So is it safe to use a computer or other device without having an antivirus or other security program installed?
Is the answer I would like to give to that question but the truth is that, for the vast majority of people, it really isn’t a good idea to use an interconnected device without some sort of security protection installed.
Sure, you’ve read about or heard from security experts who never install antivirus and never pick up any malware on their devices, but are you an expert?
If not, you’ll be taking a huge risk with your data if you don’t protect it.
And if you’re not using Windows, that doesn’t make you immune either – just because Microsoft’s operating system was historically the most targeted, it doesn’t mean other operating systems are completely overlooked. Malware on the Mac, for instance, really is a thing and it is becoming increasingly prevalent.
So, whatever system you are using,
antivirus can help by dramatically reducing the chances of your system being infected with a virus, Trojan or other malicious code.
That’s not to say that any antivirus program will offer you 100% protection against all current and future threats – it won’t – because some malware is specifically designed to circumvent security software and/or make itself hard to detect.
You can improve your chances of avoiding viruses and other threats though. Here are some quick tips:
- Choose an antivirus program that’s highly regarded by independent testing labs such as AV-TEST and AV-Comparatives and read our reviews which explain both the pros and the cons of the leading antivirus programs.
- Ensure that your antivirus program updates regularly – at least once per day is recommended. The same also goes for your operating system – if security updates are available, install them immediately
- Run full scans on a regular basis. Most antivirus programs will check newly installed programs but a full scan can help detect anything that may have sneaked past your defenses
- Pay attention to your computer – if it starts behaving strangely, operating slowly, or you start seeing a large number of web ads, chances are you have picked up something unwanted so run a scan straight away
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