Is It Essential to Install Antivirus Protection on Your Chromebook?
It is not essential for Chromebook users to install antivirus protection because a Chromebook works in a different way to most computing devices. With their built-in security measures and the use of sandboxing, Chromebooks are well equipped to handle many cyber threats without requiring any extra antivirus software.
On a standard laptop or desktop, antivirus software is a must - you might spend hours upon hours searching the market for the best antivirus package with a Chromebook, the casual user is able to trust the protective measures already in place on the device.
While you may not class these as essential steps, users can take extra security measures to boost their protection against online threats.
If you're a heavy internet user or if you prefer having multiple different antivirus systems in place, then there is software that you can download to take your security to the next level.
However, the default antivirus protection technology within a Chromebook can handle the most common threats to your security.
What Antivirus Protection Tools Are There on a Chromebook?
A Chromebook's use of sandboxing makes it more difficult for hackers to access your data, while even the most stubborn malware can be dealt with by the Chromebook's Verified Boot operation.
What is Sandboxing?
Computer gamers may recognize the term 'sandbox' as the name for a popular gaming mode. In this context, a sandbox mode allows gamers to play outside of the main storyline, often without the usual gameplay restrictions.
There are fewer risks and gamers can try out lots of new strategies without consequence.
Sandboxing on a Chromebook works in a similar way. Each tab that you open on your Chromebook browser is its own sandbox. If a tab becomes infected by a virus, it is unable to spread to other parts of your device.
Close the tab, and the virus is gone.
Through sandboxing, the Chromebook minimizes the risk for the user. Even if a hacker is able to gain access through one tab on your browser, the sandbox method means that they'll have little luck trying to jump into other parts of your Chromebook to acquire any personal data.
What is Verified Boot on a Chromebook?
Every time you launch your Chromebook, its Verified Boot tool checks your computer to see if there are any existing threats to your operating system. If there are, the Chromebook removes these threats from your operating system and repairs any damage.
On other systems, you may fire up your computer and input personal data without knowing that malware was already waiting for you.
The Verified Boot on a Chromebook means that once the system has loaded, you know that you're free to get on with your daily business.
For more detail on how the antivirus protection on a Chromebook works, check out this video:
Can a Chromebook Handle All Threats on Its Own?
While a Chromebook's core security measures are great at containing viruses and tackling malware, Chromebook users may want to install extra software to fight against other cyber threats.
When looking for antivirus protection, other laptop owners may be tempted to look for the best all-round package.
It's never ideal to have competing antivirus software installed on a device, so the program that offers the best value for money and the widest range of services is generally the most desirable.
How Can Browser Extensions Help to Keep Your Chromebook Safe?
There are several browser extensions that you can add to your Chromebook, which can run in the background and keep you safe without intruding on your web surfing. Because the Chromebook can deal with many threats through its operating system, Chromebook owners can look for software that excels in dealing with more specific problems.
You may prioritize the company which includes the best password manager tool in its antivirus package or choose a service that exclusively focuses on password management.
Enpass is an example of the latter, with its free-to-use app optimized for Chrome usage.
Frequent visitors to e-commerce sites may look for a browser extension that helps to provide a safe shopping experience. The community-driven SiteJabber is one such extension that allows you to see user ratings of a site while you browse.
That way, you'll know which sites are trustworthy and which host phishing links.
How To Stay Safe When Installing Apps on Your Chromebook
While you can generally rely on the Google Play Store to provide safe and secure apps, the sheer size of the store means that some dangerous apps can evade Google's Play Protect system. These apps may also prove elusive from the Chromebook's inbuilt antivirus protection.
Chromebook users can only install apps via Google Play, but this is usually not a problem. The Play Store has an app for every use imaginable, while the Google name generally inspires trust among the tech community - if you didn't trust the Google brand, then you probably wouldn't have bought a Chromebook!
The Avast Internet Security package is just one example of antivirus software that can help you to stay safe when downloading apps, as its services include scanning apps for malicious content even before the download begins.
If you decide to give extra antivirus protection a miss, here are ways that you can improve your online safety without any cost or trouble.
- Before downloading an app, read the reviews to check out other users' experiences.
- Verify that the developer of an app is a reputable company.
- Never input bank details into an app that you don't completely trust.
Will I Be Completely Safe With a Chromebook's Antivirus Protection?
You can never be completely safe when connected to the internet, even with all of a Chromebook's effective defensive measures. The strongest antivirus software can all be for nothing if the user intentionally downloads suspicious files or clicks on a bad link in a phishing email.
However, sensible use of the internet on a Chromebook should see the device quickly and quietly take care of everyday threats.
You can use browser extensions to secure your personal data and install antivirus software to add more protective measures, but a Chromebook's inbuilt defenses should be enough to keep you protected from viruses.