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Antivirus Software – How Helpful Is It?

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The recent Target security breach allowed hackers to obtain the credit card numbers and information of several thousand customers. Target was using antivirus software and believed that they were offering secure shopping, but it turns out, the software was not enough. Researchers were able to determine that the breach came from a POS malware that likely originated is Russia or the Ukraine.

Experts believe that the POS malware is too powerful for any current antivirus software to stop. If this is true, more stores could be at risk for similar breaches, causing more people to become victims of possible identity theft.

So if certain types of malware and viruses can sneak through the cracks of antivirus software, how helpful are they? Many antivirus software programs are expensive and sometimes even complicated to install. Are these programs worth the money and hassle if they are still going to allow security breaches?

Although security breaches are possible, even while using antivirus software, security experts still believe it is necessary to use these products for protection. Many software brands are very good at what they do and can protect against almost all viruses and malware attacks.

POS malware may be dangerous, but it is less common than other types of malware and computer viruses. Even if your current antivirus software is not capable of blocking out the more serious attacks, it is more than likely capable of blocking out the more common ones that try to invade your computer on a daily basis.

Using the Internet without antivirus software is like leaving the house on a cloudy day without an umbrella. You might not need it, but it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Which antivirus software do you think is the best?

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Antivirus Software – How Helpful Is It?


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  • Theonlyonly

    I actually have both Avast free antivirus, and Norton Internet Security. They work perfectly in sync no BSOD. That is because as some people know who have been using Avast for a few years, it will install it’s self as a secondary antivirus if that is what you need. Avast used to give you the option for that but it will just do it now without asking. Norton will tell you Avast is incompatable this is only for their own sake not yours. The problem Norton has is that Avast will steal it’s temp when Norton is doing background tasks, not a big deal.

  • http://scobbs.blogspot.com Stephen Cobb

    You are right to point out that AV software is still very necessary, but not all security experts would agree that POS malware cannot be defeated. As with other high profile breaches such as NYT, the folks at Target are saying “we had antivirus software” but they are not saying how they were using it. Just having AV, or just testing code samples against VirusTotal, is no proof a particular strain of malware has defeated all anti-malware efforts.

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