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QOTW: do you use antivirus software?

by Parm Mann on 9 June 2008, 11:11

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qanl7

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This week's question turns to software, and we ask, do you still use antivirus software?

Though the exact origin of antivirus software is still in debate, the first product is believed to have been released in 1987. Just three years later, approximately 20 antivirus products were on offer from the likes of Norton and McAfee.

Today, antivirus software has evolved dramatically and exists to combat a wider breadth of threats, including viruses, phishing attacks, malware and spyware.

But is antivirus software essential? Though many users believe the protection to be as essential as a car seat-belt, there is now a growing number of users who believe otherwise.

More knowledgeable users have begun to realise that safe computing practises are essential, and the days of being duped by enticing emails are long gone for the tech-savvy.

In addition, antivirus software has been known to hamper the performance of many computer systems, resulting in various solutions being deemed as bloatware. To further compound that fact, a few antivirus solutions have recently been accused of containing spyware and adware.

In late 2006, prior to the public release of Windows Vista, Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, had claimed that he was comfortable allowing his seven-year-old son to use Microsoft's flagship operating system without additional antivirus software. He stated that Vista's new security features, including parental controls and Address Space Layout Randomisation, had somewhat negated the requirement of additional protection.

On platforms such as Linux and Mac, many users feel that a lack of threats (compared to Windows) leaves no purpose for antivirus software.

Nonetheless, antivirus software is widely available - and in many cases, completely free of charge. Certain packages require little in terms of system resources and run quietly in the background without interference to the user. With such packages available, is antivirus a no-brainer?

There's no shortage of pros and cons to both sides of the argument, but we thought we'd pass the question to our tech-savvy audience. So, dear readers, do you use antivirus software? Let us know in our community poll and share your thoughts in our forums.

Previous question's of the week

26th May 2008: do you take the time to exercise?
19th May 2008: are UK speed limits out of date?

14th May 2008: do you still use an alarm clock?


HEXUS Forums :: 34 Comments

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NOD32 :) Though I have to admit, that its been a long time since it flagged anything. Guess I'm just more cautious now.

The only time it has recently was someone else getting an MSN virus and trying to send it to me. TBH if a mate of mine from London suddenly starts speaking in really broken English and wants to send me lots of dodgy looking files, it gives me a hint ;)
NOD32 here as well :) Its a great program, uses such a small amount of resources you hardly notice its there. I also haven't had anything flagged for quite a while now but caution is best as in-between purchasing licences I got a virus :(
It’s been a long time since I last had a major virus or trojan resulting from my own activity. However I still need an anti virus just in case I receive files from family and friends who are not as careful as me :)
I have no antivirus software on my PC. Frustrates me more than anything so… Computers been living fine without it.
Norton, actually.
I don't see why everyone bashes it, I don't see it taking up TOO much RAM, plus I have a lot to go around anyway.