DATA DOCTORS

Column: Does Windows 11 Need Anti-Virus Software?

Nov 13, 2021, 7:15 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

Q: With all of the new security features in Windows 11, should I still install some form of anti-virus software and if so, which one?

A: Microsoft has definitely stepped up the security features in Windows 11 in response to some of the more prevalent threats that most users will encounter in today’s Internet-concentric world.  I covered some of them in a previous column.

Windows Defender, which was once a very basic “better than nothing” security option has improved especially as it pertains to detecting malicious software, but not so much when it comes to detecting things like phishing websites.

If you only use Microsoft’s Edge browser and only care about apps that are available from the Microsoft Store, the S-Mode in Windows 11 locks things down to avoid third-party threats, but it’s not a realistic way to function for many users.

It’s Not About Viruses AnymoreThe old ‘anti-virus’ label used for protection software is a bit outdated as most of today’s threats have little to do with an actual computer virus.

A computer virus is typically self-replicating and ‘infects’ another program that acts as the host of the malicious code.

Today’s biggest threats such as ransomware and clever phishing websites focus on social engineering techniques that trick a user into doing something that looks routine to ‘anti-virus’ software, which is why it’s just not enough for most users.

Full Internet SecurityThird-party programs that focus on total Internet security based on today’s user behavior and the most common threats provide significantly better protection.

Since it’s so easy to create a malicious website that looks exactly like a legitimate ‘name brand’ website, tipping off the user that a website may be dangerous before they actually click on a link is pretty helpful.

Other useful tools include folder and file shields to protect your critical data against ransomware and browser extensions for privacy checking, parental controls and email/online scam detection.

Microsoft Is A Huge TargetAnother big reason not to rely solely on Microsoft for your online security is that Windows is still the dominant operating system used by more than 80% of the computers connected to the Internet.

This makes it one of the biggest targets for hackers because the payoff for successfully compromising Microsoft’s code can be financially lucrative.  If your security software is tied into your operating system, it’s more vulnerable if the OS is compromised.

How We Choose Security SoftwareJust about any of the big-name security software packages will provide superior protection in combination with the enhanced features in Windows 11, so any security suite you add will provide those extra layers.

Two of the factors that have always been important to us are the resources the software requires and if they continue to try to sell users additional programs.

A security package that noticeably impacts the performance of your computer isn’t great, which ties directly into the second complaint we have with so many security products.

Convincing users to pay for additional tools by bombarding them with scary pop-ups from the tool that was installed to protect them is bad form.

We currently install Trend Micro’s Security Suite because it provides solid protection with low resource utilization and doesn’t pester its users to buy other products.

Data Doctors

(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here’s what computer monitoring system SMART does for your device

If your computer takes forever to startup, freezes during startup or randomly crashes while in use, running a diagnostic program can help quickly determine if the problem is a failing hard drive.
9 hours ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

In need of Gmail storage space cleanup tips? Here are a few to get you started

If you haven’t done much in the past to keep the clutter from building up in your Gmail account, there are a number of places where you can free up valuable storage space.
7 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Data Doctors

Here are the latest online shopping tips for 2021

As the holiday seasons drives up purchase volumes, here are the latest online shopping safety tips.
14 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

What to consider when deciding whether to buy or rent Internet router, modem

There are pros and cons to both sides of the buy-versus-rent an internet modem/router question and there is no single answer for everyone.
28 days ago
(Pixabay Photo)...
Data Doctors

Column: Why computer extended warranties are a waste

When it comes to computers, there are a variety of reasons that buying ‘extra protection’ up front can be a waste of money.
1 month ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Ken Colburn, Data Doctors

Yes, you can take presentable astronomy photos on phone camera

While serious astrophotography requires a pile of expensive DSLR camera equipment, you can actually get decent images from your smartphone with a little work.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
ENVOQUE MD

Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Why fall maintenance is important for your heating system and A/C

It’s easy to ignore your heater and air conditioner when they’re working but the moment something breaks, you will likely regret not keeping up with maintenance. After all, if something goes wrong, you may be stuck with a repair that will take longer and be more expensive than simple maintenance.
...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
Column: Does Windows 11 Need Anti-Virus Software?