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Do you need an antivirus for your Chromebook?

Do you need an antivirus for your Chromebook?


Security is one of the most frequently promoted positives of the Chromebook. A Chromebook is an excellent device for a wide range of computer efficiency levels because it protects users. Chrome OS comes with enough integrated security that you don’t have to worry about viruses, and you won’t have to spend time fixing grandma’s computers either.

So, even with this protection, does your Chromebook require an antivirus?

How does Chromebook Security work?

Your Chromebook uses a range of security features to protect you from malware, viruses, and other threats. There are five main areas of protection:

  1. Automatic updates: Chrome OS (the operating system on a Chromebook) updates automatically. Automatic updates install security patches and features without bothering you, keeping your device safe.
  2. protection mode: On a Chromebook, every web page and web app opens within a sandbox environment, isolated from everything else on the system. If the web page you’re using is trying to download something malicious and it works, it won’t spread to the rest of your Chromebooks.
  3. Verified boot: If the malware manages to get out of the sandbox, which it can, your Chromebook will be equipped with a Verified Boot. Every time you turn on your Chromebook, it verifies that the operating system is as it should be, and free of modification or tampering. If Verified Boot detects that the operating system is corrupt, it will repair itself automatically.
  4. Data encryption: Another Chromebook security feature uses encryption to protect your data. Chromebook automatically encrypts important files, such as browser cookies, browser cache, downloads, files, and more. If malware manages to infiltrate your computer, many of your most important files will be out of reach.
  5. recovery mode: Finally, if things really go wrong, there’s always a Chromebook recovery mode. From Recovery Mode, you can restore Chrome OS to its last known good configuration, or even completely reinstall the operating system.

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The combination of these security features makes the Chromebook one of the most secure computers in the world.

Moreover, Chrome OS is based on Linux. Compared to Windows, Linux-based operating systems are more secure. As such, Chrome OS inherits some features that help keep Linux distributions secure as well.

Can a Chromebook get a virus?

Very unlikely. Chromebooks are virus-free for the vast majority. Even when people think they have a virus, most of the time it is attributed to something else. Here are three main examples of Chromebook behavior that looks like a virus and how to fix it.

Chromebook site permissions

For example, websites ask for permission to send notifications, abuse the process, and send hundreds. It appears to be a virus or malware but is actually a website permissions issue.

To fix the problem:

  1. Click the lock icon in the address bar, then select Site settings. Scroll down and switch Notices to to forbid.
  2. Now, click on the three-dot icon in the upper right corner and select Settings. Type Notices in the search bar. Change the alerts option to Forbidden, ensuring that you are not bothered by any site anymore.
  3. If there are some sites you want notifications from, you can set individual access with Site Settings > Notifications method above.

Chromebook browser extensions

Another common problem is a browser extension that behaves poorly or maliciously malfunctions. Just because your favorite browser extension was secure doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Moreover, some browser extensions have great reviews – but those reviews were bought to hide malicious activity.

For example, before Facebook introduced the original dark mode option, many people chose browser extensions to do the job. A small number of developers took this opportunity to create a browser extension that turned Facebook into dark mode, but also hijacked search engine results to redirect to a completely different site.

If your Chromebook starts playing blue, check the last few browser extensions installed to find out the culprit.

To fix the problem:

  1. First, remove any recently installed browser extensions.
  2. head for Settings > advanced, then scroll down and select Restore settings to their original default settings.
  3. Now, restart your Chromebook.

Chromebook Browser Redirect

Likewise, sometimes the extension will toggle the default search option in your browser. Your search redirects to a different website or enters a different search term each time, which is very frustrating.

To fix the problem:

  1. head for Settings>Search Engine, and make sure your default search engine is set to Google (or an alternative of your choice).
  2. Now, select Search Engine Management And check the list of default search engines. To remove any suspicious or unexpected items, tap the three-dot menu and select Remove it from the list.
  3. Restart your Chromebook, then check if the browser redirect issue is resolved. If not, head to Settings > advanced, then scroll down and select Restore settings to their original default settings.
  4. Now, restart your Chromebook.

Chrome OS has a malware scanner

If you want to quickly scan your Chromebook, you can opt for the built-in scanner built into Chrome OS. copy and paste chrome://settings/cleanup in your address bar, then select You find.

Does your Chromebook need an antivirus?

Now, it may seem as if your Chromebook requires an antivirus, with browser redirects and malicious browser extensions. The truth is that Chromebook and Chrome OS, in general, do not require a permanent antivirus, as you do with Windows or macOS.

Built-in protections mean your Chromebook is one of the most secure computers in the world.

However, Chromebook is not 100% secure. There is no computer.

If you follow links to a phishing site from a fraudulent email, Chrome OS may not pick up the threat, and you can enter compromised data. For Chromebooks that can install Android apps from Google Play, you can still download a malicious app. In short, you should check what you click on and think about what you download on your Chromebook.

Two Chromebook Antivirus Apps to Protect Your System

If you want the peace of mind that an extra layer of security offers you, there are options you can consider. Many of the best traditional antivirus and antimalware developers offer a Chromebook option as well.

1. Malwarebytes for Chromebook

The tried and tested Malwarebytes is one of the best options for Chromebook anti-malware software. Malwarebytes for Android works perfectly on Chromebooks and will scan your system in a few minutes and remove any bad things.

The Malwarebytes variant for Chromebook includes a security audit and a privacy audit, helping you weed out any unsafe or invasive apps. Malwarebytes for Android also features in our guide to removing malware from your Android device as well.

2. Kaspersky Antivirus

Kaspersky Antivirus is a small step up from Malwarebytes’ choice, providing comprehensive security and better protection against malware and other threats. Again, this is an Android app that works on a Chromebook, but you still get a full suite of real-time scanning and protection.

Oh, and the other thing is that Kaspersky Antivirus’s scan is fast. It took less than a minute to fully scan my Chromebook (using an upgraded 256GB hard drive).

Keep your Chromebook safe!

Staying secure while using a Chromebook is easier than most other computers. You have less chance of getting viruses, malware, and other attacks. Then, the protection built into Chrome OS helps fend off anything that starts getting close.

But it would be better if you are not satisfied with the extra protection, which means double checking before committing to the link, downloading, etc.

21 essential tips for first-time Chromebook users

Are you new to your Chromebook? It can take a while to adjust, so here are the first things you need to know for your Chromebook.

read the following

About the author

Gavin Phillips (1006 articles published)

Gavin is junior editor for Technology Explained, a regular contributor to the Really Useful Podcast and a frequent product reviewer. He has a degree in contemporary writing from Devon Hills, and over a decade of professional writing experience. He enjoys copious amounts of tea, board games and soccer.

More from Gavin Phillips

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