The world is a dangerous place and the cyber world is getting more and more dangerous; but that does not mean that you have to be overly worried or concerned. However, it is possible that we can unknowingly open emails containing viruses, access websites with spyware and even download Trojans that can do irreparable damage to computers, which will cost money to replace. More importantly, malware can put us and our privacy at risk; which is exactly why it’s important to keep the following reminder at the forefront of our minds.
As a means of combating many of these cyber threats, Microsoft began including Windows Defender as part of the Windows 8 and higher operating systems. Previous versions of the Windows OS offered a downloadable program called Windows Security Essentials but the user had to choose to install it. Windows Defender is basically a revamped version of Security Essentials, pre-installed. This is an antivirus program that you can set to run periodic scans of your computer. It also scans any files or software that you try to install on your computer via downloads or USB drives. This is all a part of the real-time protection it offers to fight again different types of malware.
Windows Defender is a free and convenient way to protect your computer. You don’t have to worry about popup ads or outdated virus databases because it is part of the OS. As long as your computer is kept up-to-date, this antivirus software will also be kept up-to-date.
Is it really that Good?
Though Windows Defender has acceptable scores when put to the test by AV-Test, scoring a 5.5 out of 6 for usability and a 4.5 out of 6 for performance. The protection score was quite low in September and October 2016, scoring only a 3 out of 6. This puts Windows Defender in last place out of 22 antivirus programs tested for protection. If protection is the most important thing on your mind, there are 21 other antivirus programs available that have proven to be better than Windows Defender.
Choices, Choices, Choices
Because there are so many different antivirus programs out there to help protect your computer. How do you know what program is best for you? Some programs are free or offer free option while some require payment, usually between $20 and $60. Unlike Windows Defender that is built-in to the OS, other programs must be installed by the user or a professional. Programs not created by Windows often times include popup ads or they require you to install extensions/plug-in to your internet browser which can often affect computer or browser performance.
In the end, there is no single best antivirus software. Each is unique and provide different options and features. You have to decided what is most important to you:
- Free vs. Paid
- Built-in vs. Installation required
- Ads vs. No Ads
- Malware vs. Malware and Spyware
- And the list goes on!
Deciding how much protection you need, how much you want to to pay, how much intrusion you are willing to accept and whether or not you are alright with having popup adds are a few of the things you have to consider if you have decided that Windows Defender isn’t good enough for you.
The simplest option is to set Windows Defender to run periodic scans and keep your system up-to-date. If you are looking for more protection or better options, you can start buy researching the other options available. Only you know what works best for protecting your computer but there are many sites that can help point you in the right direction.