No firewall or antivirus, why haven't I had problems?

PacketCollision

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I run Linux about 95% of the time now, so this is a bit of a moot point, but I was inspired by NooDle's post about the three antivirus/spyware cleanup programs he runs weekly to ask something that has nagged at me for years:

I haven't run Antivirus software on my Windows install since I moved away from Windows 95, nor have I run a firewall or anti-spyware software, yet the last virus I got was on DOS 6.2. Am I just really lucky? I was never willing to accept the speed and memory decreases associated with having a background-scanning AV program, and never saw the benefits, but it seems like I'm the only person who holds this view. I simply try not to be stupid: always keep completely up-to-date, use Firefox, don't open attachments. Can it really be that simple?
 

fluke667

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I simply try not to be stupid: always keep completely up-to-date, use Firefox, don't open attachments. Can it really be that simple?

It is that simple but a lot of people find it difficult to use Brain 1.0
 

PacketCollision

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Well sure, when I'm home I'm behind a hardware firewall, but I regularly use my laptop (and did when I was running Windows) on public WiFi, so not always which is why I didn't mention it.
 

Top Geek

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Yup, mostly, people are dumb. There's the occasional worm that can catch even the most savvy user off guard, but even blaster could be defeated simply keeping your system patched.

I do use a firewall and antivirus, but they're mostly for those "duh" moments at 2:00 in the morning.
 

Viper007Bond

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Well sure, when I'm home I'm behind a hardware firewall,

That right there is probably why. I gave up my additional oftware firewall quite a while back. My router + Windows Firewall (on by default, no reason to turn it off) works perfectly fine. My AV has also never caught anything except stuff I downloaded myself.

In short, a hardware firewall and no AV is fine if you have a brain and are safe. However better safe than sorry and CPU's and HD's aren't exactly slow, so why not run AV just to be safe?

As for public wifi, I assume it's firewalled by the access point, just as you would be at home.
 

Quiky

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If you don't have AV, then you aren't a big enough pirate. :mrgreen:
 

NooDle

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I simply try not to be stupid: always keep completely up-to-date, use Firefox, don't open attachments. Can it really be that simple?

yes it can, either that or you're incredibly lucky...

then again, it depends on what you download, as soon as you start DLing torrents and/or "gentlemens adult oriented videos" you'll catch cooties quick...

also, the latest AV programs are SO light on system resources that it's barely noticable... I have AVG, Spybot and AdAware programs, and I find a couple of tracking cookies at most on a weekly basis...
 

otispunkmeyer

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im like you, although im sat behind a router with a firewall (though its probably not that good) i've never had any more than windows xp's own firewall between me and the internet. i did have a virus scanner, but its not of the type that scans constantly everything going on... its just something i can use to check for viruses if i think somethings going on.

and in all that, the most useful tool i have ever used is hijack this which finds all the malware and spyware and just useless programs running in your memory and helps u get rid of them

but apart from doing that every now and again, my machine used to be pretty open and i never had any problems. im on mac now so its not so much of a problem anyway given there arent nearly as many viruses and such targeted at mac's as there are for windows.
 

MadCow809

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Am I just really lucky? I was never willing to accept the speed and memory decreases associated with having a background-scanning AV program, and never saw the benefits, but it seems like I'm the only person who holds this view. I simply try not to be stupid: always keep completely up-to-date, use Firefox, don't open attachments. Can it really be that simple?

That would be like rough anal sex without the use of a condom, can be done... but I'd rather not try it.

Personally I always have an anti-virus program installed on my computer, that is because I play around with game cracks & editors, and the nature of those files could be pretty dangerous if someone decides to slip in a trojan virus or worm.

Just make sure you find an anti-virus program that uses the least amount of system resource, I personally use nod32, it's by far the best anti-virus program that I've come acrossed.

As for firewall, like you, I never ever install any sort of firewall. In my opinion, it is highly over rated.

It is that simple but a lot of people find it difficult to use Brain 1.0

Pretty much spot on. Last time I got hit by a virus was about 6 years ago.
 

Crazyjeeper

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I always use AV, but I've only actually had it do something once in about 7 years.
 

jeffy777

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All depends on where you go, what you download, etc.
 

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Interesting thread, as I have switched to Mac so I can be smug and say "Anti-Virus? what is that?" but wont =P

As for my windows box at home, I dont have any software firewall at all on it. No need today with routers and I keep most people off my network or VLAN them.

As for anti-virus, well I toss that around from time to time. For the most part I have none on my box, but sometimes if i feel something is up I will run an online virus scan or download it and run it over to check my PC and remove it. I dont feel I need to have it running all the time. If they could make a good virus scanner that would only scan on command that would be nice.

When I had windows on my laptop I would make sure to turn on Windows firewall when I was on a public WiFi. Because while a WiFi Router will firewall you to the outside world, it does nothing for the others on the network. And all you need is some idiot with a infested laptop or pc on the network to fuck you over some 0-day exploit.

BUT for most people I make sure to give them an anti-virus scanner and windows defender plus windows firewall. I had a friend who did not have anything and his laptop was fucked, so bad that it got one of my IPs he was using listed as a spammer :eek: Now he runs Nod32+Windows Defender+Windows Firewall plus his router at home.
 

MadCat360

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Whoa there dudes, I've had two system-crippling viruses and I'm behind two routers and three firewalls, both of them just from visiting a single web page. One was a hack attack on a forum skin that gave me some kind of hard drive thing which clonked my system then and there since it wiped some system DLLs, the other I got by clicking on a Google image result and it opened a random popup window every 2 seconds even after a reboot, not fatal, but unlivable. AVG missed both of them.

Protection certainly doesn't stop everything.
 

chaos386

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I run Linux about 95% of the time now, so this is a bit of a moot point

Which is odd, because I just found out AVG has a Linux version of their anti-virus software. :blink:

I already knew about software like ClamAV, but AVG is relatively well known in the Windows community, too. It also seems like the strangest choice for something cross-platform...
 

Viper007Bond

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Interesting thread, as I have switched to Mac so I can be smug and say "Anti-Virus? what is that?" but wont =P

If you did, I would have had to point out the couple viruses for the Mac out there and remind you that security through obscurity isn't real security, but luckily you didn't so I don't have to. :p
 

Lupin_IV

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I don't run any anti virus software. I used to run Nod32 and its firewall saved me a couple times but i've found that when i do get a virus, the anti virus software are pretty useless are removing the problem any way.

Yeah, if it isn't caught coming in, it's not gonna be found later with the same program.
 

NooDle

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related question : I have a hardware firewall on my router, can I now shut down windows defender + windows firewall safely, WITHOUT windows whining at me all the time?

I have just not bothered because the popups and red exclamation points annoy me to death...
 

Matt2000

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I've been running AVG free and Zonealarm together for years now, and I have no reason to drop them. Whether they have actually protected me from anything I don't know but it makes me fell safer downloading stuff from Rapidshare, FTPs and torrents.
 
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