Updated: Jun 18
It was November 2, 1988. The time was approximately 8 p.m. No one predicted that within hours, around 10% of all machines connected to the Internet would crash. The source? A computer worm – the first of its kind. Surprisingly, it wasn’t created by a cyber criminal, but by a 23-year-old Cornell student who’d made a few crucial coding errors. His name was Robert Morris. One day he was a normal college student, and the next day, he had unleashed something uncontrollable that made the eyes of the world suddenly trained on him.
For more than 20 years, ever since Robert Morris inadvertently unleashed the first computer worm on the Internet, using an antivirus has been a constant and recurring recommendation for users, especially those using PCs.
Yet these days, antivirus has been falling out of vogue, largely due to articles that claim it doesn’t protect you. Some users even mistakenly believe that the built-in capabilities of their operating systems and careful online behaviour will protect them against digital threats.
But this is not true!
Because even if you follow best practices such as keeping your software and operating systems updated, not downloading suspicious files, and avoid opening links from untrusted source, it’s not enough when a brand-new malware comes along and blows right past your system’s defenses!
Hence, antivirus is still absolutely necessary to protect you from unwanted and malicious intruders such as viruses, trojans, botnets, ransomware, and other types of malware.
But do I really need an Antivirus?
There have been an increasing number of new malicious programs everyday. And it’s not just your PC or laptop that is at risk – computers, smartphones, tablets and even IoT-connected devices are all attractive targets for cyber attacks!
Basically, any device that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to malicious software that can infect your system, delete and alter files, steal personal data, or use your computer’s resources.
So, if you use any Windows, MacOS, or Android devices, you need antivirus software.
Here are more reasons why:
Protection against threats
Nowadays, antivirus solutions have moved beyond checking for virus signatures to detecting foreign and unfamiliar threats, and this gives companies another chance to protect their business. New techniques, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data analytics and behavioural tracking, has thus helped to turn the antivirus into a more formidable defender, capable of detecting and blocking more sophisticated attacks
Protection against more than just viruses
One of the most important cyber security misconceptions is that antivirus can only protect against known viruses. This is indeed false! Antivirus technology is not static, but rather, constantly evolving. In fact, the antivirus of today does more than protect against known threats!
We are all Morons
Harsh? I don’t think so. You know who does dumb things with their computers or smartphones? Well, everyone!
We all have the tendency to click on shortened links in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, even without knowing where those links go! We all blindly install free software we find online, even when we know that’s risky. I mean, let me ask you, is the adobe on your computer originally bought or torrented from somewhere?
And we all open email attachments from anyone and everyone.
Let me put it this way: Have you ever been fooled by someone or something online? Have you ever been rickrolled? If you have, then you need an antivirus software!
“What if I am careful with what I do on the Internet?”
You say that now, but will you ever know what is safe and what is not? Attackers mask malicious links and files. I mean fully legitimate websites can also be penetrated and attacked with malware!
So in this day and age, where cybercrime has become a lucrative business, everyone is vulnerable.
If you’re running Windows, macOS/OS X or Android, you absolutely do need antivirus software.
You have protection in Windows 10
Microsoft takes your security and safety in this permanently online world very seriously. So seriously that it even built 2 important tools right into Windows 10 to help keep you safe: Windows Firewall and Windows Defender.
Windows Defender allows you to automatically scan programs you open, download new definitions from Windows Update, and provide an interface you can use for in-depth scans. The best part is that it does not slow down your system operations, which is something we can’t say often about most other antivirus programs!
And what’s more is that if for any reason something breaks through and you can’t get rid of it, Windows Defender Offline will be able to find those harder-to-kill viruses even while it is not connected to the internet from a USB!
So if you’re using Windows 10, and everything is up to date, you can be sure that you have a solid, free tool built in that won’t hog your system resources and will keep an eye on things in the background.
But if you’re using nothing at all, immediately go enable Windows Defender. (Do it now!)
“I’m using Windows 7 and 8. Do I have antivirus as well?”
If you are on Windows 8, you already have an antivirus software because it includes Windows Defender. For Windows 7, it includes spyware protection, but to protect against viruses, you can download the Microsoft Security Essentials for free! And if you are still on Windows Vista or Windows XP, click here now!