There is no way around it: viruses do exist, trojans do infiltrate your PC, and most users will act to guard against them. With software, but also with sensible behavior online. Malware relies partly on users doing the hard work for them. Most of the time you know when you are straying into the murkier waters of the internet. Do you ever think that your good behavior is enough to protect you from attacks, and that antivirus software is not necessary?
You may be right. Here are 40 reasons why you don’t need an antivirus:
1. You don’t share files and links with your co-workers.
2. You don’t do your banking online.
3. You never use the Internet for adult entertainment, shopping or online games.
4. You never use public WIFI at your local coffee shop, library, on the plane – or any other public place.
5. You believe the government would never spy on its citizens.
6. You can spot a phishing scam when you see one.
7. You don’t share your computer with anyone, not even your family members. So you know exactly what’s going on.
8. You trust your grand-ma’s home made thyme sirup to protect you against all kinds of infections
9. You don’t share your secure wifi-connection with anyone. Not even with your family members.
10. You work at a security company.
11. You never click on links that your friends or family send you (we are glad you clicked on this article, though!).
12. You and all the people you know are immune to social engineering tactics and would never share personal information like birthday, address or similar.
13. You use a firewall, which protects against all malware, right?
14. You don’t click on ads, or any other link on a website for that matter.
15. You only use trusted email providers such as Yahoo, Outlook and Gmail. Those are safe, right?
16. You have extensive knowledge of every single file residing on your computer and run an hourly backup stored on an external device.
17. You don’t believe in ransomware.
19. You don’t use Facebook. Or any other social media site for that matter…
20. No one ever took any pictures of you or your beloved ones (not even accidentally, e.g. when you are in public places) that could end up online.
21. You only visit trusted, well-known websites. What can happen there?
22. You think people only steal cookies from the cookie jar.
23. You don’t need an operating system such as Windows, as you are a Commodore 64 user.
24. You rely on site or service encryption (HTTPS or SSL), which is bullet-proof right?
25. You don’t have a computer and you don’t need one, as you can check emails and your bank account in that Internet coffee shop just around the corner. Any time you want. If you could only find that post-it with your credentials since the last time you had coffee over there….
26. You don’t have a smartphone.
27. Your Windows computer came fully equipped with complete protection, called Windows Defender.
28. You only use 128 character-long passwords with alphanumeric characters and special signs.
29. You change that password every month and don’t share it with anyone. So do all your friends, right?
30. You don’t use search engines, but always type the target URL manually in your browser.
31. You host your own mail-server that can’t be accessed externally and own a hack-proof computer.
32. You know an e-mail is an abbreviation for electronic mail and thus the new catalogue from Target or BestBuy that the postman just threw over the fence.
33. You think a PUP only stands for a four legged pet.
34. You don’t download freeware, ever.
35. If you download something, you only download from large download portals or from trusted vendors, such as Netflix or Instagram for your PC.
36. You have in-house tech support. They love cleaning and re-installing your system every couple of days.
37. You want to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records for having the highest amount of annoying browser toolbars installed while still being able to see (some) content of a web page.
38. You have no money that anyone could steal from you.
39. You never heard about identity fraud, social suicide and framing.
40. You are a good and honest person, no one would want to do you any harm…
All skepticism aside – even the most careful of users are vulnerable to viruses, spyware, adware, nagware, trojans, worms and other types of malware. Even if you think you browse carefully and only visit websites you trust, the website itself could be compromised. The people building malware are motivated by profit, and if they can’t steal from you directly, they’ll look for something that they can turn around and sell. This might be processing or network resources in your computer, but it might also be your social security number. Bottom line is, there is so much money involved in digital scams, identity theft, data breaches and other digital (or mobile!) fraud that creating and spreading malware is big business nowadays. Much of it is sold to or created by organized crime to capture financial information and other sensitive data.
Now, you may think: how many of these viruses are created by anti-virus companies to create a need for their products and drum up business? Well, you can read here that it is actually quite simple to prove that it’s technically impossible for anti-virus companies to manufacture the sheer volume of viruses produced. Good anti-malware software will simply create that extra layer of protection you need to stay safe in the digital world. As they say, prevention is better than treatment. Thus it is best to stop viruses and malware in their tracks before they wreak havoc. For basically $0.11 a day you can save yourself a lot of headache.
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Have a (headache-free) day!