I use Windows 10, do all the updates in time, browse only with Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, and I think that I have all the common good security practices meant to avoid exposing my system to malware.

I've read that antivirus software can be exploitable, but don't know how dangerous these flaws can be in the real world, or if some are known to have been exploited by malware.

In this situation, can a third party antivirus add to security, or should I avoid them ?

Please only consider the security side, and not the potential loss of performance/pop-up annoyances/weird problems that antivirus software can cause. I'm simply trying to know which situation offers the best security.

  • 1
    how do you avoid email based malware sent in a phishing attack? – Limit Dec 10 '16 at 19:07
  • 1
    Also, consider this scenario: what if someone brings a USB stick to you? How do you know that it doesn't contain malware? – Limit Dec 10 '16 at 19:08
  • @Limit I don't plug in anything other than my own devices. For email, I only use Gmail's online interface (so, no email client exploit) and I know how to spot a phishing e-mail : I would never open an attachment other than PDF on JPG, and never fill a form linked to me by an email. – Hey Dec 10 '16 at 19:32

Even if you have a perfectly secure (i.e., unexploitable) browser, you will still want to download content from the Internet and open it in other local applications, that may not be perfectly secure. An AV is useful for scanning such downloads for malicious payloads that can attack local applications manipulating the file.

So, I would say, yes you need an AV.

  • I was writing a comment when he wrote it ! Got the notification, clicked on it, read it and though it was good. – Hey Dec 10 '16 at 20:18

Adding third party AV can reduce performance on your PC, also, 2 or 3 AV doesn't mean you are safer. There are a lot of malware that cannot be spotted by AV.

You can make your PC safer by adding rules in your firewall to limit and to control which process have communication with internet.

For example, python keylogger can be spotted only by 2 AV (I guarantee you have never heard of them) and can harm you as a user. Also, there are few AV-evasion apps that help most malware to avoid AV.

I would recommend you to check your firewall settings, to always update apps, not to install apps which are suspicious, and to filter your emails. And remember, no system is safe.

  • 1
    The other measures you cite are completely orthogonal to AV. At minimum, you need AV to scan downloads for malicious payloads, none of the other measures you cite mitigate such risks. – DepressedDaniel Dec 10 '16 at 19:33
  • 1
    AV isn't 100% effective, so it has no value at all? – schroeder Dec 10 '16 at 19:37
  • @Djehenghizz it seems that you ignored my question : I asked specifically if a third-party antivirus is needed or not, ignoring everything not related to security. Your advice is valid, but totally off-topic. Please don't call people idiots when you didn't even read the question you were answering to. – Hey Dec 18 '16 at 23:17
  • @Djehenghizz given that the question is about AV, and your only comments about AV are how poor it is, that it reduces performance, and it doesn't catch everything, and then you talk about an alternative (firewalls), you have set up the situation where you have said that it isn't valuable. You also talk about performance, which the OP specifically asked to avoid, and you mention adding 2 and 3 AV's, which is an oddly specific comment to make. And please be polite. – schroeder Dec 19 '16 at 7:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.