Many free antivirus programs are actually advertising agencies
The market and the quality of the free antivirus tools has changed a lot in the last 10 years. One of the reasons for the change is the fact that operating systems and browsers like Chrome already provide sufficient protection against viruses and malware.
Versions of Windows have now built anti-virus software. The security settings of browsers such as Chrome are so sophisticated that viruses or malware hardly have a chance. So what added value do free virus scanners offer today?
Business model of free antivirus programs
Advertising is the most popular business model of the free antivirus tools. After every update, advertisements will be displayed, or sometimes just in the middle of it.
The domestic computer at home becomes a purely advertising-driven medium. The free virus programs can be constantly come up with new gimmicks to make the user aware of the advertising. Often it tries to offer more software. Misleading reports, the own PC is endangered and further security software is to acquire, are not uncommon. It is thus played with the fear of consumers – the PC is allegedly insecure.
Are free virus scanners themselves malware?
The installed virus scanner is supposed to protect against malware – those tools that sneak into the PC to annoy with advertising. Instead, they have become pure advertising drivers themselves.
This contradiction is not the only problem. The fact that the entire strategy and thus the software development of such virus scanners is based on advertising, the real anti-virus development by the way. Development teams and security experts are being pushed into the background and losing their real raison d’être in such companies. The sales and affiliate managers, who look after new advertisers on a daily basis, gain the upper hand. Even worse: some tools can not even be uninstalled easily. So many free antivirus program is thus even a kind of malware. The user must laboriously read through Internet forums to find the tips and tricks to finally get rid of the alleged virus protection from his system.
Development has also led the free virus publisher’s advertising departments to tell programmers what to do.
Virus protection updates are no longer used to provide real security, but to give the user only a sense of security through constant updates.
The user is more likely to click on a button when the antivirus software pretends to be an important service. The immediately appearing advertising is therefore rather accepted. The manufacturers use this psychological trick to finally carry out as many updates as possible. The more updates that come in, the more ads are shown and accepted by the consumer. And so it happens that updates often take place piecemeal. So many well-known virus protection update, which could have been transmitted long before, is tactically withheld. Result: Many and constantly small updates. It is no longer about the security of the PC, but about advertising.
No real virus protection?
Meanwhile, the free virus scanners are moving to invest less and less money in software development.
Most have grown in recent years to gigantic advertising agencies, hiding behind the guise of “anti-virus program”. Under such circumstances, real virus protection suffers. Many such tools no longer provide adequate protection.
The keyword for the antivirus tools already installed in the operating system is “sufficient.”
The idea is that the computer after switching on at least reasonably and is not directly infected by viruses. If you are looking for the optimal protection, you can not avoid the genuine paid virus scanner. And who said that paid tools are expensive. The fee-based McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2016, for example, costs just EUR 14.90 – and is completely ad-free.
The free antivirus programs have declined in quality due to the highly complex market. The usual suspects, who were once well-known, still cling to their reputation and will often recommend today. However, the quality of the virus protection is in most cases strongly to criticize. It is definitely worth a look at the paid antivirus tools. But even the best virus killer does not protect against human error. Paid or not, the factor common sense is still the best virus protection.