Do I need to install antivirus software?
Yes is the short answer. The long answer is dependent on which operating system you are running. Below I list the most popular operating systems. Some have built in antivirus software, some need it less than others, and some devices have no option at all.
Out of the box windows 7 came without any antivirus software at all. There is free anti virus software from Microsoft called ‘Windows security essentials’ but you have to download and install it yourself. Its pretty basic and there are better free options out there. I advise you move to windows 10 as soon as possible. If you are determined to use windows 7, I recommend you use one of the better free antivirus softwares below.
Windows 8 / Windows 10
Windows 8 shipped with a free antivirus software out of the box called windows defender, unlike windows 7 it is installed by default. The consensus is that its an adequate antivirus software, you will likely be better protected from the very latest threats by using a third party antivirus. Make sure you have upgraded to the latest windows 8.1 or better still I recommend moving to windows 10.
If you are running windows 10 and its fully up to date, you have the latest built in version of Microsoft’s antivirus software named ‘Windows defender security centre’ It’s superior to all previous versions and has added functionality, its the best built in windows antivirus yet. However, you may still want to consider installing a thirty party antivirus for extra features.
So which antivirus for windows?
Avast is the market leader, so they are a good place to start. Other good popular options include Avira, AVG and Bitdefender. They all have premium and a free option. The downside of the free versions are occasional annoying ads.
If you do not want to read and compare them for yourself, just grab the market leader here.
If you want to read more about other options, check here
If you are using a Mac you are far less likely to be infected with a virus, however its good practice to install one anyway. The market leader is Avast.
Apple mobile devices
Because of Apple’s closed nature the consensus is that you do not need antivirus software. Besides which there aren’t currently any antivirus apps for them because apple will not allow them into the app store. All apple store apps are screened prior to being allowed on the apple store, however, the problem with this model is although viruses for apple IOS are extremely rare, if a new sneaky antivirus did successfully make it on to your device, how would you know?
In general its a good idea to install an antivirus for android because unlike apple devices, there are 1000s of different android device some using very old insecure versions is a security nightmare. Unlike apple there are plenty of security packages to choose from. Here are some options.
Again avast is the leader
Further reading on other options
If you haven’t got an antivirus installed, install one. Make sure your operating system is the latest version for your device and make sure it is also fully up to date.
As always, I advise you to do your own research before following someones advice on the internet. The aim of this post was to the make you think about your security and point you in the right direction. Stay safe!