Ex-Mozilla Engineer: Don’t use third-party antivirus software, Use Microsoft Defender instead
If you are using any third-party antivirus software on your PC or laptop, you may actually be harming your computer in the long run. This is what an ex-engineer with Mozilla foundation says. He has made a detailed blog post on why installing third-party antivirus solutions are really bad for your computer.
Robert O’Callahan who was formerly with the makers of Firefox browser has claimed that the software can “poison the software ecosystem”. He asked users not to buy AV, or uninstall it if they have it already installed, and just use Microsoft’s solution, Windows Defender.
Robert says that a rather heated tweet exchange with Chrome security engineer Justin Schuh and information security expert Dr. Vesselin drove him to write the post.
You misunderstand your own ignorance. AV is my single biggest impediment to shipping a secure browser.
— Justin Schuh ? (@justinschuh) November 26, 2016
In the post, he blames AV vendors for not following “standard security practices”, unlike Microsoft whom he called “generally competent”. He explained:
“AV products poison the software ecosystem because their invasive and poorly-implemented code makes it difficult for browser vendors and other developers to improve their own security.”
About the long-term adverse impact of such third-party AV products, Rober says that these products can break other secure products like browsers. He said that due to AV products effect, users tend to believe that browsers are bad. The AV products also block important security updates which can put the user’s computers to risk.
“Several times AV software blocked Firefox updates, making it impossible for users to receive important security fixes. Major amounts of developer time are soaked up dealing with AV-induced breakage, time that could be spent making actual improvements in security.”
Robert makes a strong case for PC and laptop users to use Microsoft’s native AV product, Microsoft Defender to protect their computers against virus, trojans, and malware.
Robert has a point, though. The AV products are resource hungry, eat a lot of storage space and slow up RAM. They also make computers somewhat sluggish and sometimes block legitimate software by flagging them. They also make installation of drivers a bit difficult. However, to completely deride the AV products is a bit foolish considering that Microsoft itself has said that its Microsoft Defender is a work-in-progress product and can’t be 100 percent efficient.