Do I really need an antivirus?
Short answer.. No. Same as you don’t need to be immunised against polio, measles, cervical cancer, or any other disease or virus. If you are willing to take the chance its really up to you.
So how is a virus spread?
You may be surprised to know that you do not need the internet to get a virus. These things have been around long before the internet was available to the public. Without the internet there is really only one way that you are going to get a virus. That is by putting something into your unprotected machine that has been in an infected machine.
The most common thing these days being USB flash drives. If someone has a flash drive that is infected and plugs it into your machine there is a pretty good chance that your unprotected pc is about to get a dose. Their are many types of virus that do not even require you to open anything on the flash drive. Just plug it in and you’re done.So how about CD’s and DVD’s ?
Same deal. If someone copies something from their infected machine to a CD or DVD and then puts it in your unprotected machine, once again you are done.
What about computers that ARE connected to the internet?
Well here is another piece of bad news for you. You don’t need to be actively USING the internet to get a virus. Just connected to it. Which is pretty much most machines in places with Broadband (DSL, ADSL, NBN). There is a type of virus that is “Web Aware” which means it is out there actively hunting for machines to infect. This is where a “Firewall” comes in. The Firewall on your computer is designed to stop any access to your machine from another machine without your permission. With Microsoft Windows machines, Firewalls became standard since Windows XP. So in theory as long as your Firewall is on you are safe from this type of virus. Unfortunately some types of virus once in your machine will disable your Firewall. I’m just a fountain of good news hey.
So now we are down to the more common ways to get a virus.
– An infected email attachment
– Visiting an infected web site
– Clicking on a malicious link
– Clicking on a link in an email taking you to an infected web site
– Downloading an infected file (music, video, photo) or program
The number 1 way that I have found computers get infected is by kids going to cheat sites to conquer their games. So once again cheaters don’t really prosper.