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Ditch Your Security Software

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Ditch Your Security Software

One of the traders at a local outdoor market sells back copies of magazines very cheaply so I occasionally get a computer one to read.
In PC Advisor Issue 169 there was an article about security software. One of the writers uses Vista but doesn't think that there is a need for security software. He thinks that his router, the MS firewall, Windows Defender, a fully patched machine (including Firefox browser) and sensible Internet use is sufficient. He has all his e-mail routed to G-mail because of its excellent spam filter which picks up e-mail viruses. He reports that IE and Firefox are all that is necessary to detect 'poisoned' websites. From time to time he runs a Lavasoft Ad-Aware scan and always this returns clear results.  He has excellent back up of his computer in case of infection.  He has adopted this system for a long period of time and has never had a problem.
He doesn't want the hassle, intrusion and cost of anti-virus etc and thinks that it is OK to 'ditch your security software'.
On the opposite page is an article by one of his colleagues argues the opposite.
I must say that I just wouldn't dare go online without at least anti-virus so am in agreement with the latter. Like me, he has paid-for software and leaves it to get on with protecting his computer while he more or less forgets about it and carries on with other things.
I found the article intriguing - is the writer dotty or does he have a point? Apart from the Linux users, who would be brave enough to go online without protection?
10 REPLIES
Moderator
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Posts: 17,254
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Re: Ditch Your Security Software

Mac OS X and solaris users don't have much need for protection for a start Wink
Steve Gibson (www.grc.com) doesn't have any security software on his machine.
I think you can get away without any of the security software - but it's a risk.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Community Veteran
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Re: Ditch Your Security Software

I would always have a good security package on my PC
Quote
More than 40,000 websites worldwide have fallen under the spell of a sneaky piece of attack code that silently tries to install malware on the machines of people who visit them, security experts from Websense have warned.
<snip>
The compromised websites are operated mostly by smaller businesses and government agencies, and so far Websense researchers have been unable to identify a common component that is being targeted.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/02/beladen_mass_website_infection/
tgr
Grafter
Posts: 109
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

Hi Poppy,
we talked about kaspersky before if you remember.  My son has an apple mac which he has had for years and has never had any viruses etc he has no protection.  I am writing this on an apple mac and only recently have I put virus barrier on it as I think it was CNet who reckoned mac users should be starting to use anti virus ware but I ran it for about 18 months without any anti virus.  I am careful but a couple of years ago I got a virus on my windows machine which I had to get anti virus to remove but things have moved on routers can keep a lot of stuff out and probably so can the MS firewall.  Like you I wouldn't be without anti virus etc and of course if you bank or use your credit card on the net and lose cash your card supplier or bank probably would not pay out if they found out you had no anti virus.  For years all I used was AVG free edition and zone alarm and only in the last month have I decided to buy kaspersky because of the reviews it was given. I paid £17.99 on a special offer at Tesco for it and it appears to work well although as you know i had hassle setting it up.
I am sure there are a lot of scare tactics put out by the manufacturers of anti virus software to sell it.  But there has been plenty of cases where people have lost a lot of cash etc through trojans etc so I would come down on the side of having anti virus
N/A

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

Totally agree about the bank business. I do quite a bit of this sort of thing on the computer so wouldn't dare to use one without security software.
With regards to Steve Gibson, I have used the grc site on many occasions and am really surprised about his setup. Wonder if he is a Mac user? I know that it was always said that Mac's were OK but even these computers now have AV if owners want to use one.
I must admit that I was a bit astonished by the article and hope that not too many people follow suit. It might be OK for him as he is very knowledgeable but it would be a deal more risky for someone who lacks experience.
Moderator
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Re: Ditch Your Security Software

Nope he runs windows, has all scripting turned off though.
I update my hosts file from here http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm and also run a proxy server at home with ad zapper which blocks ads as well. Quite like ad free surfing Smiley
I'm amazed how different it all looks when I use someone elses machine.

Will Moderate For Thanks
N/A

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

You've lost me on the hosts thingy - have read up about it in the past but the perils of an ageing brain means that I either didn't understand or have forgotten!
In respect of the script blocking I have run NoScript but often you have to give it permission particularly with secure sites like the bank etc. I also use AdBlock Plus add on with Firefox.
Presumably he doesn't use Flash and Java either? Using Kaspersky has made me realise how quickly they go out of date and create vulnerabilities. His experience of using the web might be a bit boring do you think?  Huh
Moderator
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

I'm sure it's very boring  Smiley  Bit like his podcasts can be  Grin
The hosts thing is quite simple, your computer checks there to find an address for a server before looking at DNS, so by listing sites in there that you don't want your pc going to and giving them an IP address of 127.0.0.1 (pc internal ip address) they'll never go to the proper server.
Will Moderate For Thanks
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

So this guy is saying to ditch security software, whilst using router firewall, Windows firewall, Windows Defender, and Adaware, all of which are security software? Roll eyes
None of those will protect against viruses. Presumably he never plugs in any memory cards, or CDs, and is technically experienced enough to recognise everything that might be dodgy. Most PC users are not.
Quote from: poppy
He doesn't want the hassle, intrusion and cost of anti-virus etc

What hassle, cost etc? There are several good free AV solutions which look after themselves and are no hassle whatsoever. The risk may be low, but it is rather like taking out insurance on your house. You hope you never have to use it, but if you do you will be glad you have it!
scootie
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Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

if his trying to say you dont need to buy norton kaspersky ect then why not just whack a freeware 3rd party firewall an av on  Roll eyes
thats what i do i wouldnt trust windows firewall
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Ditch Your Security Software

Anyone remember http://grcsucks.com ?
website there about how bad GRC actually was...