Do I Really Need Antivirus Software?


Antivirus software is a must. It may be the most important software you'll ever install on your computer.

As a computer user you've probably come across terms like viruses, spam, Trojan horses, worms, etc. Whether or not you know what these different things are, they all mean one thing: DANGER!

We can't emphasis this too strongly. Anytime you go online to shop or to access your email or just to surf the web you and your PC are vulnerable to attack by dangerous elements.

These threats come in many forms and can even come from sites you've been to many times and "trust."

The virus and malicious software (malware) writers are now taking over even reputable sites and install viruses, worms, trojans, keyloggers, spyware, and other malware on otherwise reputable sites, most often without the site's owners ever knowing it happened.

Malware are attempts by disreputable individuals to disrupt the proper operation of your computer for different reasons. These days it's mainly for financial gain, but there are still viruses out there intent on doing nothing but data destruction.

Think, for instance, that if all the important information stored on your PC was suddenly wiped out. All those priceless family pictures-gone forever. How about the novel you've been writing and didn't make backup copies of?

What about your tax returns, bank account, and 401K information?

Whatever you hold nearest and most personal has disappeared and you can't begin to replace it.

Then there is the danger of identity theft. If someone can get your social security number, banking, or other financial information it can mean months, if not years, of battle to get things back in order.

We share these things as a wakeup call more than anything.

How to Protect Your PC: Internet Security Software

The three biggest things you can do to secure your PC are:

  1. Keep your operating system and your applications well-patched.

  2. Don't run as Administrator or with an account that has Administrator privileges.

  3. Install the best antivirus firewall software you can.

By taking these steps, many of these threats can be minimized significantly.

If you're looking for help choosing antivirus software, try the Buyer's Guide on the right of this page.

For more details on what's lurking "out there" have a look at our Consumer Antivirus Firewall Software Guide.

Additionally, we also encourage our visitors to consider Firefox, a free, alternative open-source web browser now.