-grade encryption
  • Make payments via an encrypted browser
  • Stop identity thieves with Anti-Phishing
  • Secure your passwords in a private vault
  • Lock your Android apps with extra security

Plus more like:

  • File Protection – Backs up your photos, music & files to an encrypted storage space on your PC
  • PC Cleaner – Helps you delete unnecessary applications
  • Unused Data cleaner – Delete temporary and other unused files
  • Privacy Cleaner – Clears the traces of your activity
  • Data Encryption – Store important documents in an encrypted form
  • File Shredder – Delete data permanently to avoid unauthorized recovery (supporting many of the most popular shredding standards.)
  • Software updater – Keeps your application up-to-date
  • Application Control – Monitors applications and blocks dangerous activities
  • Vulnerability Scan – Finds vulnerabilities that make your computer weak
  • Network Monitor – Shows network activity of all applications
  • Cloud Protection – Uses a cloud-based database to detect danger immediately
  • Quarantine – Stores files that were modified or deleted during disinfection
  • On-screen keyboard – Protects your data from keyloggers
  • Performance Optimization – Keeps your devices running fast & smooth – exactly as they were designed to

Kaspersky Total Security Review (2020)
At the time of this post you can get Kaspersky Total Security directly from Kaspersky for $29.99 for 1 year and that can be used on five different devices at once.

Even if you don’t need antivirus (but honestly, you still do), $30 a year isn’t that much to pay for piece of mind knowing that your computer and data is safe from hackers.

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