Do You Need Antivirus Protection on a Chromebook?

antivirus for Chromebooks
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When it comes to protecting our privacy and security, ensuring our computers are free from viruses and malware is one of the most important preventative steps we can take.

But if you have a Chromebook, do you need to install antivirus software?

Chromebooks come with built-in antivirus software, and as such, it is automatically protected against viruses when you get them. However, additional antivirus software is always recommended and can add additional security features to your Chromebook.

In the following article, I’ll explain a little more about the security features that are automatically included when you purchase a Chromebook. I’ll also recommend additional security software that you can consider if you’d like to reinforce your Chromebook’s security features.

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The Built-In Antivirus Features Chromebooks Come With

To better understand whether or not purchasing additional antivirus software is right for you, you should first learn about what antivirus protection your Chromebook comes with. 

Chromebooks are designed to resist viruses and malware thanks to their OS, which is based on the secure Linux kernel. 

In addition to the operating system, Chromebooks come with the following built-in features to protect against viruses and malware:

  • Automatic updates
  • Data encryption
  • Sandboxing
  • Verified boot
  • Recovery mode

These added layers of security are highly effective in preventing your Chromebook from getting viruses or malware.

Chromebook OS

One of the main safety features of your Chromebook is the operating system itself, which is designed to protect your privacy and data and keep your computer free of viruses and malware. 

The Chromebook OS is based on the Linux operating system, which is known for its extensive security measures. The Linux OS is open-source software, meaning it can be modified and advanced by users, increasing its efficacy over time. 

Furthermore, your Chromebook was designed so that virtually nothing would be directly installed onto your laptop but rather would operate through the use of web apps.

Automatic Updates

Chromebook uses automatic updates as a way to ensure that your computer is up to date on all of the latest antivirus protection. The updating software is running in the background of your computer at all times, meaning new security features are added and updated to your Chromebook in live time.

Data Encryption

Your Chromebook uses data encryption as a way to protect your privacy and security further. 

Most data is automatically uploaded and securely stored in the Cloud. Still, a certain amount of data will always remain on your computer (e.g., downloads or cookies), and this data is automatically encrypted, ensuring its security.

Sandboxing

Sandboxing is one of the best ways of protecting your computer against viruses. Chromebooks automatically separate every web page or application into their own individual environment, known as a “sandbox.”

This prevents viruses and malware from spreading onto your entire computer when you open a compromised page or app. The infection is contained in that specific sandbox.

Verified Boot

The verified boot is another safeguard that your Chromebook has and is somewhat of a safety net if, for some reason, your sandboxing feature fails. 

The verified boot runs diagnostics on your computer every time it restarts to see if it has been compromised in any way and repairs these compromises as it’s starting up again.

Note: For this reason, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of regularly restarting your Chromebook.

Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is the ultimate safety net for your Chromebook.  It’s designed to revert your Chromebook to a version of its operating system that it knows is trustworthy.

If you suspect your Chromebook may have been compromised in any way, you can enter recovery mode to reinstall a healthy operating system to your Chromebook.

What Antivirus Software Should I Use to Protect My Chromebook?

While your Chromebook does a great job protecting you from viruses and malware on its own, it never hurts to take extra precautions. Several antivirus software options on the market would be a great addition to help further protect your Chromebook.

To protect your Chromebook, you should install antivirus software that provides you with additional security coverage that may be missing from the Chromebook OS, such as Bitdefender or Norton360.

When considering your options for antivirus software, you’ll want to be sure that you’re finding software that offers different security features than the ones included in Chromebook’s OS, thus extending your security coverage.

To ensure that you’re getting the best security coverage possible, make sure to invest in antivirus software that includes email scanners, website checkers, and anti-phishing programs.

Bitdefender

Bitdefender has one of the best reputations for computer security and offers a variety of protection plans. They have multiple security plans with varying degrees and scope of coverage at different costs, starting at just $23.99 per year.

Some features that help Bitdefender stand out against its competitors are its seamless ability to operate on Chromebook, 24/7 customer service, and VPN inclusion on every plan you pay for, up to 200MB per day. 

View packages for Bitdefender

Norton 360

One of the most well-known names in cyber security, Norton 360 by Symantec, is an absolute winner when it comes to antivirus software. Although a bit on the pricier side, you get what you pay for with Norton360. 

This software has top-of-the-line alerts when there is suspicious activity on your device. 

In addition, something that sets Norton security apart from its competitors is its proprietary software, such as LifeLock, which is specifically designed to help protect your identity and avoid breaches regarding your credit and social security.

View packages for Norton Antivirus 

Final Thoughts

Protecting your privacy and security is paramount when using your computer, and it’s always a good idea to look into your security coverage.

Chromebooks come with excellent protection against viruses and malware built into their operating system and add additional coverage through automatic updates, data encryption, sandboxing, verified boots, and recovery mode.

However, installing antivirus software offers you additional coverage that may be missing from the Chromebook OS. If you’re considering purchasing other security software, make sure to get coverage that fills in the holes of the Chromebook OS using a system such as Bitdefender or Norton360.

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