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Does a Chromebook need a virus protector?

107 37 December 2, 2019 at 09:03 PM
I just bought a new Chromebook as a present for someone. Does it need a virus protector on it? Everything I've read has said that Chromebooks can't get a virus and no protection is needed...but I also can't find any recent articles on the subject.

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#2
Quote from FringeFan
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I just bought a new Chromebook as a present for someone. Does it need a virus protector on it? Everything I've read has said that Chromebooks can't get a virus and no protection is needed...but I also can't find any recent articles on the subject.

Anything can get a virus. Anyone that says otherwise is an idiot imo. All the blather about sandboxing and the like sounds good, but any OS can be hacked if the opportunity\vulnerability exists. And wrt Chromebook, it is a giant piece of Google spyware to start with imo, just like Chrome and Google Search. If you think Google is not using it to collect marketing data on you without your knowledge, you are pretty trusting of their so-called ethics lol.

Now as to Chromebooks themselves, since it is such a small percentage of the machine OS base, used by low-end users and built in theory with more security features in mind, most hackers are not going to waste their time targeting it when they can go after Windows OSs which are 90+% of the market. I would still go get a decent free AV and install it esp if it is being used by kids or computer illiterates.
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#3
Quote from YanksIn2009
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Anything can get a virus. Anyone that says otherwise is an idiot imo. All the blather about sandboxing and the like sounds good, but any OS can be hacked if the opportunity\vulnerability exists. And wrt Chromebook, it is a giant piece of Google spyware to start with imo, just like Chrome and Google Search. If you think Google is not using it to collect marketing data on you without your knowledge, you are pretty trusting of their so-called ethics lol.

Now as to Chromebooks themselves, since it is such a small percentage of the machine OS base, used by low-end users and built in theory with more security features in mind, most hackers are not going to waste their time targeting it when they can go after Windows OSs which are 90+% of the market. I would still go get a decent free AV and install it esp if it is being used by kids or computer illiterates.
Since you're knowledgeable about chromebooks could you recommend a specific AV program to install?
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#4
Quote from sd69
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Since you're knowledgeable about chromebooks could you recommend a specific AV program to install?

I am no expert on crummy Chromebooks, but Avira has a free version that is fairly highly rated and should be good enough.
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#5
Quote from FringeFan
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I just bought a new Chromebook as a present for someone. Does it need a virus protector on it? Everything I've read has said that Chromebooks can't get a virus and no protection is needed...but I also can't find any recent articles on the subject.
I've been using Chromebooks since 2012 but that doesn't make me an expert by any means. As far as I know Chromebooks can't get a virus but they can get what's called a browser Highjack. I got one once in the last 9 years and it was really easy to get rid of with a power cycle. I'm pretty sure you can't even download virus protection on a Chromebook because you can't install programs on them. Having the Google Playstore has taken Chromebooks to a whole new level but I'd guess they're more vulnerable because of this. Awesome machines if they cover your needs and Chromebooks will save you from the hassle that is Windows.
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#6
Previous comment by Fishyx is exactly right-- unless you enable the Playstore, nothing can be installed (in the conventional sense), as everything is web-based. It is possible to end up with a rogue extension, though, so only install highly rated extensions that you really need, preferably ones that many thousands of other people use. Chromebooks are great tools for most people, far safer than Windows computers, and the update process is super fast and painless. It is true that Google will monitor your web history and sell your info to advertisers, but that happens on Windows computers as well.
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