Do You Really Need Antivirus Software?

Here the answer from a ZDNet article of the same title:
If you’re not sure of the answer to that question, then the short answer is yes. The longer answer is that security software is only one piece of what should be a simple, straightforward, and systematic approach to your PC’s health.
Here are his security steps along with my geeky comments:
  1. Use a modern operating system.
    He says that XP has security problems. Both of our laptops have Win 7.
  2. Keep your OS up to date and backed up.
    Good idea to weekly back up your data to an external drive using something like the Back2zip freeware product. Also be sure to use the Windows update process.
  3. Keep applications updated also.
    I always specify update notifications on all of my apps.
  4. Be suspicious of any new software.
    Good idea to Google any new app before downloading to your PC.
  5. Set up standard (non-administrator) accounts for unsophisticated users
    This is a really good idea if you have kids at home. Of course some kids know more about the PC than their parents.
  6. Use a modern browser.
    Older browsers have serious security issues. I use Chrome but I think that other newer browsers like Firefox and IE 8 are ok.
  7. Install an antivirus program and keep it up to date.
    I have been using the free version of avast! for about a year now and it seems to be pretty painless. It automatically updates the data files a few times a day and talks to me when it does. Have had no problems with it.
I encourage you to read the whole article here for more detailed information. And if you have a Mac the article states that this month’s Mac OS X v10.6.5 and Security Update 2010-007 included well over 100 fixes to critical security vulnerabilities, many of which could lead to arbitrary code execution. Everyone is vulnerable. Only you can keep your computer safe.

How many of his steps do you follow? What antivirus are you using these days?


  1. I used AVG free for years. I started using Avast free about 2 years ago and I love it :-)


  2. Since I don't anything about computers I have to trust my IT guy. That is crazy, since I don't even know what IT stands for, other than 50.00 an hour.

    But he installed CC Cleaner, AVG, Super Anti Professional, and Malware Byte Anti Malware.I haven't had problems with viruses in over a couple years with his regimnet.

  3. I love it when you post this kind of stuff! Its such a good reminder to me. I am happy to say I follow all of the steps listed except one. I am unhappy to say its probably the most important one (7).

    I use Chrome for a browser and AVG for anit-virus and malware bytes also.

    I'm going to update now!

  4. You might also want to check out
    I've found it pretty solid. Coming from MS thats saying something :)


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