Virus Protection Options (inc. for iPhone)

It’s coming to the time of the year when my virus prtection software is up for renewal.
I’m signed up to AVG, and they’re putting various offers in front of me. The packages they’re offering cover up to 10 devices. I logged on to check my current subscription, and that too covers up to 10 devices. I currently have it installed on two Windows 10 PCs.
Does anyone install this kind of stuff on their phones or pads? This package does seem to offer that as an option. Is it needed? Does it offer any benefits?
What other providers should I consider for virus protection (primarily on my PCs)?

I have this one (and it suits well for my needs):

F‑Secure TOTAL is an all-in-one cyber security package for all devices. It includes VPN, anti­virus, and pass­word manager with 24/7 identity monitoring. With one subscription you can protect your Mac, iPhone, iPad, Windows, and Android devices against online threats.

I have installed it to my iPhone since it has been included in the package. The VPN which is included is sometimes handy but other than that I am not sure about the benefits.

The company themselves even declare:

Viruses aren’t that much of a threat to iPhones. There­fore, anti­virus for iPhone is not the most essential app — if blocking viruses is all it does. However, an iPhone virus is not the only threat out there.

You can, for example, encounter phishing on iPhone. Phishing aims to trick you into giving personal details like banking information or pass­words to criminals. They then try to steal your money or take over your online accounts.

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I check review sites for reviews of internet security products. Read reviews from three or four (or more) and you will see that there are a few products that regularly come top or second. Then buy whichever suits your needs. I tend not to buy direct from product supplier as the cost is usually around twice that which you can find from other sources. Also note that some suppliers apply rolling renewals when you register them, you need to untick/deselect this if you do not want this - can lead to expensive renewals.

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Thanks, both. F-Secure is one of the top-rated on Which?

We have only Apple stuff these days and it seems pretty good at defending itself. When we used a PC we tried various antivirus software and they all slowed it down and caused problems. Our elder son is pretty good with IT and he advised us to ditch the antivirus and use Windows Defender, which we did and it worked fine.

We bought an ASUS Zen mesh router setup recently and that has protection software built in, and free of cost. It’s running in the background and seems to be stopping things, so that may be a route to consider.

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As HH only Apple the days just upgraded to a Mac Mini M1 from a iMac when I contacted Apple for some assistance on the Mac Mini set up I did ask about virus protection they said don’t waste your money you don’t need it.

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With iPhones, the os is so finely tuned for speed, efficiency and battery performance, I would never mess it up with av software.

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From my reading around the subject of IT security I am of the opinion that operating systems (including Apple variants) are not 100% secure. A lot depends on what the bad guys can get from the devices and how many devices are out there. It is a risk assessment at the end of the day and everyone has a different take on that.

You may find your Internet Provider provides AV SW free usually for at least one device, with options to extend. I would definitely suggest you need it on any Windows environment.

The problem here is generally if it’s a zero-day exploit Apple or ‘security software’ will simply not know about it in time.

The major security issues will continue to be using poor simple paswords and social engineering duping any of us (and I mean that) into clicking on dangerous innocent looking links on websites or in emails and inadvertently downloading dodgy software.

macOS, iOS and iPad OS are comparatively well protected against viruses but few would regard them as impenetrable these days.

Then things like Pegasus crop up:

Known knowns, known unknows, unknown unknowns or whatever the phrase was.

Just be cautious and advise family members to be cautious too, currently my kids are great at showing me any unexpected popups or authentication requests, expected or otherwise - I control their AppleIDs currently but one day I’ll have to relax that, and of course little to stop them signing up for services and lying about age if they really wanted to.

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@Alley_Cat. Agree with your comments and yes the biggest weakness in most systems is the user. Didn’t go into the problems of inadvertently or otherwise giving away information via metadata from messages, browsing etc. Most if not all IT organisations are gathering this, it’s just that some are more willing than than others to sell it for gain even though the end user is not completely aware.

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As an ex IT business owner I gave up on Anti-Virus products years ago. They cost lots & just don’t do their job when you need them too - i.e. Zero Day Exploits.
As a business we used Neushield on all our clients Windows PCs - https://www.neushield.com
It creates the ability to re-wind your PC to a point in time prior to infection - in about 15 minutes. Great software & not too expensive.
I have no connection to Neushield nor IT businesses anymore - sold it & retired :wink:

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Completely agree. The anti-virus software bundled with Windows these days is very good and it’s no longer necessary to apply a third party product like Norton, AVG etc.

That and ensuring Windows updates are applied promptly.

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Not any more. For a number of years now Microsoft has provided very good anti-virus software and prompt updates to it.

There is a lot to be said for keeping a Windows installation as ‘vanilla’ as possible by avoiding installing anything except absolutely necessary software, including third party anti-virus or firewall software.

The best form of defence remains not to click suspicious links and not to open suspicious email attachments.

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Certainly agree with that, but if the basic windows protection was good enough, why are the updates/bug fixes always so big each month. In my experience of working in the Industry looking after 40k devices, extra protection was indeed needed. Remembering that in a work environment you are probably less likely to click on things you shouldn’t, yet still the viruses get in, so home use where you are more relaxed, you are just asking for trouble.

As a general rule, I don’t take out extra warranty on stuff, on the basis you can easily replace it if you must, and the overall savings on not covering items probably covers the replacement cost of the odd item. But with your PC there is a lot of personal data on there, possibly your life photos, etc, and surely that needs all the Insurance you can get.

I certainly wouldn’t expect to convince anyone of this over a Forum discussion, but all I can say is that in my mind, and my experience as a 3rd line support consultant, it is needed

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I tried using Windows Defender only for a year. Had to go back and resubscribe to Norton after multiple attacks were let through. If you’re a lone user and you know what you’re doing then Defender is largely fine but if you’ve a family device and don’t wish to sit on the shoulders of others as they work then it largely isn’t.

In the past the overhead of such software was sometimes ridiculous but if you’ve a relatively new device then nowadays there is likely some other process causing an issue if you see any slowing down.

On iOS devices I use nothing but a VPN. Amongst other things this has cut outdoing traffic to Google, AWS and Facebook by about 80%. The context for that is that I only use Google Maps; don’t have an Amazon account nor a Facebook account. Nevertheless the amount of data sites using 1 or more of the above 3 is astonishing. Using a VPN has actually taken me down a data hand with my provider and thus saved on both data use and expenditure.

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