“Antivirus” programs are designed to prevent viruses, malware and corrupt files from harming our computer system and data. That is the common perception attached with the concept of installing antivirus programs in our computers and laptops. Nowadays the term antivirus isn’t used as often as before, we call it “Security software” or “Internet Security”.
Ofttimes, we buy products that do not deliver according to their claim, in fact, they may cause more damage. Same is the case with computer softwares. Companies purchase Antivirus software products that not only fail to do what they have been purchased for, they can actually prove to be dangerous and make the company’s data more vulnerable. Although, they make tall claims of safeguarding your computer system from any threat and keep gazillions of viruses away from your system but that is not the case at all. According to Google security researcher, Tavis Ormandy, there were vulnerabilities found in Symantec’s suite of antivirus products that had direct effect on company’s 17 enterprise products. (SentinalOne, 2016)
Why Antivirus Programs Stopped Working?
Antivirus programs have been around for around 30 years now and it is useless to determine who invented the first antivirus program. What really matters is, they all have something in common – they were in search for the known virus or malware all this time using ‘heuristics’ to detect them. There are almost 390,000 malware samples a day that are being produced and due to their built-in capacity of detecting known viruses and malware, they can’t keep up with the latest threats in more efficient way. (SentinalOne, 2016)
Another problem that has been observed by the users, is that Antivirus programs, in order to conduct a preemptive strike on the viruses to prevent infection of your system, hooks up with other softwares in your computer, like browsers, word processor, etc. rendering themselves to be invasive in nature. (Anthony, 2017) In the last five years, Ormandy found similar vulnerabilities as Symantec’s suite, in security software developed by Kaspersky, McAfee, Eset, Comodo, Trend Micro etc. which pretty much point towards the severity of the problem. (Anthony, 2017)
Too Many Antiviruses Spoil the System
It is human nature that when standing to fight against anyone or anything, we tend to equip ourselves with everything we can lay our hands on; the more the better is our policy in such scenario. But while it holds true for geographic battlefields, it doesn’t apply to cyber landscape. It is not at all recommended to use two antivirus programs simultaneously on your system. (Malenkovich, 2013) Following are the reasons for not using two antivirus programs at the same time.
- Since antivirus programs are observing and searching you system for softwares and programs that monitors and send information about your system, the other antivirus system fulfilling the criteria will look like a virus and the competing antivirus will try to block or remove it.
- When an antivirus program detects a virus, it will remove it and quarantine it. But when the other program detects the quarantined file, it will try to remove it and send reports about the virus that has already been removed.
- Two programs scanning your system memory will sap your power. They will make your system sluggish and affect its performance.
So, it is quite obvious that having two antivirus programs simultaneously is more trouble than a blessing. It is recommended to use a comprehensive antivirus program, after doing some research, which is independently tested. A single authentic antivirus is more than enough to provide your system with protection against destructive entities. (Malenkovich, 2013)
Free Antivirus Programs May Prove Costly
Free antivirus programs have different standards of qualities just like the paid ones. And mostly, looking for freebies, end users have tons of options to choose from. Free antivirus does offer some value and features but you cannot expect everything that is present in paid programs. Free antivirus packages doesn’t offer any assistance if you are experiencing any problem with the program. You can only state your problem on online forums. (Larkin, 2009)
Moreover, free antivirus seldom features malware-signature updates. This may result in leaving the system vulnerable to new viruses that probably go unnoticed. And some of the free programs give you things that you don’t really need. AVG app and Comodo Internet Security, for instance, default to install useless searchor social networking browser toolbars. Free app display ads and pop-up ads cause nuisance constantly for the user. (So please try not to use those) (Larkin, 2009)
Anthony, S. (2017, January 27). It might be time to stop using antivirus. Retrieved August 12, 2017, from arsTECHNICA: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/01/antivirus-is-bad/
Larkin, E. (2009, August 24). Can You Trust Free Antivirus Software? Retrieved August 12, 2017, from PCWorld: http://www.pcworld.com/article/170587/free_antivirus_software.html
Malenkovich, S. (2013, September 09). Why it’s Wrong to Simultaneously Use Several Antivirus on You Computer. Retrieved August 12, 2017, from Kaspersky Daily: https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/multiple-antivirus-programs-bad-idea/2670/
SentinalOne. (2016, August 17). What’s Wrong with the Enterprise Antivirus Industry? Retrieved August 12, 2017, from SentinalOne: https://sentinelone.com/2016/08/17/whats-wrong-with-enterprise-antivirus-industry/
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