Though nobody gets enough courage to say that anti-viruses are dead, they definitely are dead – 100%.
A Sneak Peek into the History
There was a time, the early 90s till the 2000s, to be specific, when the internet was still a new thing to many people, and so were the anti-viruses. Though there were only a few anti-virus providers in the online security industry, the fame of these tools was still huge, especially amongst the parents as they didn’t want their children’s PCs and digital belongings to be damaged in any way.
The Rise of New-Era Security Tools
A decade later, there were not just the anti-viruses but all kinds of online security software and tools that had swamped the internet and eventually the computers of the masses. Though there was still so much confusion as to which user needs which tool, people were still buying this new breed of anti-viruses. The terms anti-malware, ad-blockers, proxy servers, network and packet layer filters were still new to a lot of people so as a result, many users ended up installing multiple tools in their computers. Now each computer had one anti-virus and one or more other type of security tools such as anti-malware, stand-alone firewalls, security suits and so on.
The Horrible Consequences
Now that the computer users had multiple security tools installed in their systems, the speed of their machines decreased significantly. That happened due to the high usage of computer’s memory, which was now handling excessive applications that not only ran at the startup but performed regular scans and other activities too. Some users eventually decided to uninstall the anti-virus, while some chose to get rid of the other security tools. Whatever happened, happened for one and only one reason; to once again have a computer that would function.
Who Won, Who Lost?
Now, who lost? All those users who either uninstalled their anti-viruses or other tools such as anti-malware, ad-blockers, firewalls, etc. without thinking technically. Yes, they all lost the battle against the supreme force of cyber threats. So was there anyone who won? Yes, there was. It was the people who sat down and critically analyzed each of the online security tools before determining which software to keep and which one to get rid of.
Since many anti-viruses came with the abilities to not only kill basic viruses and Trojans but to exterminate bigger threats such as malware etc. too, these tools were still very handy. So the best bet was to compare various anti-viruses with other types of security tools and then keep a combination of two tools e.g. anti-virus + anti-malware or something similar. The key was to get certain set of features from one tool and certain other options from the other. Those who were able to crack this formula were the winners and remained winners for many years to come.
Why Do Anti-Viruses Suck?
They Take Forever to Finish Scanning
Anti-viruses are bad for just about any machine, be it a PC, laptop, smartphone or a tablet. First off, they require a lot of scanning on a regular basis that will interrupt your day to day online activities. If you have to shut down or restart your system for any reason, the scanning will start from the beginning. This has always been a highly frustrating situation for everyone. I literally punched my computer screen once as the scanning would go on for 2 hours straight! I had multiple hard drives installed in my system, which made the situation even worst.
They Make Everything Sluggish
This one is quite obvious. When high-end computers were extremely expensive, having antiviruses installed in the systems was an act of the bravest. Viruses travel through removable devices, CDs, DVDs as well as the networks (intranet) and the Internet, so everyone always had to make sure they had an anti-virus installed on their machine no matter how cheap their system was in terms of system specs. Result, frustrating digital experience.
Some of them are Viruses Themselves
It’s not a groundbreaking news unless someone lives under a rock. Many anti-viruses were designed to infect the users’ machines instead of protecting them from various threats. Why such software were made requires another blog post as the debate will be extensive, so I’m leaving it for some other day. What I can tell you now, though, is that some of these many virus-injecting anti-viruses were actually made by some of the most famous and trustable companies. Scary stuff, right! It scared the hell out of me when I found out about it for the first time.
So Why and When did the Anti-Viruses Die?
When The Smartness Kicked In
Anti-viruses didn’t die today, or yesterday, for that matter. They died a while ago. It was not long after the new millennium i.e. year 2000. This was when people started realizing that the anti-viruses are over-rated. The realization came about because people had gotten smarter. Their exposure to technology was wider than ever, all thanks to the reach to the internet at their fingertips. Knowledge is power. Period.
At the Dawn of the VPN
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks have been there for decades now. They weren’t widely used amongst the masses, but they did exist, and those who used them knew that this was just the security solution the world had been waiting for. The VPN’s hid users’ IPs and encrypted their data which eventually gave them protection against all kinds of cybercrimes and criminals. So the biggest threat was now being taken care of. What was left now was the necessary protection against viruses, malware and pop-up ads, which was taken care by the super-efficient VPNs that came later on in time, OneVPN being one of them.
How Did OneVPN or Any other VPN Save the Day?
Now that the smarter internet users knew that VPNs are the best security and anonymity solution, the VPN providers started offering additional security services which worked right from within the VPN apps. Today, quite a many VPNs come with add-ons such as NAT Firewall and Anti-Malware. If we talk about OneVPN, it revolutionized the VPN industry with its feature-packed security services i.e. Anti-Malware, Ad-Blocker, NAT Firewall and so on. So now that the VPN itself provided all the tools to protect the users, no need of multiple security tools was left.
Just this morning, I was skimming through some forums created on the apocalypse of anti-viruses and read something interesting, to which I 100% agree. It should sum the whole Anti-Viruses are Dead discussion up:
“The best ANTIVIRUS is your BRAIN. So, trust that only.”