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Do You Still Need Antivirus?

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike. If you were like a lot of the folks I know, you might have worn knee pads, shoulder pads and most definitely a helmet.

Why all the protection?

Either you or someone responsible for you realized that riding a bike can be dangerous, especially if it’s new to you.

Now, as you’ve gotten better at riding that bike, you’ve probably removed the training wheels, knee and elbow pads. And some might have even removed the helmet. You’ve grown comfortable with riding and the act of balancing on your bike has become second nature.

Essentially as you grow more comfortable, many of us have eliminated many of the controls that actually were meant to keep us safe in the event of a fall.

I imagine if you were to transition from riding a bike on a paved bike path to mountain biking on treacherous and very steep dirt paths in the Rockies, you might reconsider that helmet at very least.

You can think of that antivirus kind of like your bike helmet.

Antivirus is one of the first barriers to make sure your computer doesn’t get into a very hairy situation.

Some people have pronounced antivirus obsolete for over a decade at this point. In fact, some software developers at Google recently stated that antivirus is completely useless. The sad reality of being connected online means that you carry a lot of risks. What some of these folks at Google underestimate is that their search engine or browser cannot completely eliminate the risks of landing on a malicious webpage.

Even if you’re truly careful to not go to strange websites and stick to your go-to standards, the sad truth today is you cannot be too safe when online.

Would you ride your bike down a mountain without a helmet? The fact of the matter is that even if you’re careful, there’s still some risk for disaster.

The people coding viruses and malware know exactly how to get their code onto your networks and computers. There’s a reason why they’re still working around the clock devising new ways of hacking onto networks (there still are big payoffs if they can break in!).

Back a decade, if someone asked if you used antivirus, you’d probably confidently say “yes”. There frankly was no other means to protect your network than antivirus.

My message to you today: you do still need antivirus in 2019.

It’s not necessarily to stop pesky viruses anymore, but there are all kinds of malicious code and bad actors devising and scheming who want nothing more to steal, extort or cause mayhem on your network. It sounds scary, but much of our lives are conducted online and today the threat is as real as ever.

Antivirus is one of the most basic ways to help protect your machines. It is certainly NOT the end all to security today, but it definitely remains a critical component to your security [Note: if you are concerned about your network security, consider a free security assessment].

Are all antivirus platforms created equal?

Realize that you probably will need to consult an expert that fully understands information security to best protect your network. Also realize that antivirus solutions vary considerably in terms of the quality of protection, impact on your system performance and detection of false positives (that is, some antiviruses detect a lot of non-threatening activity as malicious).

Some antiviruses can come with a lot of bugs and vulnerabilities, so simply going online and downloading the first antivirus you find may not actually keep your network safe and actually can add more risk to your systems.

Make sure you do your homework before subscribing to an antivirus platform.

How can you choose the antivirus software? Most security experts recommend getting a network security assessment before making changes to your network.

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