Do I Really Need Antivirus Software?

Protecting your computer with antivirus software has been a constant recommendation for more than 20 years now. But is it still necessary?

In recent years, operating systems like Windows 10 and iOS are becoming more security-minded, and many have argued that antivirus is no longer necessary, while others argue that it’s certainly on its way out. Microsoft takes security very seriously, and Windows 10 has two built-in tools – Windows Firewall and Windows Defender – to keep users safe from threats. These tools are also updated frequently by Microsoft, keeping your computer safe from the latest threats. Because they’re baked into the OS, you shouldn’t see any dip in performance when they’re running in the background, as is often the complaint with third-party antivirus software. But Windows Defender and Windows Firewall are still very basic tools, and we’d recommend using them alongside full antivirus software. Third party antivirus software will provide a much wider range of features and protect you from more threats.

You might think that you’re clued-up when it comes to viruses and malware, but you can never be too careful; it only takes one download from an unofficial source or one dodgy link in an email and your computer could become infected. Viruses and malware are still prevalent because cybercriminals know that they can be easily spread. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you – because it could. The term “antivirus” is a bit of a misnomer, because there are all kinds of malicious programs out there now, from malware to ransomware, and with more of our lives now being conducted online, the threat is as big as ever.

So what about Mac users? Contrary to popular belief, Macs are not immune from viruses and malware – but malicious programs are certainly not as prolific on Apple’s flagship operating system. One of the reasons for this is that Mac software is based on Unix, which has its own security features. Nonetheless, attacks targeted at Mac users are becoming increasingly prevalent. Just because the risk is lower than with a Windows PC, it doesn’t mean there’s no risk at all. As Macs are becoming more and more popular, they are increasingly being looked upon as a viable target for cybercriminals. Macs are generally more expensive, so the logic follows that their users will be more likely to pay up in the event of something like a ransomware attack. Moreover, with Windows beefing up its security in recent years, cybercriminals are turning to unsuspecting Macs users instead. I

In short, you need to make sure your PC or Mac has some form of antivirus software installed. It doesn’t matter how computer-savvy you are – anyone can fall victim. It’s certainly better to be safe than sorry.