Despite the number and scale of cyberthreats increasing in recent years, the number of people who actually use antivirus software protection has gone down. Some of that decline has corresponded with the increase of people using Mac computers, but even PC users are forgoing virus protection – often because they have heard incorrect information or believe common myths about how antivirus works.
Unfortunately, this is dangerous. Due to infection by virus not only will the machine malfunction but your personal data will be also at risk. At best, you might end up with some annoying adware clogging up your web searches, but at worst, you could fall victim to ransomware, and lose all of your important files. You need to protect yourself from these risks with antivirus software, and you should not believe any of the following myths about computer security.
Myths About Antivirus #1: Macs Don’t Need Antivirus
This is one of the most pervasive antivirus myths, and potentially one of the most dangerous. While it’s true that Macs are still less susceptible to viruses than PCs. The growth of the Mac market has made them a more attractive target for hackers. Criminals have begun turning their attention to developing viruses and malware to attack Macs. Meaning that you need to take steps to protect yourself. Not to mention, Macs can actually help spread other dangerous malware, often without you even realizing it. Although a virus may not be able to infiltrate your computer, it can still attach itself to your emails, and spread to your contact list. For that reason alone, it’s important to install virus protection.
Myths About Antivirus #2: You Only Visit “Safe” Websites
There’s a popular misconception that the only way you’ll fall victim to a virus is if you visit “unsafe” websites. You don’t visit pornography, gambling, or other notorious websites, so you’re safe, right? Wrong. The fact is there is no website that is 100 percent safe from viruses or malware, and you’re just as likely to be infected visiting a parenting blog as you are on an adult site. Although website owners are more committed than ever to securing their sites, hackers are also committed to thwarting every security measure – and they are targeting sites that most people won’t suspect as being dangerous. Because you can never be certain what’s lurking behind any web page, you need antivirus protection.
Myths About Antivirus #3: Computer Updates Don’t Affect Security
Whenever you are prompted to update your computer’s operating system, do you do it right away? Or better yet, do you have your machine set to automatically install all updates? If not, you could be putting your computer at risk, since many updates are specifically developed to close security holes and make it less vulnerable to attack. Computers that haven’t been updated are at a greater risk of crashing and viruses, especially when they don’t have antivirus protection.
Myths About Antivirus #4: You Have Backups, So You Don’t Need to Worry
Backing up your computer on a regular basis is an important part of a thorough security plan. It’s definitely smart to keep copies of all your files and programs in cloud-based storage. However, your backups are not a foolproof method of restoring your computer after a virus. You could only end up making the problem worse. You might think that the best way to deal with a virus is to simply reinstall the operating system and restore your files, but this doesn’t always work. Even worse, unless you scan all of your files with antivirus software before you restore them, you risk doing little more than re-infecting your computer. It’s much easier to simply prevent the virus from infecting the computer in the first place.
Myths About Antivirus #5: You’ll Always Know if You Have a Virus
While you might expect that a virus will make itself known in spectacular fashion, it’s much more likely that it will be working quietly behind the scenes without you even realizing it. Sometimes the signs are subtle, like your computer is slower than usual, and you chalk it up to something else, like a weak internet connection. The fact is, it’s not always obvious that you have a virus. Due to which it’s possible for you to spread it to hundreds of other people before you even notice anything amiss. The solution? A strong antivirus program that will block harmful software, and alert you when there is trouble brewing.
Ultimately, the solution to all of these problems is antivirus software. So save yourself some aggravation – and money – and install the protection today.