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Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019
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Antivirus

Gizmodo Is Wrong: You Do Need Antivirus Software

Our friends over at Gizmodo today posted a story entitled, “You Don’t Really Need an Anti-Virus App Anymore.”

Sorry, but that headline is just dumb. If you’re running Windows, macOS/OS X or Android, you absolutely do need antivirus software.

Credit: Denis Nata/ShutterstockCredit: Denis Nata/Shutterstock

The Gizmodo piece (which is a bit more nuanced than its headline) correctly says that keeping your system and internet-facing software updated, following best security practices and using common sense will go a long way to protect you. But none of that will save your butt when a brand-new piece of malware comes along and blows right past your system’s built-in defenses.

Good antivirus software will at least give you another chance to stop those new threats. There’s no good reason not to have it: Many AV programs have little system-performance impact, and many good ones are free.

Windows 10 may be the most secure operating system I’ve ever used, and Microsoft Edge the most secure browser, but researchers and online criminals keep finding new ways to attack them.

The Gizmodo writer is right when he says that compared to a decade ago, “Windows has much more robust security options built in, browsers are smarter, and, hopefully, so are the users.”

Windows 10 may be the most secure operating system I’ve ever used, and Microsoft Edge the most secure browser, but researchers and online criminals alike keep finding new ways to attack them.

But you know who else is smarter? People who look for security flaws. Windows 10 may be the most secure operating system I’ve ever used, and Microsoft Edge the most secure browser, but researchers and online criminals alike keep finding new ways to attack them.

Those vulnerabilities aren’t always fixed right away, either. Google found a bad one last November, made it public three months later (after Microsoft hadn’t patched it), and the problem wasn’t resolved until this week.

If you haven’t installed the latest Patch Tuesday updates, you’re still at risk from that flaw, even with Windows 10 and Edge. If you have installed the patch, there will be another dangerous flaw disclosed soon enough.

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