I came across this question on Quora.

I’m sharing the Answer I gave here..With few additions

First of all,

One thing I’v realize is, some people are not aware the Windows OS has in-build Anti-Virus. It really has. It’s called Windows Defender.

This is my personal view based on personal experience as a Normal User. I’m not a gem in computer security

My Definition of Normal User:

The Computer(s) I use are:

  • One HP desktop computer
  • One i5 HP Probook 4540s laptop
  • Two Remote Virtual Machines
  • One Virtual Machine on my Desktop PC
  • Two Shared Hosting Servers with roughly 10-15 websites

I’m sum: I have roughly 5TB HDD Space

My Operating Systems are

  • 64bit Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB
  • Fedora distro
  • Windows Server 2012

My common applications are

  • SqlServer Enterprise (2012,2014 & 2016) [for database related applicatios]
  • Visual Studio Enterprise 2012 & 2017 [for C# & VB]
  • Visual Studio Code[for Python]
  • Mysql Workbench [for Mysql]
  • GIMP 2 & Inkscape [for Image editing]
  • Bracket & PyCharm [For php]
  • Epi Info & SPSS [for data analysis]
  • Blender [for video editing]

That our of the way:

NOW, MY VIEW

The in build Anti-Virus(Windows Defender) has protected me more than enough. And there is absolutely no need for me to have any third party anti-virus. Maybe going forward, there will be that need. I’v lived with Windows Defender for the past two years. I’m fine and kicking!!

Though everyone uses paid Kaspersky AV in my environment

One thing I have come to realize is… Our understanding of HOW virus get to our computers is more important than getting the most expensive Anti-Virus.

There could be complex ways Virus/Malware get to us…..But there are simple onces we always overlook. And they are the most popular

If we take note of these simple once, I’m sure we will be 80% secured as a Normal User. These are general guidelines regardless of which platform (Windows, Linux distro, MacOS, Anroid)

These are

  • My windows Defender is ALWAYS up to date
  • When Defender says “Hey, I want to scan your pendrive”. I don’t ignore it because i’m in hurry. I give it the chance to scan.
  • I love downloading from vendor sites. Though I’m a frequent visitor of Dark Web & Torrent
  • I have no intention of getting Quick Rich: I don’t go for any lottery I’v not stake myself . You have won this. You have won that. click here to get before it expires. You have the last chance to claim this. My Sister. What investment have you done to expect such huge money overnight? They are all nonsense!! Ignore them. You can’t get rich overnight.
  • Try to access services directly from vendor site instead of getting All-in-one browser toolbar that provides radio,weather flight info, sports update, converters,etc . The more plugin you install. the more vulnerable you become.
  • When installing software, Especially those from torrent, or untrusted sites. Be vigilant!. It’s normally bundled with other unwanted software. Don’t just follow Next->Next->Next. Have time to read every screen, except the license T&C. You won’t understand the T&C anyway. Those third party apps can be mostly skipped when u choose ADVANCE|CUSTOM installation option. This gives the chance to uncheck them. [They are mostly checked by default].
  • Always use my computer as a “GUEST”.. People love to be called Administrators. So they love using Admin Accounts. That is dangerous. Guest account will mostly alert you when app want to install behind the seen. Admin Account thinks your capable of handling your own affairs so you don’t need any advice.
    Upgrade to Windows 10 [Or the latest version of whatever OS]. Unless your machine can’t support it. Note: ANY machine that runs windows 7 can run windows 8. Any machine that runs windows 8 can run windows 8.1. Any machine that runs 8.1 can easily run windows 10. Windows 10 is actually lighter & Faster than windows 8 or 8.1. Windows 8 or 8.1 is also lighter and faster than windows 7. I advised to upgrade OS because the more current the OS, the more powerful the Windows defender. As a matter of fact, users on Windows 7 and below MUST have a third party anti-virus. And maybe windows 8. Windows 8.1 is fine!!!
    These are not golden rules. But have really helped me.
  • Ignore all juicy stuff you find in your email. Especially,if you aren’t expecting it. Take important note of those mails that tells you to open attachment. AND No one will dash you car for free in your mail.
  • Backpu is always important.  Not only when there is the fear of virus. If Bad rabbit don’t get you. Trust me, another beast will.

This is what I have bn doing. It’s good to share with us know what you think too. OR what has helped you fight computer virus. It’s not easy Basting these Bukoms.

Check this independent test of the post popular anti-viruses. It’s a Real World Protection Test Overview. Windows Defender is not doing bad at all.

Real World Protection Test Overview