Are Antivirus and Firewall Sufficient for Good Security?

Whenever people talk about computer and internet security, they talk about malware which consists of virus, trojan, worms, spyware and many more. When they come to talk about the solution for those threats, the solution is to get an antivirus and firewall to do the work.

The question now is, are they sufficient for a good computer and internet security? I would say ‘No’. It is very irresponsible to put the blame into that awesome software when you become a victim of malware infection. I believe that software like antivirus and firewall are there to help you in achieving good security, but not creating some sort of plasma shield to you.

The reasons why you have a poor security

As I said, you can’t blame the software for being too poor as the reason that you to get infected. Part of the reason why you are infected can be several below.

You are too careless when handling incoming links from email

Incoming links from emails especially from an unknown sender are usually malicious. They don’t lead to valuable site but either phishing site or malicious site. If you happen to land on a malicious site, your computer will most probably infected with virus, trojan, or worm the next minute.

If you don’t update and patch your operating system, the wounded area is the target for hackers

Sad to say, there is no such thing such as perfect software. Software is always 95% complete where 5% is the section for bugs and vulnerabilities to exist. It is the matter of time whether those vulnerabilities are found.

If the creator happened to find those vulnerabilities before the bad guys, they will still able to patch the wounded area. So if you don’t update and apply the patch, you will the one targeted by hackers to exploit your vulnerabilities.

You are the owner of your computer, not the administrator

Many of us think that being the owner of the computer means being the administrator as well. But do you know that Microsoft did not design it this way for us? There is an option to create a Standard User and there is User Account Control (UAC) so that we will use our computer in the way that we don’t have full privileges to do everything, same goes to the hacker.

A set of keysBy having a strict UAC, you will realize that every single time you run an application that might affect your System files, you will be asked for permission. The benefit here is, if a hacker tries to run an application to harm your system files, I bet you will know it as well when your UAC pops up.

My verdict to poor security

Having a bad security does not mean your antivirus is not efficient enough or your firewall is not solid enough. At times, it is the user who lacks of experience in handling computer threats. As a result, it is important to always stay alert whenever you are browsing the internet.

If you want to learn more about security, you can grab my copy of eBook for free on how to Build Your Own Security.

19 thoughts on “Are Antivirus and Firewall Sufficient for Good Security?

  1. Cancelling an update to access your email a little faster is foolhardy, as you may well have the latest incarnation of a virus waiting to appear in your inbox. It is not the software that are to be blamed, the way we use our computer are more likely the culprit.

  2. Hi Alan,

    Agreed with points, Having antivirus and firewall installed on your computer doesn’t mean that you’re totally secure and surf internet carelessly.

    It’s always better to visit sites on which you’ve trust, don’t just open any url which has been mentioend in your email. Use pop-up blocker on your browser so that annoying and dangerous pop-up can be blocked.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Can you not trust me Alan?

      All I need is you to put £500 to be put into my overseas bank account 😉
      Just kidding 🙂

  3. I repeatedly find that my search engine has been changed from Google when I go on these sites that allow me to watch football online. Then I have to go into the tools section of Google chrome and re-set it. I do know the problem though and it is easy to resolve, but several blogs told me to buy different antivirus and firewall software stating that it was a difficult problem to resolve, which is not the truth. So even blogs, that we may think of as reliable, give misleading information.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      If you are running Windows 7, I believe their is a way to force programs/services to ask before they change your default providers…

  4. Several times it was me who crashed my laptop as I was too careless about the unknown software that I took from the Internet. It gave me good lessins when I lost several important files of work I had been doing for a long time. Now I am too careful even thinking about the best antivirus systems and not surfing strange sites.

  5. Having an antivirus program installed and firewall turned on are not sufficient anymore. It may also be advised to have an anti-spyware program installed. There are some spyware that may not be picked up by antiviruses. Updating the OS as necessary is always advised as well.

  6. I will never say that a particular anti-virus or firewall is the best because I have used many of them and found that several times they are unable to detect or stop a virus in the PC. Like a common virus “NewFolder.exe”, when scanned with some anti-virus shows “No Virus”. So better follow some steps mentioned in this article or on the web to atleast stop them to enter in your PC.

    • That is a common infection for Windows XP/Server 2003. You can still see the infection in Windows Vista and above, but I don’t think it will infect new machine. I solve that problem from infecting my machine by ‘explore’ the usb flash drive everytime instead of ‘double-click’ to open.

  7. Security online is a big issue. I think your advice to always be wary of links that are sent to you via email is a good idea. I will even ignore links from people that I know unless they specifically talk to me about them and I know what they are before I open them. I mean, how many videos of a dancing kitten do I need to see anyway?

    Probably just as important, as you pointed out, is the UAC. Sometimes it’s a little more work to have to enter a password, but in the end you’re safer.

    Thanks for the information!

  8. Hi Alan

    Great post, but to answer very simply to your headline the response is No. In addition nothing is sufficient. Just like when Apple bring out their new iPhone it becomes behind the times within weeks if not days and new technology is out there to surpasse it, the very same happens with the hackers and cyber terrorists. They will always be one step ahead and in the case of viruses and malware it is not possible to always be one step ahead of every malicious programmer out there, it is just impossible.
    As you and some other comments quite rightly say, all we can do is to be vigilant, keep installing the updates and be ever watchful and mindful when on the internet or opening links the same as one would on the streets, there are muggers in the real world and there are people out to get you in the cyber world too.
    Conclusion – We can never be safe from these attacks, we can only be prepared and protected against the currently known dangers.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      I agree with your point Nick, Antivirus and Firewall are not always sufficient, from his article, it would seem that Alan accepts this too 🙂

      Hopefully his tips can help keep more people safe online!

      Thanks for the comment Nick, welcome to the Technology Bloggers commenting community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  9. Alan, this is an excellent post for me as I just came across a virus which completely destroyed my PC.

    I just bought a Mac ’cause I was told that they do not require to have an antivirus, but…is this safe? is this true? It might be that I’ve used PCs my whole life (with antivirus installed) that makes me feel insecure.

    Anyway, I think it’s a big business selling antivirus software and companies like Norton might have a group of programmers developing all these viruses LOL

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Sorry to here about your virus, I hope your Mac solves your problems!

      Thanks for adding your view and welcome to the blog 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

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