Disclaimer: Let me start off by saying this article is 100% based on my personal opinion based on my own PC use. You are free to agree or disagree. Each user’s situation is different (parents sharing the PC with kids, kiosk computer, etc.) therefore the steps you take to secure your computer, and other online assets will vary.
I used to view the installation of antivirus (AV) software as a critical first step when building a new computer or setting up a new one. After all, no one in their right mind would ever consider running naked with no protection in the wild wild west of the “interwebs.”
That was then. Today, it’s clear there is no possible way for the antivirus industry to keep up with malware and computer virus authors. Even the top AV companies have admitted this. Pause…No need to panic. Just keep reading. 😉
I spend a lot of time on my computer and online. I can honestly say I’ve not had a single virus on any of my systems in many years despite the fact that I quit installing AV apps a long time ago. How? Let’s review things.
A Pile of Lies
The last thing Antivirus companies want is an educated customer. After all, the more educated you become, the more you will realize AV doesn’t offer the protection it claims to provide. Unfortunately, as market share has declined, they’ve turned to pushing their software through fear and terror via relentless popups — targeting older, less computer savvy consumers. “You’re not protected! Buy our software! Your identity and social security checks are being sold online now! Kids will be stolen! OMG!”. In some cases, classic AV companies have even resorted to creating fake malware to improve its Malware ID stats while at the same time punishing its rivals.
Thankfully, Microsoft and Apple haven’t just sat around while these clowns polluted its platform and ripped off customers, which are why modern operating systems are getting increasingly more difficult to penetrate. Microsoft and Apple are ramping up the amount of time spent on security by design, and squashing security exploits as quickly as they find them. Microsoft, for example, has its own anti-malware utility baked into the OS since Windows 8.x, Windows Defender.
In all fairness, there are still some pretty serious computer viruses out there, but you’d have to be quite lucky (or targeted) to get one. The average web user today rarely goes outside the mainstream web like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…and so on. And websites like these are generally free of any viruses or threats. So if you’re not going to venture out into the darker and more underground part of the web (Free Porn, Free Software, Free Game and Music Downloads, Torrents, download.com..etc.), why bother installing an antivirus in the first place?