Why We Need the Antivirus Software Even in 2019
Well, this might sound somewhat silly! Discussing the very basic antivirus software once again after having come so far, after having discussed antivirus protection many times and after having dwelt on all the modern sophisticated security software that we use today for comprehensive security- What’s the use?
Well, the justification is simple. An antivirus software, which happens to be the very basic security software needed for a computer system, is so indispensable that discussing it at all times and at all levels of discussion is relevant.
There are three basic aspects of the antivirus issue, three important questions that we seek to discuss here. The first question is- Do we really need an antivirus? The second- Why do we need an antivirus when we have inbuilt tools like Windows Defender? And, the third question is- Is merely having an antivirus enough?
Let’s begin with the first question- Do we really need an antivirus? The answer, from our side, would be a loud and emphatic “Yes!”. Cybercriminals are becoming more and more innovative and sophisticated. They try all possible means to infect computers and networks with all kinds of malware. Their endeavor is mainly to steal data belonging to people and enterprises or to hijack systems/networks and make money by way of ransom. Today, users get targeted even when they are visiting legit sources, including many official websites which they believe to be safe. There are cybercriminals on the prowl who would want to seize control of Internet-connected systems and devices, and then use the same to spy on users. Phishing attacks that lead to other malicious activities as well are on the rise. In this context, securing any system or device that we use to connect to the internet and store our data has become a very important thing. As part of doing this, it’s the antivirus software that comes in handy, on the primary level. Any computing device that we use today, including smartphones, need to be secured with antivirus software, which can screen all communication and data-transfer and look for malicious elements. So, as already said, the answer is- yes, we do need an antivirus. In today’s context, we should be using the most advanced kind of antivirus software, which could help us in blocking advanced and sophisticated kinds of threats and attacks.
Now, coming to the second question…Why do we need an antivirus when we have inbuilt tools like Windows Defender? Tools like Windows Defender are definitely good and effective. But threat actors have started thinking much ahead of users, even the most tech-savvy of users, and hence it’s always good to be well equipped to face cybercriminals and attacks. Hence, in addition to having inbuilt virus detection tools, it’s always wise to install advanced antivirus software as well.
Now, over to the third question… Is merely having an antivirus enough? The answer here is a clear and loud ‘no’. There was a time, not so long ago, when people thought they were safe by just having an antivirus tool installed. The situation today is different. On the one hand, you need to be constantly updating your antivirus software; merely having it installed won’t do. In the days when just having an antivirus installed was considered to be sufficient enough to render you safe, the average internet user was not so commonly and frequently targeted. But today, the situation is different. Anyone, yes, any one of us, can be targeted at any given point of time. Every internet user now gets targeted by scores of phishing scams every month. The number of viruses and malware goes on increasing in a never-before manner- every hour, every day! Hence, updating your antivirus tool becomes very important. In addition to having an antivirus software and updating it regularly, there are certain other things that need to be done, to ensure maximum security. These include…
- Having other basic security software, for example, firewall software, installed.
- Installing all other security software- endpoint security tools, POS security software etc- based on your requirements and the activities that you perform on your system/network.
- Having a robust password management system, which includes creating strong passwords, regularly changing passwords and having separate passwords for separate accounts/services etc.
- Securing all devices- smartphones, tabs etc- that are connected to your system/network from time to time.
- Being careful while coming across links and attachments in emails from any untrusted source and verifying, through direct communication, the genuineness of all suspicious looking emails, even if they are from trusted sources.
- Having a back-up of all sensitive and useful data, and updating the backup regularly.
- Monitoring all accounts and data access if you are part of an enterprise.
- Having a good cybersecurity plan, especially if you are part of an organization/company.
- Teaching/training employees if you are responsible for the cybersecurity of an enterprise/organization.
- Being careful of social engineering strategies, using which cybercriminals try to make you give away your sensitive personal data, including login credentials, card data etc.
Well, the list could go on, including more things like encryption, safe browsing habits, staying wary of adware/spyware, IoT security etc. Agreed that all these have been repeated many times already, but these basic things are so important that they demand frequent mentioning, on any platform. Anyhow, coming back to where we started off, remember to always have an antivirus software installed. Yes, an effective, advanced antivirus software is always a must!!!
Julia Sowells946 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.