It’s been over 40 years since the Creeper computer virus, made its appearance, and although it was a benign virus and its presence was limited to ARPANET, the forerunner of the Internet, the Creeper has the dubious honor of being the very first computer virus. Jump forward 40 plus years later and we are awash in threats to our cybersecurity because of an ever-growing number of computer viruses and malware. Given that 40-year time span, as well as the rise in security-minded operating systems such as Windows 10, many people think we have moved beyond the need for antivirus software for our PCs and ask is an antivirus necessary. The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
While secure operating systems can offer strong security, they do not protect against new and emerging threats, known as zero-day threats. Hackers are extremely motivated and dedicated to finding security flaws and exploiting them, so the threat to our cybersecurity is relentless. And patches for the vulnerabilities that Hackers find are often not available immediately, so the virus or malware is able to get right past the built-in security. When you use dedicated AV software, on the other hand, you receive comprehensive threat protection, which is the best way to guard against existing and zero-day threats to your digital security.
Furthermore, dedicated anti-virus software frequently have a wider range of features for protecting your computer system such as phishing protection, VPNs, camera protection, or a password manager.
Finally, since most AV software have minimal impact on a system’s performance, there is really no reason not to have one running on your system. It’s simply not worth the risk. Don’t forget the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. This is as true for computer viruses as it is for personal health. The cost of treating your computer, if that’s even possible after an attack, in terms of money, time, and data, is far more than you’ll spend on protecting your system with an antivirus.