Josh Brunty had spent more than a decade in the cybersecurity field – first as a digital forensics analyst with West Virginia State Police, then as someone teaching the subject at Marshall University – when he discovered a shocking secret about his father, Butch.

Butch Brunty was still paying money every year for third-party antivirus protection on his home computer, which his son said hadn’t been necessary for most people for years.

“He talked about updating his antivirus program. I said, ‘Are you literally paying for antivirus?’ “Brunty said. “I don’t know how he did it, but he ended up connecting with Norton and spending about $ 60 a year.”

Brunty’s father, like many other people, had failed to get the message that has become intuitive for many people who work in cybersecurity: there is simply no longer any reason for ordinary people to pay for antivirus software on their personal devices.

It’s a shift that not only highlights how computer security …

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