The other day I was reading a couple of posts online about not using an Antivirus software, and still being able to fully enjoy a virus free experience. It has been a little over a year now since I stopped using any antivirus software. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love AV programs, and I was a huge supporter of BitDefender, but each software had its setbacks.
On top of all the fuss, I was and am still using Windows OS, which practically means that compared to Linux and Mac, you are prone to virus attacks any time of the day. By profession, I am an importer and a part time advisor in my friend’s company. I run into phone calls, people complaining on the other side about impaired PC performance, viruses, Trojans and malware attacks throughout the day.
Usually at the end of these phone calls, I often get these questions:
- Hey man, which antivirus software are you using?
- Which one’s the “best” antivirus software out there in the online market?
As per the standard protocol, I have to make a few suggestions – but honestly, hand to God, I am not using any antivirus. I do use Microsoft Security Essentials, but this is the “default” software that comes with Windows 7 and Windows 8. Have I ever installed another AV program, especially for the sake of protecting my PC against potential software threats? NO.
The end result after living an AV free life on the internet? I never got hijacked, never ran into Trojans, never got any spywares installed without my consent and I sure as hell know that it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Want to know my recipe? There are a couple of things you need to know to keep your computer’s health top notch.
How to avoid viruses, Trojans and spywares without installing any Antivirus?
- First rule is to keep changing your passwords on regular basis. Now I am not implying that you become a password changing fanatic, dive into these changes on weekly or bi-weekly basis. Just make it a ritual after 2 or 3 months. Maintain a password log somewhere and keep record of every tiny change you make to your online credentials.
- My current OS is Windows 8. It is Microsoft’s safest operating system to date. Windows 7 was good too and I know that by the time, something such as: Windows 9 is released, we’ll always praise the new release.
As of today, I am using Win 8’s built in Microsoft Security Essentials suite. I always perform upgrades. No, my Windows 8 is not pirated; it is original and I intend to keep it that way to get latest upgrades without any fusses.
Also, Windows 8 has the Microsoft Smart Screen application, which literally informs you about suspicious links. On the flip side, this application better suits Internet Explorer, but I am more of a Google Chrome guy, so my opinion about Smart Screen is so-so. I normally don’t rely on it that much.
- Use ad blocking software. I know that by recommending Ad Blocker, I am also warding off potential clients who would click my Amazon ads, but all is well that ends well. Your computer ‘s security is more important to me than a couple of Amazon affiliate marketing dollars in my account.
- Make a habit of “mousing over” links before clicking them. Like any other user, you end up with suspicious number of links; some of them are naked, while others are embedded as anchor text. Just mouse over this shit and see where the actual link/ URL is redirecting to. Do this BEFORE clicking the link(s).
- Am I using pirated movies and music? Yes, there are times when I download TV season episodes from PirateBay and iptorrents. However, I do this after looking the number of seeders/ leechers, and reading the comments about the uploaded content. Also take a look at the uploader’s profile; if it is credible, you can download movies and stuff easily.
On the same note, I do not recommend downloading software through pirated sources and torrents etc. While it is true that not all of these software possess viruses or self-installing 3rd party apps, there is always a possibility for it to happen.
The moral of the story is to keep your eyes open. Use common sense too; it is not very common these days, but use whatever common sense that’s available to you. Seriously, an antivirus program will always slow down your PC, tablet, laptop to some extent.
You will also need to frequently install updates, and using a cracked AV program is no good. If you are using a “cracked” antivirus program, uninstall it and buy the official release; at least you will be up to date with official patches and live support.
That is IF and only IF you are hell bent on using these programs. I, on the other hand, am enjoying each and every bit of my online and offline existence without the help of antivirus software. Feel free to share your thoughts through the comments section below.