How important is antivirus software?

man shouting at his computer in frustration

How Antivirus Software Benefits You

Have you ever wondered why antivirus software is important? COVID, a human-contracted virus, all but stopped the world from spinning. Imagine what it would be like if a computer virus got into every computerized thing in our lives. 

In today’s world, technology is what sustains us, from the cell phone alarm that wakes us up each day to the computer controlling our security system when we go to bed. In between those, there are computers involved in our everyday life, even if we may not realize it. Without antivirus software installation in our computers, our world wouldn’t quit spinning, but it would certainly slow way down. 

What are computer viruses?

Just like we wonder about this COVID virus and so many others that exist, don’t you wonder what computer viruses are? A computer virus is a malicious code or program that is written by humans with ill intent. They write these codes and programs to alter how a computer operates. They are designed to spread between computers through shared files and networks by affixing or inserting themselves into what appears to be a legitimate document or program. 

So where do these viruses come from, how do computer viruses spread, and just as important, why do computer viruses exist? Many computer viruses spread via mass-emailing of “worms” that open up doors to Botnets. From there, cybercriminals emerge and they push out Botnets of infected malware. That malware gives these cybercriminals, aka hackers, control of computers. They use that control to take over bank information, credit cards, and even Social Security numbers, all for their own financial gain. Antivirus software installation is designed to stop the viruses that cybercriminals develop.  

Now, with that short lesson on how computer viruses work, you may be wondering how antivirus software works. With antivirus software installation, a computer scans all incoming codes and files that are passed through network traffic. Antivirus software companies assemble an extensive database of known malware and viruses, and then “teach” this antivirus software they’ve designed to detect, flag, and remove the virus before it can do any harm. 

Can antivirus software remove viruses?

Yes and no. Antivirus software installation is just a step in the prevention of computer viruses. Antivirus software will prevent virus-corrupted files from being downloaded onto computers and try to prevent any virus from activating if it does get past the antivirus. 

So, no it isn’t removing the virus-laden file, but it does a good job of stopping the viruses from being downloaded. However, some viruses can still get past the defenses granted by antivirus software installation, though not without being flagged as malware. After that, the malware software installation will remove it. In essence, antivirus software installation is Robin, and malware software installation is Batman. The duo works together in keeping our computers safe from the evil doings of cybercriminals and computer hackers.

Can you still get a computer virus with antivirus software? 

Yes, even with the best of the best antivirus software installation and malware installation, there are viruses that can get past them and cause havoc. Fortunately, there are computer virus removal software programs available to save the day. You can protect a computer by installing an antivirus program designed to clean computer systems safely of any virus that has made it way past Batman and Robin. However, there are specific conditions that have to be adhered to for these programs to run effectively and safely. 

What types of computer viruses are out there?

Just like humans, computers catch viruses that spread from one to another until there is a mass infection. Some of the most common computer viruses that IT specialists are constantly battling are: 


The resident virus sets up shop in the RAM part of a computer and interferes with the system’s operations. This sneaky virus can even attach to anti-virus software. 


The multipartite virus infects the whole system and spreads by executing unsanctioned actions on the computer operating system, folders, and the installed programs.


This virus functions by targeting specific file types, typically .exe files (executable files). It does this by duplicating and infecting files. Fortunately, because it has a targeted nature it is easy to detect with antivirus software installations and easy to remove.


This virus can infect the browser on a computer, redirecting the user to malicious websites. However, it is another virus that is easily detected by antivirus software installations. 


As indicated by the name, this virus will overwrite the content of files and infect all the folders, files, and computer programs installed on a computer.


This virus is sneaky and disguises itself within ads, coding of links, images, videos, and even site code. It can infect computer systems when a user downloads malicious files or visits a malicious website.


Like the Direct Action virus, this virus targets .exe files (executable files) and slows down programs, causing system file damage when the programs are run by a user. 


This virus travels through network connections, replicating through shared resources.


This virus is easy to avoid as it hides in the files on email attachments or on a USB drive. If it gets activated, it infects the master boot record and damages the system.

What computer virus is the worst?

What costs American businesses over $100 billion dollars each year? Computer viruses! This is why companies are hiring the best IT specialists to implement the best antivirus software installation possible. While all of this costs money, they can’t afford to not be vigilant. Ten of the worse computer viruses in recent times have been:

  • Code Red
  • Melissa
  • Storm Trojan
  • Sasser
  • My Doom
  • Zeus
  • Conficker
  • Stuxnet
  • CryptoLocker
laptop being checked with a stethoscope

In Closing

All of this helpful information can be confusing and overwhelming. If you don’t have an IT specialist on your team, you’re probably wondering, “How do I choose antivirus software?” The perfect scenario is to choose an antivirus software installation that is lightweight, meaning it won’t slow your computer down but will offer a high rate of detection while blocking anything malicious. Here are a few tips on what is important in an antivirus software installation: 

  • Database of Known Malware – Without this database, your antivirus software installation won’t know what to look for.
  • Update Automatically – An antivirus software installation should have automatic updates to keep things clean. Choose one that updates quickly and frequently. 
  • Removes Malware – Robin’s job isn’t complete if Batman doesn’t do his job.
  • Ransomware Protection – Choose an antivirus software installation that comes with this protection to keep your files from being encrypted by unwanted cybercriminals.
  • File Shredder – “Delete” doesn’t really get rid of files – you probably know that, right? You want your antivirus software installation to include a file shredder to actually clear the files that you don’t need or want anymore.
  • Firewall – Choose an antivirus software installation that will scan internet traffic for any incoming threats. After that, Robin and Batman can concentrate on the things that got through and not worry about what’s coming in.

Other features an antivirus software installation should include are DNS protection and password manager. Browser protection, System Optimization, Phishing protection, and Antispam are good to have too.