I was thinking, given that I regularly keep Windows 7 updated through Windows Update, doesn't this make having any anti-virus software useless. I may well be a naive user, but it seems to me that if security concerns are found then any patches to the operating system to close those security holes should solve the problem.

So, if my Windows 7 is up to date via Windows Updates, and I don't use an administrator account (a restricted account) do I still need an AntiVirus as surely I'd be protected.

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    In most cases AV companies identify and block exploits long before MS patches them. Also, AV helps blocks you from running infected things that may not use a flaw in Windows to infect you. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Dec 1 '14 at 19:04
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    no. Windows updates often patch vulnerabilities used by Worms and Viruses, but rarely affect a Trojans ability to screw you over. Additionally lots of bad software can affect you and your user profile without administrative privileges. Back in '10, we were removing fake antivirus apps from systems where no admin had ever logged in. – Frank Thomas Dec 1 '14 at 19:19
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    Technically any virus software or windows update won't solve any trojan, virus, or maleware BEFORE it happens anyways. Kind of makes both seem unimportant. The best anti-maleware tool is to be careful where you click and such. – Eric F Dec 1 '14 at 19:32
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    Why is this being voted to close? It's anything but opinion based, it's a good, useful question, with a very specific answer. – Dave Dec 2 '14 at 8:25
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    You've had many close votes, personally I think it's a good question so to try to keep it open, I've edited your post. – Dave Dec 2 '14 at 8:29

Windows updates will not protect you from software you yourself ran. If you are tricked in to running a malicious program it can unleash its payload.

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You also state "if I keep myself logged in as a regular user without administrator privileges" but if you get a UAC prompt from a program and type in administrator credentials it does not matter that you where a regular user.

Windows updates also does not protect you from bugs in other software like your web browser (if not using IE), so a virus could get in that way which a anti-virus would have blocked.

Lastly, even if the program never gets administrative privileges and does not use any exploits in windows there is still plenty bad it can do as a restricted user, a non elevated program can read almost all the files on your hard drive and send that information anywhere it wants. If you contained any valuable information on your hard drive the writer of the virus now has a copy of that info.

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    Personally, besides using McAfee, if I think a program is going to behave as a trojan horse and mess up my computer, as a precaution I download and install that program inside a copy of Windows 7 running inside Oracle VirtualBox. That way, the program will mess up my guest machine, and I will likely notice that before proceeding to installing the potential software on my host computer. – John Sonderson Dec 1 '14 at 20:55

This question is very opinion based so you are going to get a lot of different responses.

If you think that windows defender does a good enough job at defending against viruses? Then yes, You shouldn't have to worry about it.

Personally, I have problems with just windows defender. I find that it does not do a good enough job of catching threats before they strike. For my family, I use Mcafee.

Really, it boils down to your usage scenario. How often are programs downloaded? Is the computer mostly for internet or office use? does the user have administrative credentials? These are all things to consider before you decide what is the best way to secure the system.

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    "This question is very opinion based so you are going to get a lot of different responses." means it should be closed not receive a bunch of different responses. – Ramhound Dec 1 '14 at 20:27
  • ...then flag it. – Arthur Dec 1 '14 at 20:28
  • I flagged it before I even submitted that comment. – Ramhound Dec 1 '14 at 20:29

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