Windows Defender: Minimal Defense, Maximum Risk

March 30, 2014 | By Kevin Judge

If you are confused about what Antivirus protection is provided by Windows, don’t feel bad. Microsoft has changed its strategy and product name several times over the years.  For Windows 7 they bundled an Antivirus system with a package of applications called Windows Essentials that you installed separate from the operating system.

With Windows 8 antivirus comes with installation, but has been renamed Windows Defender. If that sounds familiar, Windows Defender is also the name of an antispyware program Microsoft offers for older versions of Windows.

Now that we have that cleared up, is it the right protection for you? Well, before you answer that you should ask yourself, “how seriously do I take internet security?”

Windows Defender is intended to provide a minimum amount of protection for Windows users that would not otherwise use antivirus, either because of the cost or a lack of understanding of the threats.  In fact, it will automatically uninstall if you install a third party security suite.

There are thousands of new viruses and other malware  being launched into the world every day by bad guys who want to control your computer and rip you off.  They can destroy your data, steal your files and capture your login credentials to networks and web sites. They will drain bank accounts and run up victim’s credit cards.

Can you risk being a victim?

Windows Defender uses a standard blacklist system that compares files to a list of known malware to identify threats. That will catch most, but not all threats. It requires that a threat is identified, diagnosed and the list updated.  Unlike other security systems, Windows Defender does not include intrusion detection or a sandbox for safely running questionable programs.

Without a sandbox you will always be vulnerable to zero day exploits, previously unknown security flaws in popular web software that are exploited by hackers for nefarious ends. Java, Internet Explorer and Adobe Flash have all had numerous zero day exploits over the past few years that require you to have the latest patch. This has become so serious that many people recommend only running your browser in a sandbox.

If you are tempted to go with Windows Defender because it’s free, consider that Comodo offers a free edition of Comodo Internet Security (CIS) that includes a complete package of advanced protection features.   With its firewall, behavior detection (heuristics), host intrusion detection and sandboxing your protection is ensured.  In fact, CIS uses a “default/deny” strategy that never allows a program to run outside the sandbox unless it verified as safe.

If you upgrade to a subscription edition of CIS you will also get 24/7 support and a warranty that guarantees your computer will never be harmed by a virus.

Why do you buy internet security?

To be secure, of course.  It’s really about your peace of mind.

Comodo is the ONLY internet security system that comes with a warranty.  That makes it the only one with serenity built in.

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    Comments

    jene July 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you so much. You really saved my laptop. Just i have uninstalled Windows defender from my Windows 8. and yet i am trying with Comodo free edition and it really works great. We even suggest our friends to upgrade to Comodo 🙂

    Reply
    Clipping Path July 22, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Thanks for sharing the knowledgeable detail with us. Now i have uninstalled window defender so that it could not harm my PC.

    Reply
    Hawareyaw August 28, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    So far I don’t have problem with my Windows 8 installed with Windows Defender. But I see that Comodo has free version of an anti-virus, which i really do not know before.

    Thanks for the information, I will surely download Comodo Internet security and see How it is working.

    Reply
    Aggravatorx April 1, 2014 at 10:40 am

    And here is another thought now that windows xp will be no more. Windows 7 will be the next operating system to be attacked by hackers even more.so you will need more then defender your going to have to be protected in real time against the latest threats.

    Reply
      Kevin Judge April 1, 2014 at 2:11 pm

      Makes sense. Windows Defender is minimal protection, basically only a blacklist.
      Microsoft’s commitment to keeping their blacklist up to date the way firms like Comodo do has also been questioned.

      Reply

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