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Are Antivirus Programs Effective in Protecting Your PC?

Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller – Tech Enthusiast & Security Expert – June 18th, 2022

Are antivirus programs effective in protecting your PC

When we think of cyber security, we only think of one way: maintaining an antivirus program on our computers; However, you may wonder, are antivirus programs effective in protecting your pc? Some people believe that antivirus protection is just to prevent computer viruses.

Still, the fact is that a decent antivirus application may help secure your devices in a variety of ways. But do you need all that security, and are antivirus programs even helpful in your situation? There is a lot of misunderstanding out there since so many antivirus programs are available, and various security professionals have varying opinions on the subject.

Continue reading the post, and I’ll show you how to determine whether your antivirus is helpful or ineffective for you.

Are Antivirus Programs Effective in Protecting Your PC?​ - Summary

Are Antivirus Programs Effective? Let's Look at the History of Antivirus

The first virus was invented in 1971 by a software engineer named Bob Thomas of BBN Technologies

The first virus was invented in 1971 by a software engineer named Bob Thomas of BBN Technologies in the United States as an experiment conducted dubbed the Creeper. Later, Ray Tomlinson, a computer scientist who worked with Bob Thomas, created a new Creeper variant that copied itself as it went over the network. Ray Tomlinson then built another software called the Reaper to eradicate the Creeper from the networks, and it was effective in removing this self-replicating Creeper code.

As a result, The Creeper and the Reaper get regarded as the first virus and antivirus, and we now have hundreds of harmful code and antivirus solutions at our disposal. As a simple understanding, programmers caused the problem in the first place by coding a viral code and then developing an antivirus tool to combat it. So, one thing is clear, you’ll need something to eliminate harmful code if you come across it, but should it be an antivirus? We’ll see in a bit.

How Antivirus Works

Antivirus software gets regarded as a potent piece of software or a tool for defending yourself from rising cyber threats. Different antivirus programs function differently but always work by analyzing incoming files or code as it passes across your network.

All scanned files match a particular code set to information kept in the manufacturer’s virus signature database, which is updated regularly to keep up with new difficulties. However, while each manufacturer has its unique approach, the end goal is the same for all. It safeguards you from any problems with leaking sensitive data, information, or even your finances.

And, as attacks on our everyday gadgets become more sophisticated. Knowing whether are antivirus programs effective, as the device makers already promise that their products are secure. Once you’ve figured out what your device’s OS security tiers are. Only then will you be able to decide whether you require antivirus protection right now or not

Are Antivirus Programs Effective? Answered!

are antivirus programs effective

As previously stated, harmful malware to exploit people on many gadgets has existed in the past, and the trend has resurfaced today even more. As a result, antivirus is the antidote, and the answer to the question “Are Antivirus Programs Effective?” is unquestionable yes! However, we might disagree that all antivirus software is made equal. Modern malware is very complex, unexpected, and designed to defy detection by antivirus software.

Fact: Every day, 560,000 new elements of malware get discovered, according to data. Over 1 billion of these malicious codes are currently on the market.

So, is it enough to have peace of mind and improved security if you have chosen the best antivirus to receive 100% protection? One thing to remember is that an antivirus program can protect you from most dangers. Even though no one antivirus solution is 100 % successful in detecting and removing malware. It is still efficient for most parts, depending on your antivirus. Thus the answer to the question “Are Antivirus Programs Effective?” will still be a yes. But still, antivirus gets considered useless, according to 24% of users not using any antivirus in a statistics shared by

Fact: In the previous 12 months, 7.4% of users using purchased antivirus software got affected by malware.

Antivirus Programs Effectiveness – Experts Disagreeing

are antivirus programs effective in keeping your PC safe

As we’ve seen, antivirus software is essential in keeping you safe. However, many cybersecurity experts believe that viruses are no longer the most serious threat to most users since operating systems now update themselves automatically.

Third-party antivirus software for personal computers gets no longer considered adequate. It’s because they feel that as hackers, they target average computer users rather than those with the most effective security practices. As a result, antivirus software is usually ineffective against hackers.

According to these experts, users should instead focus on creating unique passwords that are tough for automated algorithms to guess. Use two-factor authentication, allowing users to authenticate their identities using their phones. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on antivirus companies, work on establishing barriers for hackers.

So, to maintain these experts’ viewpoints, let’s simply say that answer to “Are Antivirus Programs Effective?” will depend on the operating system you’re using, as discussed below

Is Built-In PC Security Enough?

Although both Mac and Windows have built-in security protocols, you should still use an antivirus because attacks are becoming more common these days. Even though the Mac has long got seen to be safer and more secure than Windows for various reasons, Mac-specific threats are also on the rise

Windows Defender, a built-in antivirus program in Windows 10, protects against malware. It has developed over time and now defends against malicious attempts quite well. On the other hand, Macs have several built-in security protections to secure your machine and data from intruders. The measures include the Mac Malware Removal Tool and XProtect antivirus protection.

With built-in protection, as discussed above, antivirus gets still required even if you’re using a Mac or a Windows computer. You’ll also need a third-party antivirus for complete endpoint protection against malware, possibly undesirable apps, and cyber attacks

Note: Overall, Mac OS is more secure than Windows and has complete control over software and hardware. In contrast, Windows must get tailored to a wide range of manufacturers and models.

Is Mobile Security Built-In OS Security Enough?

Many people are unprepared for the dangers of utilizing their cellphones as a single hub for all their vital data. While users are responsible for safe behavior, device and software makers also have a role to play in creating secure platforms.

Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices frequently run one of these major operating systems: iOS, Windows Phone OS, Symbian, and Android. Mobile security ought to be a key consideration for each smartphone user, and each operating system has unique security features.

On the other hand, hackers and cyber thieves constantly update their skills. It is where all operating system manufacturers are fighting growing dangers. Some are more concerned with security, while others may lack functionality. So, let’s have a look at these available operating systems.

iOS Security

Because both iPads and iPhones use the iOS operating system, neither device requires antivirus software. Because applications do not have the authority to monitor processes and files on the iPhone, these Apple devices are logically safe and extremely tough to infect. Because of the tight space of iOS, any antivirus tool for iOS is unnecessary.

Even some of the most well-known antivirus solution providers do not offer any services for iOS customers. It indicates that the answer to your inquiry about are antivirus programs effective in iOS cases is a resounding negative. Only in one other situation, if you jailbreak your iOS device. In that case, your device will be vulnerable to attacks and on your own without Apple’s protection.

Android, Windows Phone, & Symbian Security

Typical viruses do not infect any device operating system. However, it got known that specially crafted viruses infiltrate these operating systems and harm the users. The biggest problem arises when a user is careless at their end and has a file or program on their device that might jeopardize the entire system.

When it comes to Android does not permit downloading apps from unknown sources by default; therefore, the chances of installing malicious software are little to none. However, without rooting the OS, the user still has permission to enable it to get set. So, if you’re following the same procedures, in that case, you’ll require antivirus software because, in your case, it all relies on how you use your smartphone. Similarly, Windows and Symbian OS have high-security restrictions. However, they may still get affected by an SD card, unwanted apps, WI-FI, and Bluetooth.

Antivirus Market Shares and Statistics

Here are some of the more fascinating statistics among the currently available antivirus. With these figures, there is no question that the antivirus market will continue to grow.

  • Antivirus software gets presently used by 77 % of Americans. Around 50 million households currently have antivirus software, with another 30 million using free antiviruses.
  • Over the last two years, the cybersecurity sector has exploded, according to preliminary data. Symantec Corporation will have a 13.16 % market share for antivirus products in 2020. Avast came in second with 11.93%, while ESET came in third with 11.03%. Global security software revenue reached 49.7 billion dollars in 2020.

Top Antivirus Options for Your Protecting Your PC

Here are some of the most popular antivirus programs as per their market shares based on revenue.


Symantec’s Norton 360 is an all-in-one protection package for the consumer market that gets widely regarded as one of the best security applications available. It has a high detection rate for malware and provides superb real-time security. Norton’s award-winning products cover a wide range of areas and protect more than 80 million people worldwide. Norton includes a no-limits VPN and a full-featured parental management system that would cost a lot of money if you but separately. In addition, it has multi-platform security, backup storage, and a slew of other security features.

Overall, Norton is an average-cost, high-security deal. You may also use Norton 360’s Lifelock service to gain additional benefits. Norton antivirus is not only safe for everyone to use, but it also has a lengthy history of detecting viruses perfectly for its users.


As proven by its millions of users and global presence, Avast has one of the most popular free antivirus products. Avast Antivirus software will ensure that your machine is completely protected. Avast has received several honors and excellent ratings in real-world exposure in AV-Tests. What I like best about Avast is that it includes many functions even in its free edition. With a tiny premium subscription, you can get even more.

These features range from essential to specific, catering to many premium features, not just average users. Most of the time, the free version is sufficient. Avast has 435 million monthly active users. A skilled workforce with 30 years of expertise stops 1.5 billion cyberattacks every month


ESET With cutting-edge technology and powerful machine intelligence, you can protect every part of your digital life. ESET, situated in Bratislava, Slovakia, is an eastern European firm with a reputation for being among the most secure antivirus solutions on the market. ESET is a secure antivirus that does a great job of defending your devices from all types of cyber threats. It comes with a full protection package as well as extra internet security. ESET’s technology protects 400k commercial clients in 200 countries and territories, with 110 million users. So, whatever you choose online, use ESET Internet Security to keep yourself safe.

Additional Tips to Keep Your PC Safe

Since antiviral is something you must choose whether or not to purchase, keep these tips in mind to help you stay secure online.

Are Antivirus Programs Effective in Protecting Your PC? - Bottom Line

I’ve covered a lot of ground regarding antivirus and shown why it’s still important in today’s cyber security. Antivirus software can’t completely secure a computer, but that doesn’t imply it’s not vital. You need to install third-party antivirus protection to keep yourself safe by adding an extra layer of security to the OS’s built-in security. However, consider that antivirus is only one aspect of cyber security, not the entire picture.

The least you could do would be to make yourself a difficult target by engaging in better cyber practice and purchasing an appropriate antivirus product. You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars; many free antivirus options are also available.

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Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller

IT Consultant at Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller is an IT Consultant for Online Cloud Security and has over 7 years of experience in the Information Technology space. He also specializes in repairing laptops & computers. In his spare time, he loves to talk about new technologies and hosts monthly IT and Cyber Security meetings in the Houston area.

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About Online Cloud Security:

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

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Online Cloud Security Logo (500x500px)

About Online Cloud Security

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts: