wtf does antivirus software do, anyway?

i’ve got an old laptop. it’s about 15 years old and still runs windows XP. it works fine. it’s not very fast but i can check my email, read the latest news on MMA, heavy metal, and current events (in that order, usually), and record the garbage music that i write.

but sometimes it used to get REALLY slow. so slow that i was actually considering buying something newer — used, and still ‘old’ by most standards, but newer nonetheless. but before i did that, i decided to try removing some junk that seemed like it might be slowing the computer down. AVG was the first program that came to mind.

i’ve always downloaded the free version of AVG onto my computers because years ago, a friend told me that antivirus software — any kind, as long as there’s something — was absolutely necessary for any level of internet use. i’ve hated AVG because it always downloaded updates and ran system scans whenever it wanted to, and both those things really bogged the computer down. i basically couldn’t do anything when that stuff automatically happened. so i was keen to try getting rid of the shit.

but i was also nervous about it. i wondered, will i get viruses the second i check my email? or from the other 5 or 6 sites i actually go to with any regularity? what about downloading stuff from the pirate bay? i had to do something though so i took a deep breath, deleted AVG, and waited for my computer to explode.

it never exploded. i’m typing this on it right now, actually, and it’s been several few weeks since i got rid of AVG. i’ve done all my usual online shit, even downloaded a few things from the pirate bay. everything is fine. and guess what, the computer is running much better than before.

so now i’m wondering why i bothered with AVG all those years. just what was it protecting me from, supposedly? i don’t open any suspicious emails. i don’t download porn. i don’t go to weird russian sites. is antivirus stuff just for people who take dumb internet risks?

i don’t know about that stuff. i just know that at this point, i don’t plan on bothering with that garbage again.

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