Do You Really Need Antivirus Software?

computersecurityI read an interesting post today on CNet in which the author describes his blatant disregard for antivirus software.   Apparently he doesn’t use the stuff, and neither do you need to.  Well, perhaps he’s not recommending that strategy to everyone, but he seems to feel that through careful usage one does not need to drag their system’s performance down with antivirus software tools.

He claims he does a few things; first he says that Windows 8 is extremely secure and comes with Windows Defender.  This is enough to thwart most attacks, and the built in Windows firewall is enough as well.  He also has a firewall in his router, and he uses Web Of Trust to ensure that he doesn’t click on shady links.

The other thing is, however, that he’s a VERY savvy computer user.  Many people become victims to malware and viruses because they waywardly click a link in their email, or head to a bad website that installs malware on their machine just because they loaded the website.  He seems to think that you’re secure just by visiting safe websites.  Other time they are infected with malware due to the fact that they may accidentally click on those pesky “download” links that are really just advertisements masquerading as download links.  It’s my pet peeve – head over to any download site and finding the button to download the software you’re looking for is like finding a needle in a haystack of fake download buttons that will lead you to download something completely different.

However, I have to say….I’ve been attacked by some very trustworthy websites that I believe were hacked.  Any website can be hacked to infect computers with malware.  And it happens quite often.  I used to run a computer without antivirus software, and I never had a problem either.  Until I did.  My video editing desktop computer suffered a catastrophic worm infection that was extremely difficult to get rid of.  I was able to finally get rid of it using ReImage and get my data safe, but the worm left my computer with some lingering errors.

After that happened I will never again have a “naked” computer without some form of protection.  Norton 360 runs quite quietly in the background and it has blocked a few attacks on me since I’ve been using it.  I am running a business laptop and I don’t care about super high performance – this is not a gaming computer.  I highly encourage EVERYONE to run antivirus software.  You can opt out of antimalware software until you have a malware problem if you really want, but viruses are a different story and they can be quite destructive.

If you are not a super savvy tech user I still recommend having antivirus and antimalware software on your PC, and you should run a scan every month at least.



About the Author

Roger Feinstein has grown up with computers his entire life and strives to help others understand what goes on behind the scenes in their PCs. He's been writing tech articles for websites for over 5 years.

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