It never fails. Every single course section at least one student asks me my opinion on Microsoft Security Essentials.
If you have a newer Microsoft Operating System, you probably had it installed but if you’ve never heard of it, it’s Microsoft’s free Antivirus/security software.
According to Microsoft, it supposedly provides “comprehensive malware protection.” Notice I said supposedly.
So just for kicks and giggles, I decided to install this on my student server. I run the server for my courses so the students can not only learn how to access a VPN, but in the advanced course, they can actually try to hack it. I will let you know as time goes on how this software actually works out.
But back to my opinion.
In my intro to security course, I teach the students about the fundamentals of how and what malware and what creates a security vulnerability. Throughout the course, I demonstrate how Microsoft continuously rushes products to market at sacrificing your security. There is hardly a lesson that goes by that Microsoft is not mentioned at least once in terms of their lack of security.
So, I’m always taken aback when a student asks me my opinion on Microsoft Security Essentials or MSE as it’s also called.
I want to scream and pull my hair out asking myself, “Where did I fail to demonstrate to you that Microsoft does not care about your security?” But this post isn’t about my frustration.
The point of the matter is, if Microsoft really knew about security, and if they really cared, don’t you think they’d make secure software and Operating Systems?
Maybe there are some excellent security professionals working at Microsoft, but why do they continually run to market without the security programmed in?
And how can we take anything Microsoft says about their concern for security seriously when they continue to demonstrate the opposite?
In a recent article by ReadWriteWeb,
Microsoft’s free Security Essentials antivirus tool has failed the approval process from a leading antivirus test lab, a stinging rebuke for Microsoft’s security efforts.
Microsoft, for its part, essentially claimed that the tests were unfair, and that the malware that its software didn’t detect affected just 0.0033 percent (or just over three one-thousandths of one percent) of its user base.
I don’t know about you, I wouldn’t want to be the one of the three one-thousandths of 1%! What about you?
Maybe this isn’t a huge risk but for anyone who depends upon their computer for 100% of their work, it’s not a risk worth taking.
For those who are without Antivirus, yes, MSE is better than no protection at all. But there’s a better free alternative available if money is the issue.
Let me be quite frank with you. I’m not bragging, but I’ve made a large sum of money repairing computers after McAfee, Norton, Microsoft Security Essentials, and AVG have failed in their protection.
So which free AV product do I recommend if it has to be free? Currently, it’s AVAST. And keep in mind that no one software product stays the same from incarnation to incarnation. Years ago, I would have hardly recommended AVAST at all – even the free version.
Next year, I may be recommending something entirely different.
But if you have to use free, please use AVAST and skip the free Microsoft security anything. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.
Download AVAST here: http://www.avast.com/en-us/index
Image Source: Microsoft® Corporation
*Microsoft Security Essentials logo is a registered trademark of Microsoft® Corporation in the US and other countries.