The Chinese government decided to delist security firms Symantec and Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors, thereby blacklisting each company's antivirus products. It's the latest in what appears to be an ongoing effort to lessen the reliance on foreign technology. Only five AV products are now on the list, all of which are from China -- Qihoo 360 Technology, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin, and Rising.
Recently, one paid fake AV app notched up over 10,000 downloads
There has been an alarming surge in malware targeting Android in recent years. According to one estimate, the platform accounts for 97 percent of total mobile malware. Under the circumstances, it makes sense to use an antivirus app — especially if you happen to use a lot of apps downloaded from sources other than the Play Store. While we’d love to tell you which AV apps to use, it is not something we’re going to indulge in at this point. Instead, let us tell you about the type of AV apps you should definitely avoid.
Shares of Symantec tumble after security outfit shows its CEO the door
Security firm Symantec announced that it has terminated Steve Bennett as the company's president and chief executive officer, as well as his resignation from Symantec's board of directors. A special committee has begun the search for a permanent replacement, during which time board member Michael Brown will serve as interim CEO. The decision to let Bennett go didn't sit well with investors, who were caught off guard by his surprise dismissal yesterday.
AV-Comparatives releases its antivirus survey for 2014
Not only do the vast majority of PC users run some type of antivirus software, but most of them pay for security, according to a new survey by AV-Comparatives, an independent testing lab. There's not a wide gap between those who pay for security software and those who opt for freebie programs -- 51 percent to 47 percent, respectively -- but it is interesting when you consider that Internet security suites have a stigma of being bloated and slow.
It's been a long time coming, but effective April 8, 2014, Microsoft will finally drop support for Windows XP. What that means is no more security patches , nor will you be able to receive tech support from Microsoft for any issues that arise on Windows XP systems. Initially, Microsoft also planned to pull the plug on its free Security Essentials software for XP by ceasing to offer it as a download and cutting off definition updates, but that's no longer the case.
Let's not sugarcoat things, the McAfee brand isn't one that's well respected among enthusiasts, and it surely didn't help matters that its founder, John McAfee, had quite the adventure the past couple of years, one which started with him being wanted for questioning in a murder investigation in Belize to Mr. McAfee saying he played the "crazy card" in Guatemala to escape capture as part of a conspiracy by the Belize government. Suffice to say, we're not the least bit surprised Intel has decided to phase out the McAfee brand, we just wonder why it took so long.
Security vendor F-Secure is ringing in the holiday season with a limited time Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition offer. Up through January 31, 2014, you can snag an F-Secure Internet Security PC Lifetime Edition license for $80, which remains valid for the life of your PC or 7 years, whichever comes first. Even better, F-Secure has an exclusive offer for Maximum PC readers -- two licenses for the price of one!
Tech savvy users know that it's not necessary to pay for antivirus protection. The question is, how reliable is Microsoft's own Security Essentials software? In our own tests, Security Essentials has performed fairly well in terms of protection, though its slow scan speed and limited feature-set don't put it at the front of the pack when compared with other free (and paid) AV solutions. What's confusing, however, is Microsoft's own opinion on the matter.
It always feels a little sketchy when an antivirus vendor presents malware statistics and outlines all the growing threats you need to be aware of. While their data might be spot on, the fact that they each have a vested interest in the numbers they're presenting can give skeptics pause. Well, AV-Comparatives doesn't make AV software; it's an independent testing lab and one of the resources we use in our own AV reviews. In its latest report, AV-Comparatives analyzes 16 different mobile security applications to see which ones root out the most malware on smartphones and tablets running Android, as well as their impact on battery life.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing cheap about being a PC lover. Putting together a badass rig and keeping it up to date takes cabbage, even when we do our best to make value-driven purchases. Luckily, we can offset our hardware indulgences by saving big on software. So many of our daily computing activities—be it work or entertainment—can be accomplished with a totally free program. And we’re not talking about second-rate, poor-man’s versions of paid-for programs, but perfectly capable, top-notch solutions that stand on their own while costing nothing. There are even some freebie programs that we honestly couldn’t live without. Intrigued? Turn the page to learn more.
Note: This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of the magazine.