Antivirus – The Myths and The Reality

Although having smart digital habits are an important line of cyber-defense, antivirus solutions are another important tool for data security. Yet, when it comes to antivirus software, users tend to be extreme in their assumptions. Some believe that installing an antivirus is the only thing that protects data from being hijacked. Other users don’t install antivirus software due to absurd myths. To help ensure your data is protected, we will discuss some common antivirus myths and facts.

Five Common Antivirus Myths

Myth 1: Macs Can’t Get Viruses

This myth probably best explains why many (almost 50% of internet users in the US!!) people don’t use antivirus. Some time ago it was common to assume that Mac computers were secure, hence there was no need for antivirus protection. It is important to understand that hackers primarily target systems that are favored by users. Over the past few years, Apple products became more popular worldwide, which only made them more appealing to hackers. Remember – NO operating system is 100% secure. 

Myth 2: Antivirus Is Too Expensive

This is just incorrect. There are plenty of free antivirus software for both Windows (i.e. AVG AntiVirus, Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition, Avira Antivirus, etc.) and Mac machines (i.e. Avast Free Mac Security, Avira Free Antivirus for Mac, Bitdefender Virus Scanner for Mac, Malwarebytes for Mac, etc.) Just like paid antivirus, these free programs download updates to protect your devices and strengthen your overall cybersecurity. Although it might not be as effective as a paid antivirus, having an additional security layer will help your device to stay secure.  

Myth 3: Free Antivirus Software Does Not Provide Adequate Protection

As we mentioned, installing a free antivirus software is better than having none. Yet, it is important to understand that paid antivirus software will have extended features and protects your family and computers in multiple ways. For instance, one of the best antivirus software – Bitdefender Internet Security – cost around 60$ per year and includes features like parental control, file encryption, two-way firewall, anti-spam screening, and webcam and microphone protection. 

Myth 4: Antivirus Slows Down Your Computer

Some antivirus programs do utilize more resources than others, but as a whole will not cause any speed issues on your device. First of all, antivirus programs allow you to schedule your full device scan so it only makes sense to have this run during your off-peak usage hours. Second, real time checks and balances have little to no impact on real-time usage. While there are periodic encounters where your AV software may block the installation of software that you know is OK, most will ask you if you want to “allow” specific programs to be installed and will simply walk you through the process. The biggest fear of AV is to not have it running on your device.

Myth 5: Antivirus Provides Ultimate Protection From Cyber Attacks

Considering the rapid evolution and frequency of cyber attacks, there is no single solution to protect yourself from hackers. Antivirus is just one level of protection in the war on cyber criminals. Anti-Malware, firewalls, and other layers all work together to provide you with the best effort to keep your digital world safe.

Antivirus Tips 

  • If you can’t afford a paid antivirus make sure to install a reputable free antivirus solutions
  • Always have antivirus (paid or free) installed and kept up to date on your computer, even if you use Mac
  • Make sure to layer your security approach by using additional security tools (i.e. firewall, anti-malware, training, etc.) – no antivirus can completely secure your computer

We began working with Optimized Computer Solutions and Joe Goldstein nearly 2 years ago. If you have a physician practice and are needing IT support, this is the company to work with! Joe’s background in HIPAA compliance, coupled with his knowledge of medical practices and networking systems is second to none! We’ve made many strides in the right direction assuring our network is not only secure but that we also run efficiently. When a computer or networking issue arises, OCS is timely and knowledgeable in helping to resolve the issue. As a Practice Administrator, my team is grateful for the working relationship and support we receive from OCS!

Lisa BendtLisa Bendt, Practice Administrator

Joe, with Optimized Computer Solutions, is the consummate professional who is not only easy to work with but incredibly knowledgeable in technology solutions. Running a business is hard enough by itself and being able to hand over the IT component has been invaluable to making my business run. Joe has been able to trouble shoot, fix and offer solutions that have saved my business time and money. I would highly recommend Joe and Optimized Computer Solutions to any business in need of superior IT help and solutions.

Heather HoltzingerHeather Holtzinger, CFP®, Principal

Optimized Computer Solutions, under the direction and ownership of Joe Goldstein, RESCUED our 12 physician, 8 office Otolaryngology practice. We were faced with a dysfunctional money losing situation and needed to make a change. We were successfully guided through this process under an extremely tight timeline. We came through this difficult experience on time and under budget.

Stephen P GadomskiStephen P Gadomski, MS, MD, FACS Managing Member

With the guidance and support from OC Solutions, I am more confident then ever that my organization is prepared for the multitude of threats that we as healthcare providers are exposed to on a daily basis.

Liam Dowling, Regional Operations Manager, ENT Associates of South FloridaLiam Dowling, Regional Operations Manager

I cannot recommend Joe Goldstein and the OC Solutions team highly enough. As the CEO of Health to Hope Clinics, I worked with OC Solutions to help us select and deploy a new EMR system. As a Federally Qualified Heath Clinic system we had very unique requirements for an EMR. The requirements for data collection and reporting are quite extensive to say the least.

Joe walked us through the process of scoping our requirements, reviewing solutions, and getting proposals from the three EMRs that fit us best. He went through the painstaking process of sowing the pricing options in a succinct apples-to-apples comparison between the three best solutions. He helped us negotiate pricing that was a fraction of what we thought we would have to spend, while still selecting the system that fit us best.

Once we selected our EMR, Joe managed the hardware upgrades and complete deployment of the system. He led the execution of the entire project on schedule and on budget. Every project of this kind has its frustrations and glitches. Ours were far below what I had expected. In my entire career I can count on one hand when that has happened. I’d highly recommend OC Solutions to anyone who needs strong IT management of their healthcare organization.

Bryan Feller, CEO, Health to Hope ClinicsBryan Feller, CEO

I would like to recommend Joe Goldstein and Optimized Computer Solutions for your computer network development, deployment, and support programs.

Acris Solutions has contracted with Optimized Computer Solutions since July 2009. In that time they have facilitated our migration from a physical server environment to a virtualized server environment. In doing so we reduced our physical number of servers by one-half allowing Acris Solutions to eliminate one full rack in our datacenter and its associated costs. They have deployed upgrades to our firewalls, SAN, network design and domain infrastructure including the replacement of over 20 pieces of old equipment with new servers and storage appliances. Optimized Computer Solutions has been instrumental in the installation and deployment of the XenApp Citrix connection platform and our migration from Windows XP/ Office 2003 to Windows 7 /Office 2010. They have partnered with Acris Solutions in the launch of multiple new customers supporting over 350 users in multiple branch locations.

They have provided Acris Solutions with level 1,2 and 3 support on a 24/7/365 basis with tiered responses time graduate from four hours for minor incidents to one hour for major/severe incidents. In providing these levels of support we have achieved customer satisfaction levels of 98% or better.

I believe that Optimized Computers Solutions will be a partner with Acris Solutions for many years to come and I know that they will meet your expectations in the performance of their duties within the scope of the service contract.

Richard Johnston, President, Acris TechnologyRichard Johnston, President