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Whenever antivirus software is mentioned, someone always seems to chime up and say they don't need an antivirus because they're careful. This isn't true. No matter how smart think you are, you can still benefit from an antivirus on Windows. Many people think that you can only get malware by downloading suspicious files, running unpatched software, visiting the wrong websites, and doing other irresponsible things like having the Java plug-in enabled in your web browser. It's true - this is how most people pick up malware. But this isn't the only way malware can spread.

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In other words, your computer could be infected just from you visiting a website. Even if you only visit websites you trust, the website itself could be compromised - something that happens with alarming frequency these days. An antivirus is your final layer of protection. If a website uses a security flaw in your browser or a plug-in like Flash to compromise your computer, it will often attempt to install malware - keyloggers, Trojans, rootkits, and all sorts of other bad things.

Malware isn't what it used to be - much of it is created by organized crime to capture financial information and other sensitive data. Antivirus software helps you stay ahead of the bad guys by a little bit more, and it's worth using.