Is Anti-Virus Protection Still Necessary?

Mohammed Emran /
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There was a time when, the minute we turned on our laptop, offers popped up everywhere to purchase an anti-virus protection program. Or a pop-up on the computer would inevitably alert us to update our security program because there were nine million viruses in our computer. 

That doesn’t really happen anymore. 

Is it because anti-virus protection is no longer necessary? Even though both Mac and Windows computers come with some type of anti-malware and anti-virus protection built in, it doesn’t mean we are as protected against viruses as we might think.

Believe it or not, we still need anti-virus programs to provide a level of protection that helps us stay safe against online threats. 

Why Do We Still Need Anti-Virus Protection?

Besides adding a layer of protection to our already protected desktop computers and laptops, the reasons behind adding anti-virus protection programs are many. 

According to the AV Test Institute, there are approximately 350,000 new malicious programs detected every day. Yes, you read that right. Every day. 

That alone should be plenty of reason to add extra anti-virus protection to our computers. 

But besides that fact, it turns out that some computers are more prone to getting malware than others. Windows computers and products are targeted 87% of the time with viruses and malware. 

Mac computers run their own risks, too. But not as much as Windows computers and devices, including tablets. 

A little extra protection does not hurt. Anti-virus programs are still very much needed. 

What To Look For in Anti-Virus Protection

Of course, what you look for in anti-virus protection depends on how much you are willing to spend and what kinds of features you’re looking for in a program. 

Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Privacy: In order for anti-virus programs to alert you about unusual behavior, they need to monitor your online activity to a certain extent. It is always a good idea to read the privacy statements or policies of the program you’re purchasing to make sure they’re not sharing your information online with dangerous sources.
  • Cost: It’s important to not overpay for anti-virus protection. While there are some costly programs out there, most anti-virus programs offer discounts or free trials that customers can take advantage of before committing to expensive protection.
  • Effectiveness: The point of having anti-virus software installed in your devices is for the program to protect you against multiple threats like viruses, malware, ransomware, and give you a heads up about shady websites. The best anti-virus softwares out there can do this and much more. Always make sure that the program you’re choosing can offer multiple types of protection against multiple kinds of cyber threats.

Best Anti-Virus Protection Programs

Your options for anti-virus software are many. But there are a few main ones you should focus on as they are the most trusted and the ones that will provide the most protection. 

Best Free Anti-Virus Protection for Windows

  • Microsoft Defender

Windows created the Windows Defender⸺an antivirus program that is built into Windows 10⸺specifically as an added feature for Windows users. This new antivirus program helps users protect their computers by providing security features like the Windows firewall and customization based on each individual’s needs. 

Unlike other anti-virus programs, the Microsoft Defender is completely free. Some key features include automatic backups, extensive parental settings, and face recognition and fingerprint technology so that users do not have to worry about putting in any passwords. 

Best Free Alternative to Microsoft Defender

  • BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition

If you don’t have Windows 10 but would still like a free alternative to get some extra protection, then the BitDefender is the next best thing. This anti-virus software is great because it works not only on Windows computers but also on Mac computers, iOS, and Androids. 

The BitDefender program offers real-time monitoring for viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware protection. Be wary though that the free version of this program will only protect up to one device. If you want it to work on all of your home devices, you will have to pay for the full program. The setup is easy, user-friendly, and it lets you protect up to five devices with a yearly subscription. 

Best Anti-Virus Subscription

  • Norton 360 with LifeLock Select

If you don’t mind paying for an anti-virus solution, then Norton 360 is the recommended software. Though customers have to pay a subscription, it comes at a reasonable price per year for protection on five devices. What sets this anti-virus program apart from others is the fact that, on top of protection from malware and viruses, it also comes with 100GB of data backup to the cloud. 

It also provides a VPN for customers, along with a password manager, parental controls, theft protection, and fraud alert. Because of all the added features and the protection, it gives customers, purchasing a subscription with Norton 360 is a significant investment. 

Best Malware Removal

  • Malwarebytes

If you didn’t previously have a program in place to help protect your computer and you now hastily look for something to fix everything, then Malwarebytes is the program for you.

Malwarebytes is known for being the program that removes all the awful stuff from your computer. Think of it as a really strong cyber Lysol for your computer. It will disinfect all the latest threats that have invaded your desktop computer or laptop.

Though there is a charge per year for the subscription, it is very reasonable and it allows customers to download a free version as a trial in case you’re not too sure you want to commit to the software just yet. 

Best Anti-Virus Protection That Everybody’s Heard About

  • McAfee Total Protection

At some point or another, it is very possible that you heard about McAfee. This was one of those programs that would pop up a lot in Windows computers. McAfee is one of the most reputable services available to protect users from viruses and malware. Plus, it’s available for Windows, Mac, and iOS. 

Though McAfee offers a paid subscription, the service comes with perks that make it worth the payment. McAfee offers its users protection against viruses and ransomware. It also provides a password manager, and it blocks any malicious or dangerous websites. 

Ultimately, it’s up to the user to choose the program that works best for the household. One thing is certain though, anti-virus protection is very much needed. It never hurts to protect our devices a little more than we need to.