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ANTIVIRUS: Why You Probably Don’t Need One in 2023

Cody Pierce


Yes! The most common question I get asked when somebody buys a new computer is, “which antivirus do you recommend?” To their
surprise my usual response is, “you probably don’t actually need one.”



Here’s the catch - most people don’t know that your computer actually comes pre-loaded with effective security software.

Of course you want a layer of defence against viruses and other online threats. In the case of a Windows computer, Windows Defender comes
pre-loaded at no additional cost to the user. It’s an effective anti-virus as long as you keep it up-to-date by installing Windows Updates regularly.



Most people have fears of online threats and companies know this. Their advertising often leads the user to believe that without making
a recurring payment for a premium antivirus they would be left completely unprotected! This may have been the case in the early days of the Internet, but modern devices now come with built-in protection.

Even worse is the fact that most computers sold by large companies come with a paid anti-virus pre-installed. They come under the guise
of a “Free Trial” however it’s only a matter of time before they send you annoying pop-ups requesting your credit-card information. In
this way the anti-virus itself could be considered a form of adware!





I have made the case that most people don’t actually need a paidantivirus. Here are a few scenarios where you could actually get valuefrom a paid service:

Enhanced online privacy - If you value greater privacy online you should consider a VPN (virtual private network) to mask your activity
from both the sites you visit and your Internet service provider. Quality VPNs are a paid service and do not come built-in to your device. Extra vulnerable user - If you consider yourself or somebody you know to be a vulnerable user such as an elderly relative or a child,
you may value some premium features offered by paid anti-viruses. Some of these features include blocking access to dangerous or other
undesirable websites, restricting potentially dangerous downloads, and routine virus scans with a more robust and user-friendly interface.
Sensitive data - Some people use their computers to process sensitive information. For example - a tax professional working with customer’s financial information. In this case you may find peace-of-mind having an additional layer of security to prevent corruption or unwanted remote access to this sensitive data.



I strongly believe that if you just use your computer to check emails, browse popular websites, or play PC games you will be adequately protected with the built-in security of your device. While there are specific use-cases for paid security software, they’re often unnecessary for the average user. As public awareness grows about the free security built into our modern devices, I’m sure more people will feel the same way.
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