Gene wrote: "I'm very careful about not opening attachments. but even so, there was one time in perhaps fifteen years or longer, that I wasn't really thinking much about what I was doing and opened an attachment that came from a message that looked as though it was from someone I knew."
You do realize that this proves precisely the point I was trying to make.
I have never minimized the importance of having an active antivirus or security suite running at all times. I also encourage people to have antimalware and antispyware programs installed should they be unfortunate enough to need them and to run the occasional "just because" scans.
That being said, my point is that the precise antivirus you are using is all but irrelevant if you're someone such as yourself or you take the time to develop good browsing habits in general. I've been on the web since it started and have never gotten an infection from any "legitimate," for lack of a better word, website and I'm like you with regard to attachments. You are never going to be able to pick the "correct" antivirus to guarantee that the once in fifteen years situation is assured to be taken care of by that product, and it is insane to try to do so given the number of variables involved.
You must have an active antivirus or security suite running on any Windows machine that is interacting with the world at large whether by direct connection to the internet or occasional data transfers via jump drives and the like. That's essential. The one you pick is, very largely, a crap shoot in the grand scheme of what you might possibly encounter as an infection and pretending otherwise (which many want to do) is folly. Developing good browsing habits will prevent virtually all infections, not absolutely all infections, and that's why you have security programs - as failsafes that you hope you never have to use.
Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you’re alive, it isn’t.
~ Lauren Bacall