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Security Essentials

December 10, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Security Essentials 

“It’s all good, I’m covered.” I wish I could have a dollar for every time someone says that when talking about computer security issues.

 When it comes to antivirus protection, most home users and many small to medium sized businesses, for that matter, rely on free software from reputable manufacturers. Unfortunately, some of the free stuff out there doesn’t quite cut the mustard.


Independent Tests 

The independent lab behind AV-Test, which runs endpoint security products through their paces, has recently withdrawn its approval for Microsoft Security Essentials.

 The industry average for Zero-day malware attacks is 89% (includes worms, Trojan horses and viruses). The effectiveness of Security Essentials dropped from 69% to 64% over a two-month testing period (September to October 2012).

 In August of 2012, Virus Bulletin, on the other hand, gave the software its VB100 certification, which indicates that the product “can detect 100% of malware samples as listed as ‘In the Wild’ by the Wildlist Organization”

 We have to remember that Security Essentials is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of Windows Live OneCare, a failed subscription-based, security solution originally launched by Microsoft and was originally criticized for weak fire-wall protection.


Personal Choice

 Ultimately, it’s up to each of us to make as informed a decision as possible. Although Security Essentials may not scan effectively for all security threats, it records the least amount of false-positives, which can be just as destructive as malware infections.

 The global, computer-security landscape today is populated with many choices and different manufacturers that claim varying market shares:  Avast (17.5%), Microsoft (13.9%), Avira (12.1%), ESET (10.6%) and Symantec (10.2%); however, the old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true for many PC users when it comes to protecting personal and client data. 

If stats mean anything to you, then Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 is at the top of the list with a NSS Labs’ rating of stopping 92% of known threats. If you have the time, check out the full report released by NSS Labs.


Category: Featured Stories

Marc Arellano


Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.

Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.

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