Do You Really Need An Antivirus?

A decade or two back, when you introduced a new computer home, one of the first rituals of this post-purchase was to install a good antivirus program. Fear of infestation from malicious files, the danger of a hijacked browser, and the invasion from strange pop-ups were rampant. In the 80s, floppy disks were the dreaded source of viruses, but if the Internet gained popularity in the 90s, the net became a convenient way for”mala fide” professionals (hackers that coded malware) to spread their spiteful viruses to apparatus online. The Internet served as a malevolent minefield of malware capable of bringing whole computer systems to a screeching halt. But thankfully, things have changed quite a bit since that time. Operating systems (OS), for one, are a lot more powerful, browsers are more secure, and users have far more access to information pertaining to safe browsing habits. Check and try this Totalav free.

The Growth of the Antivirus Industry
One reason why the antivirus business and antivirus software came into existence was since there was a dire need for protecting computers from obnoxious viruses. The system developers at the time were more focused on adding more features than on making the system foolproof. No one was really paying attention to the increasing instances of malware infestations. After a specific virus called ‘Rabbit’ wreak havoc on computer systems on a large scale, individuals with knowledge of programming and security have been made to consider securing the computer system more efficiently. That’s when they began focusing on developing products that would help protect computers from these nefarious attacks. The Rabbit virus used to engulf all of a computer’s RAM sources –which makes the computers unbearably slow–to the extent of becoming virtually unusable. It was in the late 80s when companies like McAfee and Avira came up with products that help to safeguard computers from infections by these malware, adware, and viruses.

But fast forward to 2018 and that I have great news for you! The OS and browser developers are currently taking system security very, very seriously. In actuality, much of the protection that once required third-party programs (e.g., tools to detect phishing websites/email attachments) now comes built into the system you are currently using. By’system you are currently using’ I mean that the latest upgrade –such as Windows 10 for PCs.

Why Antivirus Software is Becoming Irrelevant
Though this is problematic, I have discovered that antivirus software often creates more problems than solutions. They generally begin when you boot up the computer, occupy a substantial amount of system tools, install additional extensions to the browser and gather user information under the auspices of”enhancing services”. All this weighs more towards picking against the antivirus software for lots of men and women.

Ramped Up Security by Microsoft in PCs
Windows 10 — the hottest general-purpose OS from Microsoft — comes with an extremely high-security standard. This implies it is fairly hard for intruders to design malware that can ruin or infiltrate Windows 10 OS. Indubitably, Windows 10 is the most secure OS to be published by Microsoft. It has an inbuilt antivirus, Windows Defender, that is effective at removing the majority of the malware from your PC. According to the UK security analysis company, SE labs, Defender is effective at eliminating 94 percent of viruses. Also, since it’s directly provided by Microsoft, Windows Defender has the benefit of being directly baked into the OS. This implies a low drag factor when it comes to using system resources. A low drag factor means less of a slowdown of your computer once an antivirus is running a scan for malicious files.

Apart from Windows Defender, there’s also a built-in firewall for extra security, like stopping an app/program from sending personal data/files on the internet or limiting downloads over the internet which may prove to be a malware afterward. Windows 10 OS also includes a SmartScreen feature which helps protect users from harmful applications and sites. Although you may not use the Edge browser because of the prevalence of the Chrome or Firefox browsers, even the Edge browser includes advanced security measures to prevent browser hijacking or phishing from unreliable sites.

The Way Product Developers are Striving for Security
Sites and program owners have taken on the onus of securing their digital products. We use much more of Google’s services and tools in contrast to tools from various vendors in the past–most of which had a meretricious picture. However, because of the unification of goods provided by Google–with plenty of products, we as users are far more secure. This is because Google scans each and every file used on its cloud/tools/services such as Drive, Gmail, Chrome, etc. for suspicious activity, such as virus infestation. That is just for Google products. Our life is far more social than previously, however, as a result of the arrival of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.. All these social media sites continuously monitor content on their site and make sure that no malware can be dispersed through their platform.

And, finally, the main thing–our browsers–after the principal source of viruses, are a lot more secure. All of the modern-day popular browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, Edge, etc., use robust security features in their browser. The concept of a browser being the gateway to disease is waning, thanks largely to improved security measures that browser developers have implemented. By way of instance, Chrome will warn users about questionable sites until they literally give their permission to get the infamous site by clicking on an”agree” button. What’s more, it uses sandboxing techniques that discourage the malware from escaping one tab and infecting the rest.

Some Exceptions: Why You Might Need an Antivirus Software
After delivering such long harangues on how antivirus software is becoming irrelevant, you might wonder why on earth anybody would need an antivirus. The conjecture that antivirus software is becoming insignificant relies on a small premise, namely that Internet users have basic common sense when it comes to computer security. How do I give meaning to “common sense” you ask? Basic common sense implies following fundamental safe browsing practices, like keeping your software updated, studying the”change log” an update on your software usually includes, and lastly, restraining yourself from clicking unknown links. If you’re a casual computer user and can not follow these basic steps, then you may need extra antivirus software. Moreover, if you are willing to trade your system functionality for additional security, then installing antivirus software is also advisable.

While I cannot resolutely vow for complete abstinence from antivirus software, it’s tough to fathom its real need from the modern-day computing age. Bear in mind, this is an ‘age’ in which the huge majority of developers who plan their products are becoming proactive about security. Moreover, even with (additional) antivirus software is installed, there isn’t any guarantee you will never be attacked or infected. That is because rapacious infiltrators (who code malicious malware) are always searching for new ways to outsmart security experts–like criminals hoping to outwit the authorities at every turn. It’s an arms race of creativity, technology, and willpower, but for now, it feels like the virus guards are winning against the virus perpetrators!