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Can a VM be used as a home computer?

Our old computer is getting replaced, and I want to secure the new computer right from the get go. So I figured if I install something like VirtualBox first thing, I could then create one very powerful VM for my family to use.

My old computer was plagued with viruses and trojans and rootkits that i couldn't pull out of the hardware, and I didn't want it to happen again to the fresh PC hardware. My thinking was, that if something went horribly wrong with the VM, I could just restore a backup of the VM. In that way, the PC's hardware is spared.

Is this a viable security measure?