Android, Antivirus, Apple, Chromebook, Enterprise, Internet Security, Microsoft, Mobile, OS X, Windows

Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary?

Let’s address the elephant in the room – malware and viruses do exist! Devices are not immune so we have…

Let’s address the elephant in the room – malware and viruses do exist! Devices are not immune so we have to ask “Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary?”! It is worth noting that if your phone, tablet or computer is invulnerable to internet threats today, it isn’t a guarantee it will stay so forever.

Having said that, let’s discuss why viruses are immensely prevalent on some platforms while on others they are almost non-existent.

First and foremost, we need to understand that cybercrime is a lucrative business. Hackers are always in search of ways to sneak in into users’ systems and capitalize on sensitive information.

While most vulnerabilities till now have been centered around the Windows OS, other system software like that of Apple’s isn’t as protected either as it once used to be.

It’s not that there are issues with Apple’s inbuilt security system, but rather, cyber culprits have found new ways of slipping through advanced defense systems. The reason why they have started out so late is that they were pretty content targeting the much easier and larger number of Windows and Android users till now.

Though Apple’s security is pretty impressive, it isn’t completely immune. For cybercriminals exploiting the system, it is just a matter of time.

As of now, Apple doesn’t really have antivirus software for the iOS and the same goes for Google’s Chrome OS, one of the most secure systems to date.

The few apps that claim to protect devices running on these operating systems are probably Security Software. So, for the time being, we will focus our attention on Windows, OS X, and Android systems.

 

Windows PCs and Laptops

 

Before progressing any further, let’s answer the simpler stuff first – Is buying antivirus software necessary for windows 7 or older?

The answer is simple and straightforward – YES, IT IS!

Now back to what’s more popular: What about Windows 8 and Windows 10?

While Windows 8 and above have had some significant improvements in their security system, especially after the introduction of Windows 10 with which Windows Defender Antivirus (a step-up to the Microsoft Security Essentials) comes included, the everlasting question whether one needs an additional antivirus software or not still remains unanswered.

Before passing any judgment, it must be noted that Windows Defender switches off gracefully once it detects a third-party program to avoid any interference. Hence, you once an antivirus software is installed and running the Windows Defender isn’t going to work any longer. Unless you are confident with your antivirus software, it is best letting Microsoft’s default defender do the job.

While Windows Defender if good, it certainly isn’t the best! According to AV-TEST, Microsoft’s inbuilt security program score a 4.5 out of 6. Of course, it isn’t bad but not as capable as Avira’s or Avast’s antivirus software that topped the list in December 2017.

 

Mac OS X Desktop Computers and Laptops

 

For a long time, Mac OS X was incredibly safe. Apple’s intelligently designed sandbox OS made it extremely difficult for criminals to hack Apple devices.

As a matter of fact, if a few years ago a Mac user would install an antivirus software, the only purpose it would solve was preventing it from passing to other devices on the same network. However, Macs have been cracked and have lately been more vulnerable to threats like never before.

For now, home users are pretty safe from being affected by a malware or a virus. Even though not many Mac users have been affected by a virus, it wouldn’t be right to forget that the risks are there.

To be on the safer side, it wouldn’t be a bad idea investing in an antivirus. Just like for the Windows, antivirus software from Kaspersky, Symantec and Avast do an impressive job of protecting Apple devices.

 

Android Phones and Tablets

 

It wouldn’t be safe to say that Android viruses do not exist at all. However, as long as one refrains from downloading apps from external sources, it is almost impossible your device to be infected by a virus or malware.

While, by default, Google doesn’t allow its Android users to installs apps from third-party source, this can be easily modified through a few steps in the settings. If you regularly install apps from unknown sources or are one of those courageous users who fiddle with their devices by gaining root access, having an antivirus installed wouldn’t be a bad idea.

It must be noted, that the Android threats known till now aren’t as malicious as the ones affecting Windows PCs and Laptops. This is mainly because it isn’t as easy to exploit an Android device and there isn’t much reason to do so as most of the sensitive information that hackers are in the hunt for is one computer.

As of now, there hasn’t been an Android malware that has caused booting issues for a device. Even if one feels his Android phone or tablet has been affected by a virus, all he has to do is back up his data and run a factory reset.

While having an antivirus might seem something optional, one might not regret having a security software instead installed on his Android.

What is important to keep in mind is that Android runs on devices that have a tendency to get stolen. Losing a phone or a tablet is quite daunting indeed. But giving away sensitive information is even worse. And, that is where security software plays a crucial role.

 

Is Buying Antivirus Software Necessary or will a free version suffice?

 

While free antivirus software today, like the Sophos Antivirus, protect devices from threats to a good degree, they are obviously nowhere near to what the paid ones are capable of doing.

Whether or not to pay for an antivirus or whether even having one is required is a highly personal opinion and there are certain things that are to be considered while making such a decision. If of course, you have important data on your device, something you cannot afford lose an inexpensive antivirus is worth adding to the expense.

For some suggestions on which antivirus to pick, check our article – Top 5 Antivirus programs for 2018

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‘Real Life Call of Duty’: Tabraiz Shamsi on security arrangement after landing in Pakistan

South African spinner posted on Social Media showing the security arrangement after their team landed in Pakistan for Test and T20I series

South African spinner posted on Social Media showing the security arrangement after their team landed in Pakistan for Test and T20I series
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‘A Fireable Offense.’ Law Enforcement Agencies Grapple With Police Officers’ Involvement in U.S. Capitol Riots

By Josiah Bates Updated: January 15, 2021 9:52 AM EST | Originally published: January 14, 2021 4:23 PM EST A New Hampshire police chief; a Philadelphia detective; two Seattle Police Department officers who traveled cross-country, to name just a few. In the aftermath of the historic insurrection that took place in Washington D.C. last week,…

By Josiah Bates
Updated: January 15, 2021 9:52 AM EST | Originally published: January 14, 2021 4:23 PM EST

A New Hampshire police chief; a Philadelphia detective; two Seattle Police Department officers who traveled cross-country, to name just a few. In the aftermath of the historic insurrection that took place in Washington D.C. last week, which left five people—including a Capitol police officer—dead, police departments across the U.S. have begun reckoning with the likelihood that their sworn-in officers participated in the rallies and rioting.

According to a tracker on The Appeal, as of Jan. 15 a total of 29 law enforcement officers or officials are suspected of participating in President Trump’s Jan. 6 rally, and/or joining the crowds storming the U.S. Capitol later that day. In addition, the FBI has identified more than 200 rioters who were part of the insurrection.

“[One guy] pulled out his badge and he said, ‘We’re doing this for you,’” one Capitol police officer told BuzzFeed News of encountering law enforcement-affiliated rioters. “Another guy had his badge. So I was like, ‘Well, you gotta be kidding.’”

“From my perspective, any police officer sworn to protect the constitution and the rule of law [who is] found to have engaged in the attack on the Capitol will be facing some very severe sanctions,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tells TIME. “To think that there were police officers who participated in this plot against our country and this attack against our country, it’s heart-wrenching. It’s a fireable offense.”

“The nature of the threat is unprecedented. The threat is not just to the capitol or to the inauguration. The threat is to the government itself,” Chief Acevedo added of a recent warning from the FBI that further violent protests are also expected in D.C.—and across the U.S.—in the run-up to Joe Biden’s inauguration.

A day after Acevedo spoke with TIME, a Houston Police Department officer was identified among those entering the Capitol during the riots. He is expected to face federal charges and has resigned from duty.

Read more: Security Officials Face the Possibility of a Threat from the Inside on Inauguration Day

Acevedo, who is President of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a national organization of law enforcement leaders, says that officers are allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights—and to protest in support of the president—but notes that there is “a very distinct line between first protected protests and violence.”

“There’s First Amendment rights but anyone that was actually inside the Capitol… that’s enough for termination,” adds Lynda Garcia, director of the policing program at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Garcia says she was “surprised” to see “law enforcement officials turn on their own and engage in an act of insurrection.”

Internal investigations are underway in police departments in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Washington; members of the Capitol police department have been suspended amid investigation into conduct “that appear to be in violation of Department regulations and policies.” The FBI is also reportedly also involved in at least three investigations involving the Houston Police Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s office in Texas. Two police officers from the Rocky Mount, Virginia police department have been charged with misdemeanors by federal authorities after being inside the Capitol during the riots. Those officers are currently “on leave.”

And as more rioters are identified on social media—in many cases due to social media updates they’d themselves shared from D.C. on Jan. 6— public calls for officers to be fired or held accountable for their alleged involvement are growing. Five public defenders in Kentucky are calling for an investigation into a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy who posted on Facebook about how “epic” the day was going to be, for example. The deputy’s Facebook page has since been deleted.

Beyond those in attendance, multiple reports have highlighted law enforcement officials’ using social media or otherwise speaking out to express support for those who rallied and rioted. John Catanzara, President of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, said he understood the participants’ frustrations. “There was no arson, there was no burning of anything, there was no looting, there was very little destruction of property,” Catanzara told WBEZ in an interview on Jan. 7. “It was a bunch of pissed-off people that feel an election was stolen, somehow, some way.”

Subsequent reports have revealed that the damage to the Capitol, which included instances of looting and vandalism, was far more extensive—as was the planning of many involved.

“If the worst crime here is trespassing, so be it,” Catanzara continue

!–>
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Jack Dorsey breaks his silence on Twitter’s decision to ban Trump after Capitol riots (TWTR)

Summary List PlacementTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke out on Wednesday for the first time following an attempted insurrection at the US Capitol last week — and Twitter’s decision to permanently banish the president over his role in it. In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he believed Twitter made the right call given the extreme…

Summary List PlacementTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey spoke out on Wednesday for the first time following an attempted insurrection at the US Capitol last week — and Twitter’s decision to permanently banish the president over his role in it.
In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he believed Twitter made the right call given the extreme situation, while also expressing concerns about possible negative long-term consequences and advocating for more decentralized efforts to police social media platforms.
“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter, or how we got here. After a clear warning we’d take this action, we made a decision with the best information we had based on threats to physical safety both on and off Twitter,” Dorsey said.
“I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all,” Dorsey added.
His comments alluded to Twitter’s rationale for banning Trump last week, which cited “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Read more: Twitter warns of more DC violence around January 20th as President-elect Biden expresses confidence his inauguration will be safe

I believe this was the right decision for Twitter. We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all. — jack (@jack) January 14, 2021

However, Dorsey also indicated that blocking Trump was far from his preferred course of action, calling it “a failure of ours ultimately to promote healthy conversation. And a time for us to reflect on our operations and the environment around us.”
Dorsey said that such actions “fragment the public conversation… divide us… limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning,” while setting a “dangerous” precedent by highlighting “the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”
Shortly after Twitter banned Trump last week, Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram took similar steps, while Axios reported that Snap followed on Wednesday — all citing Trump’s incitement of violence — marking the most significant crack down by social media platforms against such a high-profile public figure.
That prompted many Trump supporters to quickly flock to far-right social media platforms like Parler and Gab, which have sought to brand themselves as bastions of free speech because of their lax approaches to policing content.
Read more: Trump wanted to dramatically change the way Big Tech ran their platforms. His attempt to overturn the election may have done just that.
But as widespread reports emerged detailing the extent to which rioters relied on Parler to organize and incite violence on January 6, other major tech companies began cutting ties with the site, with Amazon booting it from AWS, its web-hosting platform, and Apple and Google pulling Parler’s app from their app stores.
Dorsey said that “challenged” the idea that one check on Twitter’s power over the public conversation is competition from sites like Parler and Gab.
“I do not believe this was coordinated. More likely: companies came to their own conclusions or were emboldened by the actions of others,” Dorsey said of the tech companies’ actions. But, he argued: “Over the long term it will be destructive to the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet.”
Dorsey said social media companies needed to reflect on “inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement,” how they “incentivize distraction and harm,” and increase transparency around their content moderation efforts, while also making his case for a more decentralized approach to policing platforms, which he did by plugging Bitcoin and Bluesky, Twitter’s own attempt to do exactly that.

The reason I have so much passion for #Bitcoin is largely because of the model it demonstrates: a foundational internet technology that is not controlled or influenced by any single individual or entity. This is what the internet wants to be, and over time, more of it will be. — jack (@jack) January 14, 2021

 
Questions about the role that social media platforms — large ones like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, and Reddit as well as fringe upstarts like Parler, Gab, and MeWe — played in radicalizing, connecting, inciting, and abetting extremists has come into sharp focus following last week’s violence at the US Capitol.
And while the First Amendment doesn’t apply to private companies, It has also reignited debates over how those platforms — which also operate in many authoritarian countries — should balance public safety with free speech and other conflicting values.
Read more: Inside the rapid and mysterious rise of Parler, the ‘free speech’ Twitter alternative, which created a platform for conservatives by burning the Silicon Valley scriptJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here’s what it’s like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
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Facebook is afraid of apps that can replace WhatsApp

Facebook responded to the backlash over the new WhatsApp privacy policy changes, explaining in a FAQ that the app will not lose end-to-end encryption and other privacy features in the upcoming update. WhatsApp prompted users to agree to the new privacy policy a few days ago. Millions of people downloaded competing instant messaging apps like…

Facebook responded to the backlash over the new WhatsApp privacy policy changes, explaining in a FAQ that the app will not lose end-to-end encryption and other privacy features in the upcoming update.
WhatsApp prompted users to agree to the new privacy policy a few days ago. Millions of people downloaded competing instant messaging apps like Signal and Telegram in response.
Signal and Telegram offer the same end-to-end encryption as WhatsApp and work on iPhone and Android.
Facebook now tells customers that it’s WhatsApp business and commerce features that will lead to data sharing with Facebook.

Facebook confirmed a few days ago that it’s about to ruin WhatsApp, as users discovered prompts on Android and iPhone telling them the chat app would start sharing personal data with Facebook. Facebook has been trying to make it seem like it cares about user privacy and security for its users, but its moves say otherwise. The recent attack on Apple following the introduction of the app privacy labels that tell users exactly how terrifying data collection practices can prove that. The decision to start grabbing data from WhatsApp users is also controversial, considering that the only option to opt out is to leave WhatsApp completely. Millions of users have responded to WhatsApp’s notification by flocking to competing apps that offer similar services. And now Facebook is already putting up defenses, proving it’s afraid of the backlash.

The reason WhatsApp is so popular is quite simple. The app offers end-to-end encryption, just like iMessage and works on both iPhone and Android. It’s the perfect app on your phone, tablet, and desktop to keep in touch with all your friends and family, no matter what devices they might use. But WhatsApp isn’t the only chat app that can do that.

Signal and Telegram both support end-to-end encryption and work on iPhone and Android. Like WhatsApp and iMessage, they also offer the same features you’d expect from an instant messaging client, including file-sharing, phone calls, emoji, and many of the bells and whistles you’d want from an iMessage alternative.

Both Signal and Telegram have seen massive surges in downloads since the WhatsApp privacy prompt hit phones, with millions of people flocking to download the apps. Even the CEOs of Tesla and Twitter took sides, with Elon Musk endorsing Signal and Jack Dorsey retweeting it. WhatsApp’s dominance isn’t likely to be threatened anytime soon. But if more people start using competing services like Signal and Telegram, they could move more of their contacts to those platforms in time.

Facebook is already addressing the privacy problem it created, proving it’s very aware of the backlash. The company posted a FAQ section that explains exactly what WhatsApp data Facebook will not be able to collect from users and shared the infographic above on social media.

Facebook will not be able to see your private messages and hear your calls. That was never a worry, as Facebook doesn’t intend to remove end-to-end encryption from the app. Facebook also says that WhatsApp will not keep messaging and calling logs and won’t see shared location data. WhatsApp will not share contacts, and groups will remain private. The app will support disappearing messages, and users can download their data.

These are all good things, of course. But Facebook doesn’t include in the infographic the data WhatsApp will share with Facebook, even though the FAQ section does contain more details about the new WhatsApp privacy update.

“We want to be clear that the policy update does not affect the privacy of your messages with friends or family in any way. Instead, this update includes changes related to messaging a business on WhatsApp, which is optional, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data,” the page reads.

Facebook explains that WhatsApp users who choose to communicate with businesses will have some of their data shared with those companies. “Whether you communicate with a business by phone, email, or WhatsApp, it can see what you’re saying and may use that information for its own marketing purposes, which may include advertising on Facebook,” the FAQ section reads.

“If you choose to interact with Shops, your shopping activity can be used to personalize your Shops experience and the ads you see on Facebook and Instagram, the FAQ says. “Features like this are optional, and when you use them, we will tell you in the app how your data is being shared with Facebook.”

Discovering businesses on Facebook and then contacting them via WhatsApp could also lead to more data tracking. “If you have WhatsApp installed on your phone, you’ll have the option to message that business,” the page reads. “Facebook may use the way you interact with these ads to personalize the ads you see on Facebook.
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