What is an antivirus: a braking computer program, pumping money out of a naive user, or mandatory software? Let’s look at antivirus programs in today’s reality. Do we really need them!?

Antivirus or Windows UAC

Windows 7 and above have long been built into UAC (User Account Control Settings) protection in “Account Control.” This feature asks permission to run any program that requires the right of the Administrator. Under the admin, the program can make changes to the system, and the virus needs rights.

How to Turn User Account Control On or Off in Windows 10

Also, the presence of a publisher, i.e., a certified program developer, is checked. I think you’ve seen the windows with the question, “Allow this app from an unknown publisher to make changes on your device?”:

You don’t need to run apps without a publisher if you’re not sure what you’re doing. So the virus won’t be able to run on a computer with account controls on it!? Theoretically, the “terrible” virus will not be able to start WITHOUT YOUR WILL!

But in practice, many programs downloaded from the Internet do not have a publisher or still can be infected with a virus or rootkit. The application will require the administrator’s rights. Generally, we provide such accesses without hesitation. Even without an introduction to system files, these shameless viruses, advertising clickbait, spyware, and “malware” will be able to ruin lives or steal sensitive information.

Antiviruses check all the programs and files you run on the signatures of known malware and the presence of suspicious code using heuristic analysis.

Anti-Safe Browsing in the browser

Another major blow to antivirus developers is SafeBrowsing in chrome browsers: Google Chrome, Opera, Firefox, etc. When you download a file from the Internet, the browser checks with its database of suspicious sites and links and prevents you from running an infected program or opening an archive with harmful content. It’s a pretty reliable feature that always works “on the case,” not like UAC.

Moreover, browsers do not allow your consent to sites with viruses, showing the entire screen message of the appropriate nature. But the “safe surfing” feature is far from perfect and does not protect against all threats. For example, the ESET NOD32 antivirus protects against visiting dangerous sites even when the browser quietly misses.

The antivirus scans the data “on the fly,” i.e., in real-time, and not just checks the database of links, the information which is not complete.


Phishing is an old but still effective method of stealing username logins and passwords. It works simply:

  • A copy of the site that they want to steal is created;
  • Place a site on a similar domain. For example, if a site is called “internet.com,” the attackers will make it on the new intarnet.com domain, replacing one letter;
  • Then lured to the site under any pretext, for example, a new action of the developer with the help of a letter, framed on the corporate model;
  • A trusting visitor enters a login and password, receives some errors or a message about technical works, and forgets for a while;
  • The login and password remain in the database of scammers.

Therefore, it is recommended to use dual authentication using a mobile phone. Also, serious companies use additional checks on the new login device, the last IP address, etc. But the problem is relevant, and so far, it is struggling with antiviruses. For example, anti-phishing protection is in TotalAV.

If your computer is infected with a virus, you may be directed to a phishing site by editing the “hosts” file in Windows. Simply put, the hacker spells out a line in the “hosts” file that tells all browsers to switch instead of the original “personal account” to a fake one. For example, I can clearly distinguish a phishing site from the original one with the help of a password manager. The master of filling out the login and password allows you to fill the fields only on the site on which they were entered into the database, so I will not see the stored password on the front site. 

Is Windows Defender enough?

Starting with the eighth version, Windows Defender has been built into The Windies. “Windows Defender” is a good antivirus, automatically updated, free, fast. But, according to independent tests, it protects by 88%, while Kaspersky Antivirus gives 100%. In general, if you follow simple security rules when working on the computer, Windows Defender copes with the responsibilities of a fast home antivirus.

Built-in firewall in Windows

A firewall, a.k.a. a firewall, protects your computer from network attacks. These are not viruses, but these are security holes through which a hacker can download a virus to your computer or laptop. Windows 7,8,10 already have a decent firewall built-in, but as always, 100% protection will require third-party solutions with more flexible settings that are embedded in antiviruses.

Scanner or real-time check

There are two variants of scanning the computer for viruses: “on the fly” and manual scanning. Traditional antiviruses are always running and constantly scanning files and running processes. Plus – the highest security, minus – takes away some of the system resources, slows down the system.

When you’re manually scanning, you start the scanner whenever you want, for example, once a week. This will allow you to find viruses on the disk after the fact. It is only suitable for checking files on external media, flash drives, or to control its leading antivirus.

So should I use an antivirus?

To sum up, we can say this:

  • On versions of Windows 98, ME, XP, 2000 – antivirus is needed unequivocally;
  • If you’re on, “defender,” firewall, system updates Windows 8, 10, UAC, use Google Chrome – antivirus is not needed;
  • Suppose you have chosen paragraph 2 but are actively working on the Internet. In that case, you pass through documents from other people, or on the computer there is any necessary, dear to you or financial information, you need a regular antivirus.