Viruses appear to be frightening, particularly in light of the COVID-19 epidemic. Viruses, of course, don’t just affect humans; they may affect any internet-connected device, including computers, phones, and tablets. Is acquiring third-party antivirus software really required, given that certain operating systems come with built-in antivirus protection?
Is Antivirus Still Necessary or Should I Just Hire a Cyber Security Engineer?
Overall, antivirus software is still necessary, but some gadgets require it more than others. iPhones are the only operating system on which you do not need to install antivirus software. Antivirus software is still required for Windows, macOS, and Android.
Why You Still Need Virus Protection:
Malware and other online threats appear every day. In fact, the AV-Test Institute logs more than 350,000 new pieces of malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) every day. Yes, you read that correctly: each and every day. In general, malware is a bigger problem than PUAs. In 2020, malware will make up 90% of all threats, while PUAs will only make up 12%.
That being said, some operating systems are much more likely to get viruses than others. Windows is the most vulnerable. As of January 25, 2021, managed service providers said that 87 percent of ransomware was aimed at Windows computers (MSPs).
In a similar vein, information obtained from AV-Test revealed that Windows-based devices had the highest number of newly discovered instances of malware and PUA for the entirety of 2020 and the first month of 2021. This was followed by Android-based devices and finally Macs. In conclusion, if you do not own an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad, you absolutely need to invest in antivirus software.
How Antivirus Software Guards Your Electronic Devices:
Antivirus software, in a nutshell, conducts scans on your devices to identify and eliminate viruses, malware, and other forms of online danger. In the event that it finds anything malicious, the file will be placed in quarantine and then deleted. Let’s delve into a bit more detail.
The following are the basic features that every antivirus programme includes:
- Behavior-based detection: This means that the software can detect viruses and malware even if they aren’t present in current databases.
- Scans: Most software includes on-demand and on-access scans that you may schedule, run continuously, or run anytime you want.
- Virus confinement and removal: If the software identifies a virus, it will quarantine it and delete it completely so that it does not infect the rest of your device.
- Web browsing protection: Antivirus software protects you both online and locally on your device, from phishing emails to harmful websites.
Antivirus software frequently comes along with additional digital security tools, such as:
- Parental controls: Parental controls prohibit access to particular websites and set screen time limits for children to keep them safe online.
- Firewalls/network protection: Firewalls protect your device’s network from threats, whereas antivirus software is device-specific.
- Secure browsers: The software might include a secure browser like Tor, which encrypts all web activity three times, making it impossible for Internet Service Providers to see what you’re doing online.
- Password Managers: Password managers keep all of your login credentials safe and secure in an encrypted vault.
- Encrypted cloud storage: Encrypted cloud storage is the way to go for sensitive files. It’s so efficient that you won’t even need cyber security certifications
- System optimization: Some services claim to improve the speed of your system by eliminating files and downloading, among other things.
- Identity theft prevention: To avoid identity theft, identity theft protection services check multiple financial and criminal areas for the user’s personally identifiable information (PII).
- Last but not least, VPNs encrypt a device’s web activity and IP address in order to increase privacy and circumvent workplace or government prohibitions.
The Reason against Antivirus Software:
Those who argue that antiviral software isn’t essential aren’t, of course, completely off base in their thinking. It is unquestionably unnecessary for iOS devices, and there is no such thing available for iOS devices in the first place. There is also the counterargument that antiviral software is pricey, which, regrettably, is an argument that we have no choice but to concur with. Antivirus software typically costs about $40 per year, and the subscription periods are not typically any shorter than that. There is also free antivirus software available; however, it typically has certain restrictions, such as a cap on the number of devices that may be connected or a time limit on how long it can be used. Many people believe that additional third-party software is not essential because certain systems, such as Windows and Macs, already come equipped with their own built-in antivirus software.
Do I Still Need Antivirus If I Have A VPN?
In a nutshell, even if you use antivirus software, you still need a VPN. Why? Because it’s like comparing apples and oranges when it comes to VPNs and antivirus software. Antivirus software protects against viruses and malware, however VPNs encrypt your device’s IP address and web activity, so there’s no overlap in their capabilities. However, some antivirus software packages include VPNs, so you might be able to kill two birds with one stone.
Antivirus Software Optimization:
Here’s how to maximize antivirus software’s digital security benefits.
- Buy Bundles: Antivirus software isn’t a panacea for digital security. Many companies package antivirus with VPNs, ID theft protection, and password managers. Bundling these services saves money if you don’t have them.
- Software updates: Outdated software could contain security vulnerabilities, so update immediately. Enable auto-updates.
- Don’t stack: More antiviral software isn’t better. Multiple antivirus programmes might cause system crashes, so use only one.
- Real-time scan: Real-time scanning examines your device for viruses and malware in real time. Unlike on-demand scans, your programme will automatically scan your device.
- Software scan: Make sure to scan online downloads for viruses.
- Schedule scans if real-time slows down your device.
- Scan email: Ensure your antivirus software scans incoming and outgoing emails.
Finally, backup your files regularly in encrypted cloud or local storage to have a better experience.