Imagine opening your newspaper on a Sunday and reading an article that indicates that seatbelts are not effective and are failing all motorists as a safety device. You would likely be shocked. Some people might even take the view that they will not wear one any more. Even if the author outlined some qualifications around resulting fatalities – like people driving too fast around corners and poor road conditions – the outcome of such an article would likely not have a positive impact on keeping our general population safer.
The example above is a dramatic analogy. However, as I am a technology company spokesperson, there was an article published last week in this vein that got my attention, “Antivirus software often fails to thwart hackers.” I feel the article headline and opening paragraphs risk misleading people on the need and effectiveness of consumer AntiVirus software, and as a result, could mean they take less action to protect themselves from online threats.
There is a large part of the AntiVirus industry that focuses on testing the ongoing effectiveness of AntiVirus (AV) products and ensuring that consumers can make informed choices about how to stay safer online and on their mobile devices. Some of these testers focus on statistics that highlight the limitations of AV software. While this article ended with suggestions on how to search for various industry tests and research findings – from AV-Tests, AV-Comparatives and PC Mag – it did not include references to these organizations and their findings to provide a more complete picture of AntiVirus challenges, including why are there such big differences in AV testing results or how AV software continues to evolve to anticipate changes in online safety.
As AV software is one of our core offerings, AVG strives to deliver products that help to block the very latest threats with complex and thorough systems of insights, research and technologies. We also routinely think through how suggestions, updates and other proactive consumer actions can be taken to mitigate or altogether avoid a variety of cyber security threats. Just as with seatbelts, however, these solutions need to be used regularly and in the manner prescribed. As the student referenced within the article said, these suggestions often revolve around taking immediate action like keeping your products up-to-date. With the availability of free antivirus products – like AVG Antivirus FREE – and the notifications to update software or stay alert to changing threats, our vulnerabilities can be significantly reduced.
Protection is essential to staying safe and enjoying our time online. Like many things in this world, AV products must always evolve because online threats are dynamic and constantly evolving. However, like with seatbelts, AV software is critical to helping keep us safer as we go about our everyday lives online.