ab14

Level 6
The perceived wisdom is that you should have antivirus software installed on your PC and an app of some kind on your mobile. Or that’s certainly been the case historically – if you don’t, the argument has always been that you’re running some major risks.

However, given advancements in operating systems and security in general, is this still true in 2020? Should you definitely be running antivirus software today? Or are there any good reasons why you might not want to?

Arguments against antivirus

The short answer to the titular question is: Yes, you should still be running some kind of antivirus software in 2020. It may even seem blatantly obvious to you that any PC user should be running an antivirus on Windows 10, but there are arguments against doing so. In some cases they’re not particularly valid ones, at least in our opinion, but they exist nonetheless.

One main pillar of the ‘anti-antivirus mindset’, as it were, is that if you’re sensible and careful enough about what you do online, only visiting legitimate websites, official software stores, and policing the links you click on with a suitable degree of vigilance, you probably won’t encounter any malware anyway.

And therefore the argument is you don’t need to pay for antivirus, and even if you install a third-party free antivirus app, it’s still another program on your system that might slow it down somewhat (some antivirus software can have more of an impact on system performance, and of course free software may also pop up ads and so on).

Another more pressing worry aired in recent times is that some of the antivirus software out there carries a number of vulnerabilities, and these could be a potential avenue of exploitation for an attacker. In other words, the potential irony is that your antivirus software could be an avenue for your machine to be compromised.

That’s a legitimate concern, as we’ve seen in recent times, when for example in March 2020, Avast disabled a major part of its antivirus software which suffered from a dangerous vulnerability that a respected security researcher flagged up.

So, as you can see, there are some gray areas when it comes to answering the question of whether you should run an antivirus. However, there are much stronger reasons as to why you should use an antivirus, which we’ll explore next.

Source: Is antivirus software necessary in 2020?
 

Andy Ful

Level 65
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Similar thread:

Some other reasons for anti-AV lovers:
  1. If your friend has installed any AV, the files on the shared USB drive were checked by her/his AV.
  2. If you download from the Internet some installers of the popular applications, you are protected by Google website ranking which shows the popular (pretty much safe) websites. Furthermore, you usually land on the website like Softpedia, Majorgeeks, etc., which checks the installers by AVs.
  3. If you browse the Internet, you are protected by Google website ranking and anti-phishing web browser features (for example SmartScreen in Edge).
  4. etc.
This can work as long most people use AVs and the user does not perform risky/unsafe tasks. But, I recommend using the AV to most users just like using the seat-belts in the car.
 

Tutman

Level 8
Verified
One main pillar of the ‘anti-antivirus mindset’, as it were, is that if you’re sensible and careful enough about what you do online, only visiting legitimate websites, official software stores, and policing the links you click on with a suitable degree of vigilance, you probably won’t encounter any malware anyway.
LOL. Of course you need SOME form of AV or security software. There is never a guarantee any "legitimate" website won't get hacked and then you get hit by a drive by virus/hijacker installer!
 

CyberTech

Level 32
Verified
A more fitting title would be "Is a third-party AV necessary in 2020?"

Microsoft have included their own first-party AV since Windows 8 (2012).

Eight years on and people still living in the stone age with their stupid AV questions.

i think Techradar and his workers living a under rock

If you use Windows, if I see it necessary, although I have not had infections for years ... But you never know, when you can you can get infected, the world of malware is always evolving and it does not stop.

Same here tbh
 

show-Zi

Level 28
Verified
Similar thread:

Some other reasons for anti-AV lovers:
  1. If your friend has installed any AV, the files on the shared USB drive were checked by her/his AV.
  2. If you download from the Internet some installers of the popular applications, you are protected by Google website ranking which shows the popular (pretty much safe) websites. Furthermore, you usually land on the website like Softpedia, Majorgeeks, etc., which checks the installers by AVs.
  3. If you browse the Internet, you are protected by Google website ranking and anti-phishing web browser features (for example SmartScreen in Edge).
  4. etc.
This can work as long most people use AVs and the user does not perform risky/unsafe tasks. But, I recommend using the AV to most users just like using the seat-belts in the car.
Backup, the best protection I have
I agree.
In other words, AV is a car seat belt and backup is car insurance. (y)
 

roger_m

Level 31
Verified
Content Creator
I never get infected. Not because I use an antivirus, but because I never encounter malware, despite spending many hours online and often visiting lots of random websites. Because of this, I could ditch my antivirus and use no other security software (not even Windows Defender) and most likely never get infected.

While I'm not going to do this, in my case I can say that antivirus software is not absolutely necessary.
 

brigantes

Level 1
  • Is antivirus (Microsoft Defender and other native Microsoft security protections) needed in 2020 ? Yes
  • Is 3rd party security software needed in 2020 ? No
  • At best, security software are nothing more than a highly imperfect insurance policy.
  • The users that come running with an infection typically self-sabotaged themselves either out of sheer ignorance or willfulness.
A more fitting title would be "Is a third-party AV necessary in 2020?"

Microsoft have included their own first-party AV since Windows 8 (2012).

Eight years on and people still living in the stone age with their stupid AV questions.
  • The year is 2020.
  • 1/3 of the world inhabitants still live in the mud.
  • At least 1/4 of the world inhabitants still live without electricity and/or clean accessible water.
  • There are still witch doctors in the world.
  • Voodoo spells, snake oil, trinket medicine and mutilation medicine remain rampant throughout the world.
  • "Developed" and up and coming societies do not teach the basics of our digital society to prepare their populations for the era.
  • Digital device usage does not equate to knowledge nor understanding.
  • In the world today there is probably in-excess of 100 TB of digital storage devoted only to "What is best AV ?"
  • Stupidity is the first world pandemic; into the world came humans and they brought stupidity with them... and the smart people asked for millennia "What are we to do ?"
 

blackice

Level 28
Verified
I never get infected. Not because I use an antivirus, but because I never encounter malware, despite spending many hours online and often visiting lots of random websites. Because of this, I could ditch my antivirus and use no other security software (not even Windows Defender) and most likely never get infected.

While I'm not going to do this, in my case I can say that antivirus software is not absolutely necessary.
But do you pirate popular games and shows? Because that's where I think most people run into trouble. (y)
 
honestly, many people misunderstand modern malware, you shouldn't know you're infected until your bank account empties, your bitcoin vanishes, or your credit card spontaneously buys things online. or from a corporate level ... your competition has your tech. the no AV crowd unwittingly use the gopher defence technique and think they're safe. the hawk only has time to pick off one gopher at a time, so most of the crowd lives on. a friend of mine phoned me because his computer was slowing down. i came over, it was an old beast, a decade old. he didn't have antivirus software on it or even know what an AV was. windows built-in was gone too. i couldn't run anything on it to scan it (it wouldn't let me), finally, i managed to get a portable superantispyware to run (a program that is weak, and i had abandoned may years ago because it never found anything), but it was the only thing i could get to run, lol. anyway ... to my surprise it found something like 10,000 detections (not cookies, not traces, infections). i hit clean, and it took out the operating system, lol. and i always thought this program did nothing! it definately did something this time :) but he never knew he was infected until it was so ridiculous his system became a snail. good thing he had me come over and put a superantispyware bullet in his system's head, lol. thank the Lord for system restore points!!
 
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