Do I really need to install anti-virus software?

Do I really need to install anti-virus?

This should be a simple question, but it’s one that I still find people asking.  If your one of these people then the short answer is yes, you really need to install anti-virus on all devices whether they are connected to the Internet or not.  The longer answer is that, the installation of anti-virus software is only one part of securing your computer and mobile devices, anti-virus, anti-malware and firewalls should also be used and kept up to date to ensure you have a safe online experience.

Now that you know you need to use anti-virus software, where do you go from here? How do you decide which one to use? There are many anti-virus vendors on the market today that you can choose from, some vendors offer free cut-down products and others offer full blown products that include all the bells and whistles for protecting against malware, spyware as well as firewall protection.

The age of the Internet and the always on presence means that your device doesn’t become infected with viruses like the old days, now simply browsing a website can infect your machine, and install malicious software to obtain your bank details, or worse Ransomware that will encrypt your hard drives and demand you pay a ransom fee before you can get your data back.

The selection of anti-virus software is usually based upon two key areas, personal preference and how well the software manages the latest threats and protects your device.  There are a number of review sites on the Internet that help you decide whether you should choose one version over the other, however please take these with a pinch of salt, some sites will publish more favourable results if the vendor provides a small fee for the review.

Some of the most popular sites are:

Still not convinced?  There have been many tests over the years (as well as from personal experience) to show that, as soon as you connect an unprotected computer to the Internet it is being scanned and targeted within the first 5-10 minutes of being online.  This is why it is so important not only to have anti-virus software installed but to also keep your device up to date with the latest updates, but that’s a topic for another day.

I’m running Linux, do I still need to install anti-virus?

It’s a known fact that Linux Operating Systems are generally a lot more secure than Windows Operating Systems, however they are still vulnerable to attack.  Accessing malicious websites and downloading unverified files can still infect your machine the same way it does with Windows Operating Systems.  Play safe and download some anti-virus software.

Do I need anti-virus on my mobile devices?

With the increased presence of mobile devices on the Internet, and the increased use of free wireless access, now is the time to protect your mobile devices.  More and more people are browsing sites online from their mobile device and malicious people are now taking advantage of this by trying to infect the mobile device in order to obtain credit card or personal information.

One area that a lot of mobile security companies have added as standard is the ability to track the mobile device if it becomes lost or stolen, although this is strictly a protection feature against viruses it can help you recover your pride and joy.

There is one exception to using anti-virus software on mobile devices, iPhones and iPads are well protected against threats and Apple currently do not allow anti-virus vendors to sell their software for their mobile devices.

Where to go from here?

Still not sure whether you want to purchase and install that anti-virus software? Then think about how much it will cost you if you become infected and potentially lose all your data.  The majority of anti-virus software doesn’t impact your devices performance these days and most devices generally have more than enough memory to run everything on a day to day basis.

Still not sure?  Why don’t you check out the review sites listed above and download a 30-day trial and see which one works well for you?

TeraByte IT are authorised ESET partners, if you would like to purchase or trial some anti-virus software from ESET, please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help you.

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