Should Windows Users Still Use Antivirus Software?( 'Takes about 4 minutes to read. )

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The Media Have Recently Been Saying That Antivirus Software Is No Longer Worth Using.


virusRecently we’ve seen a lot of online media reports that antivirus software actually poses a threat to users’ safety because it intercepts and manipulates encrypted HTTPS online traffic. This is normally done, in short, by your antivirus solutions’ installing a traffic interception module, a false root certificate, between your browser and the target website server that proxies all traffic. Doing this causes all HTTPS traffic to be marked as safe – with the padlock symbol – by your browser; whether or not it actually is safe.

It’s not just one or two rogue antivirus solutions that use this practice either: In fact it’s fairly standard with even some of the most famous brand names in the antimalware industry in this day and age.

– And so, as a result of that fact, the media – even many of the big tech media giants – are saying to scrap your antivirus solution or security suite and just rely solely on Windows Defender as it’ll be a safer bet to do so.


Don’t Just Stop Using An Antivirus/Antimalware Solution And Rely on Windows Defender Alone.


Once in a while, even the best security experts make unintended clicks on a bad file or on the wrong checkbox during a setup that installs a PUP when they are in a hurry – and regret it the second after.

Antivirus software is your safety net for those (hopefully) rare situations.


Is Windows Defender not enough for such situations?


    Not really, no: In virtually every test carried out; Windows Defender has a lower detection rate than “real” antivirus solutions.

    Windows Defender doesn’t detect Unwanted Programs (PUPs) at all, and it lacks a good Behaviour Blocker for brand new threats. It’s meant as a very basic protection only. In fact it usually shuts down when it detects a third-party antimalware solution and hands the task off to the better program. It tends to focus on the more widespread threats, but not on the many other unique types of attacks on individual machines. It’s better than nothing, but it’s a very incomplete line of defence, and it’s far away from the average level of detection of the products of well-established antivirus vendors.


    Your Choices: –


    So you have a choice: Either stick with the standard model and have your browser mark every site as safe; regardless of whether or not it is safe; or scrap your antivirus solution altogether and risk getting an infection by relying solely on Windows Defender…


    – Or, as a third option, you could use Emsisoft Antimalware or Emsisoft Internet Security.


    Emsisoft chose a different method to make sure you can’t access malicious and fraudulent websites: –




    Emsisoft’s solution blocks known bad hostnames (example: badsite dot com) on a DNS level. Host names are resolved to the servers’ IP addresses by the operating system. Emsisoft’s Surf Protection intercepts that process of address resolution independent of browser and traffic by returning an invalid IP address for hostnames that are on the blacklist. – Therefore if you try to connect to a known malware-toting site you won’t be able to connect. – That saves you getting infected by the site injecting malware onto your machine.


    That method may not be as precise as URL filtering, but it comes with two significant advantages: –


    1. It doesn’t rely on spying on any encrypted traffic, so it doesn’t provide as much surface for attackers as other concepts.
    2. It doesn’t require huge cloud-based databases to verify good and bad website addresses, which means it’s less intrusive on your privacy by design, as all matching is done locally on your computer.


    At the end of the day, then; you have three choices: –


    1. Carry on regardless, and risk the possibility of every site that you visit being marked as safe by your browser – whether or not it actually is safe.
    2. Dump your antimalware software and risk infection by relying solely on Windows Defender.

    I know which option I’ll be taking. – In fact I’ve already done it.



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