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Do I Need Antivirus for My Chromebook? - FAD Magazine

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Do I Need Antivirus for My Chromebook?

Just how safe is your Chromebook and could you make it even safer? As you know, most computers will come with pre-installed security programs such as an antivirus and firewall, as they want to ensure you get some form of protection out of the box. This is no different from a Chromebook, which has security programs designed to protect you from a wide range of viruses. However, while the pre-installed antivirus on the Chromebook is good, this article takes you through some reasons you might want to install an additional antivirus.

Laptop 'One Laptop Per Child' laptop, designed by Yves Behar, 2005 FAD MAGAZINE

Does a Chromebook Even Need an Antivirus? 

The Chrome OS is widely regarded as one of the safest, especially when compared to Windows. This might be because Windows attracts more attacks because of its wider spread use, but in terms of vulnerabilities, the Chrome OS has a fraction of both Windows and macOS have. Chrome OS has just over 50 while the two others have over 1k and 2k, respectively. 

Despite this, you should still make sure you use a virus scanner Chromebook as it is still vulnerable to a few things:

  • Malware infected browser extensions
  • Scam Android apps
  • Phishing scams
  • Unsecured websites

So while it is unlikely that your Chromebook will get infected by a virus, it can still get infected by other types of malware. This includes browser hijackers and search hijackers that users might infect your Chromebook when downloading and installing browser extensions or plugins. For that reason, downloading additional security software such as antivirus and browser hijacker removal tools is not a bad idea at all. 

Malware-Infected Browser Extensions

Browser extensions can provide a good purpose. Whether a grammar checker, ad blocker, or translator, they can prove handy tools. However, for every good browser extension, there is a fake one that was designed purely to infect your Chromebook with malware. Before downloading any type of browser extension, make sure you have done your research to establish that it is trustworthy. 

Scam Android Apps

Opening the Android App store is like going to a museum exhibition. There are thousands upon thousands of apps that you can download onto your Chromebook. However, much like browser extensions, the purpose of some is to infect your computer with malware. Google catches many, but there’s always the chance of some slipping through its fingers. For that reason, make sure that the app is trustworthy before going ahead and downloading it. 

Phishing Scams

There is not a lot that Chromebook OS or any other operating system can do about phishing scams. These rely on unsuspecting victims’ clicking links sent to them via email, messenger, or social media. The best way to prevent infection from these scams is to educate ourselves. Never click random links sent to you, even if it comes from a friend. Often, computers get hacked, so while it might seem like a friend has sent you a link, it was the malware within their system. 

Unsecured Websites

If you visit an unsecured website, you risk a malware infection. Your personal information and data are at risk, especially if you share this information with the website. There is a simple way to determine if a website is unsecured that involves nothing more than your eyes. If the URL for the site begins with HTTPS, it’s likely to be safe. If it begins with HTTP only, it means it does not have an SSL security certificate. SSL encrypts all data, meaning the website is safe. 

How to Protect your Chromebook Against Malicious Extensions

Browser extensions remain one of the biggest culprits for malware infections. If your Chromebook is acting slow, sending you to random websites, and giving an increase of adverts popping up all over the place, malware might have infected it. Fortunately, you can use browser hijacker removal tools such as Guard.io to rid your browser of these pests. Another option is to manually uninstall and remove extensions you suspect of causing the infection. In the future, as long as you follow the advice given in this article, you will hopefully avoid malware ever infecting your Chromebook again. Arm yourself with antivirus, firewalls, and browser hijacker removal tools, and your Chromebook is in safe hands.

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