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Uninstall your anti-virus and use Windows Defender, says veteran software engineer

Windows Defender and a bit of common sense may serve most people better. (Source: Miyo Van Stenis)
Windows Defender and a bit of common sense may serve most people better. (Source: Miyo Van Stenis)
Third-party anti-virus programs are doing more harm than good, says a veteran programmer. If you're running a modern Windows operating system, stick with Windows Defender.

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The anti-virus software you're running may be putting your computer at risk, according to former Mozilla software engineer Robert O'Callahan. O'Callahan, who retired from Mozilla last year, suggests uninstalling any third party anti-virus you have installed and simply relying on Windows Defender.

Firstly, anti-virus software isn't as necessary as it once was. Symantec exec Brian Dye pointed out the trend nearly three years ago: there are less viruses and malware going around in general, and hackers are focusing on cyber-attacks, such as denial-of-service, phishing, and private network invasions instead.

Secondly, your anti-virus software may also do more harm than good due to ad-hoc solutions they apply to browsers for more "security". In order to function, the software must be run with the highest privileges, giving it full access to the system. This can have unwanted effects, for example, when anti-virus software blocked updates to Firefox browser security updates. Chrome has also been affected by reckless anti-virus software behavior, according to the browser's security engineer.

Finally, the software itself can be susceptible to attacks. Trend Micro was recently in hot water after researched found more than 200 vulnerabilities across the company's product line in just six months. The researchers, who were professional hackers, found that Trend Micro's security software had 223 security flaws, with 194 of them able to be remotely triggered.

If you are using any version of Windows that is still supported (8.1 and up), O'Callahan strongly recommends sticking with Windows Defender.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 01 > Uninstall your anti-virus and use Windows Defender, says veteran software engineer
Douglas Black, 2017-01-28 (Update: 2017-01-28)
Douglas Black
Douglas Black - News Editor
I am a university Lecturer and researcher in English writing, but I like to keep myself busy. Between weightlifting, MMA, and SCUBA diving, one of my life-long interests has always been computers. I used Macs until about 17 years ago when I switched to PCs because of an interest in games, but I'm still interested in top quality laptops that push the design envelope.