Built-In Virus Protection to Keep Your Computer Safe

December 30, 2023 | Blog

According to industry studies and heavyweight antivirus protection software developers Norton, it’s believed that about 2,200 cyber attacks happen every day in the US. This figure equates to over 800,000 cyber attacks annually, including data security breaches, cyber threats, phishing attacks, and ransomware attacks. 

That’s why it’s so important to utilize antivirus software to ensure your computer security doesn’t become compromised. For this reason, many individuals purchase additional antivirus software, but what about built-in virus protection? 

Although not every computer has built-in antivirus protection to keep it safe, most do, so it’s an excellent idea to learn all you can about it. In this blog, we’ve covered the key built-in virus protection information you need to know.

What Is Built-In Virus Protection?

To understand if your computer is secure enough against cyber threats, you must understand your built-in virus protection. 

Essentially, your built-in antivirus software protection is a pre-installed security feature in your computer’s operating system (Windows and IOS, for example) designed to safeguard your computer from malicious software like viruses, malware, and ransomware. 

From the moment it is active, and while it continues to operate, it constantly monitors files, emails, and web activities, using a database of known threats to identify and quarantine potential risks. 

When it works as it should, it acts as a defense mechanism that prevents unauthorized access, data breaches, and system damage without you needing to install other software. However, unlike bought antivirus protection, built-in antivirus software isn’t as effective.

What Computer Operating Systems Come With Built-In Virus Protection?

According to an industry study, roughly three in every four people believe a computer needs antivirus protection, with about 85% of individuals having an antivirus installed on their computers. 

Many of those who believe a computer needs antivirus software use the built-in virus protection their computer comes with, but what operating systems come with built-in protection? 

There are three primary operating systems for computers: Windows, Apple, and Linux. Each of these three comes with built-in protection. For example, Windows 10 has Windows Defender, which provides the best limited all-around in-built protection. 

Then there is Linux, which has a host of security tools like ClamAV, and Apple’s macOS, which features XProtect, which is a decent malware-scanning tool. Windows Defender is the most commonly used free built-in antivirus protection software out of these three. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Built-In Virus Protection?

As you might now know, the built-in virus protection your computer comes equipped with isn’t as good as you might expect for preventing cyber attacks and other common threats. This is because the built-in virus protection is a basic line of defense. 

Yet, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any positives. If you’re eager to learn more about the pros and cons of built-in virus protection, have a look below:


  • Efficient: Built-in virus protection is efficient because it’s optimized for your computer’s specific operating system. 
  • Convenient: Since the virus protection is built in, you won’t need to go through the hassle of installing anything, and the setup process will be simple. 
  • Cost-effective: Since the virus protection software is built into your computer’s operating system, you won’t need to pay any additional costs.


  • Minimal customization: With all operating systems, minimal customization regarding the built-in virus protection software is available. You won’t be able to personalize your cybersecurity settings. 
  • Fewer updates: Bought virus protection software has many more updates than the built-in virus protection software. This means you have a higher chance of being exposed to cyber threats. 
  • Minimal computer security features: Built-in virus protection software only gives you access to basic anti-malware protection and other known threats.

What Are The Key Features of Built-In Virus Protection? – The Attacks They Prevent

Built-in virus protection software doesn’t have nearly as much protection as paid options for securing your computer against various cyber threats and attacks. However, this doesn’t mean they are useless. 

Some of the attacks you can expect them to prevent include malware disruptions, ransomware encryption, and phishing attacks. This antivirus software also prevents certain viruses from corrupting the files on your computer and can identify and quarantine certain trojans that disguise malicious code. 

Additionally, the features offered by built-in virus protection software are limited. You can expect things like:

  • Real-time virus scanning.
  • Virus quarantining and removal. 
  • Password managing.
  • Browser and app control. 
  • Online support and updates.
  • Firewall and network protection.
  • Device health statistics and performance.

Can Built-In Virus Protection Be Used With Other Software?

You can use other antivirus software in addition to your built-in virus protection. In fact, it’s recommended that you do so, considering your built-in protection only offers basic protection. 

However, before you sign up for a paid antivirus, ensure it’s compatible with the software currently on your computer, as you don’t want to run into any issues. 

What Is The Best Antivirus Software?

The best antivirus software for one person is not necessarily the best for another, meaning the antivirus software you need might not suit someone else’s needs. 

Yet, a few antivirus software programs have proven to be efficient at preventing cyber threats, protecting personal information and data, and providing malware protection.

Below, we have discussed three of the best antivirus software programs you should consider using in conjunction with your built-in virus protection: 

  • Intego: This is the best antivirus software for malware protection. It has an intuitive user interface, virus protection insurance in case something goes wrong, and it’s affordable. 
  • Bitdefender: Those looking for an antivirus software program that’s easy to use and install should consider Bitdefender. This program protects Windows and Mac users best and does well against web attacks. It also includes a password manager and a money-back guarantee. 
  • Norton: Many would argue that Norton is the best at providing complete protection against spyware and malware. It also offers the best 24/7 customer support, and parents will enjoy its parental control features. 

How Do You Optimize Built-In Virus Protection Settings? 

If you want to get the most out of your built-in virus protection software, you will need to optimize it. Fortunately, optimizing it isn’t as difficult as you might expect. 

However, if the steps below sound confusing, it might be time to consider hiring a professional to help you secure your computer. 

  1. The first step to optimizing your built-in virus protection is regularly updating your operating system to ensure it gets the latest security patches to function properly.
  2. The second step to optimization is to customize your built-in antivirus settings. You’ll need to enable automatic scans and real-time protection to run in the background within the settings. However, keep in mind that these protections will be rudimentary. 
  3. The third step involves adjusting your firewall settings to control incoming and outgoing network traffic. Every operating system will vary with how to do this, so it might be best to reach out to someone more experienced for help. This way, you don’t accidentally switch off your firewall and invite cyber attacks. 
  4. The fourth step is the simplest but most challenging if you’re not tech-savvy. You must stay informed about security features specific to your operating system and supplement your basic built-in antivirus protection with a more comprehensive version.

The Importance Of Regular Built-In Virus Protection Updates

As mentioned above, regular updates ensure the antivirus remains effective against evolving cyber threats. Without updates, the built-in software won’t be effective, and cyber threats could slip through the crack, harming your computer and gaining access to your personal information. 

However, it’s important to note that built-in virus protection only provides a rudimentary level of protection for your computer since it doesn’t possess the features and capabilities of bought antivirus software. 

Wrap-Up On How Built-In Virus Protection Can Keep Your Computer Safe

Ultimately, your built-in virus protection can keep your computer somewhat safe. With limited features and capabilities, it’s often best to supplement it with paid antivirus software to provide better protection. 

If you would like help with understanding your built-in virus protection software or installing a better antivirus, the experts at My Computer Works can help. So contact us today and see how we can help keep your computer functioning as it should. 

Back to Tips & Tricks >

Let’s Talk About Your Technology

With support solutions for the home and office, My Computer Works is here to help you get back to your life.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get Help With All Your Technology Needs

Home or office solutions—My Computer Works is here to help you get back to your life.

Subscribe Now