Does Windows 8 Need Antivirus?
John McAfee is a wanted man. The millions he sold his antivirus company, McAfee Associates, set him up for life in an island paradise, Belize. But, this year he has been accused of drug manufacture and murder. Now on the lam, he blogs that he wears disguises and is having fun!
In 1992, McAfee contributed to the media frenzy that millions will have their hard drives destroyed by the Michelangelo virus on March 6th. The appointed day came and went, without much incident. Seven million copies of McAfee antivirus were downloaded (there were only 35 million PC in the entire US in 1992). McAfee sold off his company for a tidy sum in 1994. Note: McAfee, Inc. today, is in no way connected to John McAfee.
There has been a record of Anti-virus software makers, including Symantec and Zone Alarm, using scare tactics and misleading claims to sell their software.
Virus and Malware Protection in Windows 8
Microsoft has taken strong measures to protect computers running Windows 8 and Windows RT. It has integrated virus and malware protection into Windows itself. It is called Windows Defender.
Given the billions Microsoft has poured into security research over the years, and its intimate knowledge of Windows, it is difficult to see how any other company could do a more thorough job securing a computer.
Additionally, Microsoft has added features in Windows 8 to stop the installation of software and root kits which target computers before Windows comes online.
Hence, when antivirus companies tell us that their paid software will make our PCs safer, it is difficult to believe. Their software will surely make them richer, but may not make users any safer.
Worse still, anti-malware and security software on the market often come with their own problems: advertising, unwanted toolbars, system slowdown, inability to remove the program and so on.
Virus and Malware Protection in Windows 7
For those using Windows 7, best choice for security and for virus protection, we believe, is Microsoft Security Essentials. It is also free.
Free does not mean less, Security Essentials is full-featured, unobtrusive, and has a small memory footprint. Also, it does not slow the system down.