Would You Recommend That a Novice User Install an Antivirus Program?

There is definitely no shortage of opinions when it comes to antivirus programs. Some users see them as a necessity while others see them as not really worth all the trouble. And recent news is reporting that some antivirus programs have critical vulnerability that can be exploited very easily.

This leads us to novice users. Should they be introduced to such software? Is it better for them to be safe or is that too much of a risk for people who may not understand what's going on with their computers? We asked our experts at Make Tech Easier, "Would you recommend that a novice user install an antivirus program?"

Our Opinion

Our writers are split on this issue. Christopher feels that Windows Defender is integrated into the OS and that it is "by far the least intrusive/performance-draining." Although he warns that users should still keep Malwarebytes to perform period scans and has found that the two have been "more than enough to secure my system."

As a Linux user Derrik would rather novice users just install Ubuntu and not have to deal with viruses. He believes a malware scanner or robust firewall and good permission sets would do more than a virus scanner. He doesn't believe antivirus programs offer any real protection and feels they are just placebos.


Damien agrees and says he would rather educate a novice user on what they should and should not open rather than rely on antivirus. As a Mac user Phil agrees, since viruses aren't so much of a problem on Macs. But he warns that users should still be aware so that you don't become a carrier and "pollute the water" for everyone. For that reason he uses Avast, as Christopher has, since there are Windows users sharing things with him.

I look at it this way. I think of my mother using her Windows computer. She was suckered into using an antivirus program that was actually a scam, and it caused her years of trouble on her system as she didn't have the education to know what she was dealing with. Like Damien, I'd rather educate those users so that they know how to proceed with safe computing for themselves and their system.

Your Opinion

Let us know how you feel about this topic. What are your feelings about novice users and antivirus programs? Are you a novice user yourself and unsure what you should do? Or are you an expert with definite opinions on the subject? Would you recommend that a novice user install an antivirus program? Let us know in the comments section below.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker - Contributor

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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