I have been using Antivirus software for a very long time and even though I kept it up to date it never caught a single virus, worm or Trojan. It did however slow down system startup and the scan of new files also used system resources. This let to my conclusion that I did not need a Antivirus software, because frankly, Antivirus software is basically only there to prevent the user from doing something stupid.
It either stops the user from downloading and executing an infected file or prevents the opening of malicious files that were send to the user by mail, on disc or Instant Messenger. Even more troubling is the fact, that no Antivirus software is perfect. Their recognition rate lies anywhere between 80-99% of known viruses and Trojans.
Yes that is right, if the virus is not known they probably let it slip through. It happens though that I come upon a questionable file and I decided to use online scanners for those files instead. They quickly scan the file and let me know if a virus or trojan is attached to it.
To make this work I have to be careful of what I download and where I download it. I would probably run a Antivirus scanner all the time if I did download a lot from Rapidshare, P2P or questionable websites. Some basic rules that I follow:
I do download an Antivirus software from time to time, update it, let it scan my entire system and uninstall it afterwards. What do you use to secure your computer system?
Update: That does not mean that I'm not using other security software to help protect my system. I run anti-exploit software for example, on-demand scanners that I use to scan the system regularly, and proper security products that allow me to sandbox applications among other things.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.