Yes, but you don't necessarily need to pay for it. Take a look at the free versions of AVG or AVAST, that contain far more security protection than just AV. I wouldn't recommend Microsoft Security Essentials(MSE) until they release the completely new version. MSE consistently rated lower for protection or detection than either AVG or AVAST by independent security websites, and not by commercial publications.
I am of the opinion that you don't need them. I don't even use Avast. I use MS Security Essentials, no firewall. I run Glary Utilities every few weeks. I think its VERY important to have a hardware router/firewall between between your PC and the net to strip pthe IP addresses out when transferring data. Most name brand WAP's have this built-in.
I look at an anti-virus pretty much like my car/home insurance: a necessary evil. I've never had a virus or malware attack but if I do and my free anti-virus stops it, then it's worth the minimal hassle. I use MS Security Essentials and it seems to be pretty low overhead.
I've also been behind a router for the last decade, which helps. In fact I would recommend a good router even if you don't have a home network. Again, cheap insurance.
If you do a lot of online searches for warez, free game demos, celebrity info, free movie downloads, pron, etc., then you need all the anti-virus and malware protection you can get.
Those tales of 30 seconds virus attacks at companies may be accurate but do not equate for the home user. For a computer to be "infected with a virus" with just a brand new system and only the browser open and on a 'home page' could only mean that the router had zero protection and there was no firewall running. There aren't any home computers these days that fit that scenario just out of the box and with a new router. What might be more accurate is that a new computer might be attacked that many times, but the normal security stops them immediately.
I have been on the Net since the middle 90's with my home computer. I have never been attacked by a virus either with a download or just sitting on the net doing nothing. I probably do more downloads and search new sites than the normal user but I have never had a virus. But of course I get malware of the tracking type as every user gets even Linus and Macs.
Simplest things to do will keep almost all users from virus's.
1. Use Thunderbird to get you emails from every site.
2. Use MSE for virus protection.
3. Use Windows 7 for firewall.
4. Use ad blockers on your browser.
5. Never open an email with attachments unless you know it was coming.
6. Never respond to a browser popup ad and especially if it claims you have a virus on your system.
I just canceled McAfee and went with MSE. McAfee wanted $89.00 for three machines.
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I would not buy McAffee, not even if paid to do so,, I might buy Norton if paid to do so. I use either AVG or AVAST or Malware Bytes or one of the other free AV programs (Actually more than one of them) also Microsoft's malware removal tool.
You need mulitple ones but McAffee I will not buy.
I would rather not say why publically but I will not buy from them.
I will say this publically:
When the first mal-ware hit the web, a few companies, including McAffee, came out almost overnight with anti-virus programs...
I have often wondered if they were "Creating their own market".
From what I understand NORTON did not "Create his own market".
Nothin adds excitment like something that is none of your business
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I personally surfed for many years (about 15) without any realtime SW running. Over the past 2-3 years Ive been hit several times. Always been able to clean them up with MBAM and AVG and if they didnt work a system restore did work.
Your image restore (system restore) should be pretty simple and they do work. Just keep some Malware and AV programs handy for cleanup if you are hit.
See my sig for other ideas and links.
I was born in Great Falls, Mt. My parents moved when I was 5. I found them when I was 10 - they were in California.
naturist writes "My friend, I hate to tell you this, but if you are running any form of Windows on your home PC, and you are not also keeping an effective and up-to-date anti-virus running as well, and you EVER hook up to the internet, you are being irresponsible.
Folks running Macs and Linux think they are immune, and they are wrong, as recent news stories have made clear. So don't get smug, 'k?"
Sorry, I am not buying your story.
Just because you load your PC up to the gills with anti this and that software does not mean you are safe at all.
Malware, viruses, trojans, keylogers and so on can and DO easily get by those programs. I have PERSONALLY observed that happening.
For instance My company PC where I work has every known anti software installed and running, it is heavily firewalled to boot through the company network. I PERSONALLY had a virus get installed via Internet website right in front of my eyes.
My personal observation is do not use IE, after seeing my work PC crumble into a smoking helpless heap of garbage I learned that a better defense is to stop it before it launches.
While it still is not perfect and still can pose some security risks I feel confident that it is much more secure than running all those anti softwares.
Install them if it makes you feel better but honestly it is all smoke and mirrors and in the long run most likley you to will get hit.