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Thread: Don't need AntiVirus software

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2009

    Default Don't need AntiVirus software

    Quote Originally Posted by drragostea View Post

    Oh... it's just classic when some people are under the impression that cleaning their registry with a generic cleaner will get rid of active and potential infections.
    And it's simply classic when someone believes they actually need AntiVirus software.

    Where do you think all these misconceptions come from? "Tech Boys" insisting that laymen get "AV Software" simply because it makes IT's job easier. Of course, since kindergarten we're taught "more is better" and people start doing "stupid things." And IT, somehow, gets stupider as well... mostly because IT refuses to "teach" the laymen so laymen become self proclaimed IT professionals (yay!).

    A common misconception about Anti-Malware is simply that you NEED IT, and you need alot of it. Why do you think that is (I partially blame Spybot along with everyone else, for this). Because no one "knows" what malware, or even spyware, is.

    So rumors fly, people die, and the recomidations are "update, update everyday, or your computer will get haxord", "check for malware at least once a week, twice a week or even more is better... or else your identity will be stolen!", "Get more scanners, you never know what one may miss and more is better!"

    Really now? After going on the internet I will get infected by spyware (*cough* tracking cookies *cough*) and this spyware will steal my identity? Simply clearing your cookies removes all the spyware the average user is likely to see... and the likelyhood of an intelligent user ever downloading malware is nil.

    But I seem to have sidetracked with spyware, these are VIRUS' more UBER than malware! They... ATTACK and HAXORZ!!!!!

    To analyze if you are at suspect for an attack by virus, answer these three questions

    A) Do you look at porn?
    B) Did you lie about the first question?
    C) How often do you lie?

    Email Virus' pose a simple alteration

    A) Do you really think your boss will be sending you an attachment entitled "Iloveyou.txt.vbs"?
    B) Do you typically open emails titled "Enchance your Sexual Image"?
    C) Do you look at porn?

    The "threat" exists only if you blindly open every attachment you get... but you STILL don't need an antivirus. "Resident Shield" should stop the majority of them (course 90% of people will probally just say "oh shut up" and run the virus anyways :p) as that protects against scripting events. Downloading an executable? You're on your own.

    Which brings us nicely together to state, AntiVirus is practically useless. With the exception of MSBLASTER (only one I know of... feel free to list others) all virus' are downloaded by the user... and EXECUTED by the user. Even Bonza Buddy was the result of user failure, the user disabled security because the site told him to... and bonza buddy downloaded and autoran.

    I mean, seriously... getting a virus is HARD :( you actually have to actively HUNT for them. But for some reason there is mass paranoia about getting one... the reason? Tech Boys and Spybot (and every other security tool)

    There is a unique type of malware (phisher?) that "pretends" it's like spybot, but only reports false positives. People fall into that play because of the results... they believe their computer is infected (which it is :D) and buy the software. Similarly, spybot reports TRACKING COOKIES, of all things, and since many people don't clear their cookies out... there are TONS of them. False Positives.

    Tracking Cookies are a practically harmless version of spyware... but users tend to react to having a page fill with red text... react very well.

    Now this is not a question whether or not to report the tracking cookies. I'm questioning the REASONING for reporting them. Having a separate tab to check cookies sounds more reasonable than pairing it with the "spyware / malware" search feature. (And yes, again, it is spyware... but it isn't going to harm you)

    So, I conclude by saying "FireFox is overrated" :IE:, if you still believe that you NEED the extra "security" *cough* of FireFox then this has been for nothing... I WILL say that FireFox GREATLY benifits from it's addons... but I'm only pressing the "security" issue. (And while Secura may say IE can be hacked, take a look at most of those hacks... most are phishering, only a few are true browser hacks... and of those hacks "BugOff" fixes a great majority just by disabling, something.)

    My point is simple, don't over prepare for the apocolypse if it is going to occur in a little more than 2 years :p, For the most part... you just want to have a working computer, and the lighter the load you put on it the better it will run.

  2. #2
    Member of Team Spybot tashi's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Split off from recommended anti virus
    Microsoft MVP Reconnect 2018-
    Windows Insider MVP 2016-2018
    Microsoft Consumer Security MVP 2006-2016

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    It is quite easy to avoid malware. Unfortunately 'click here to see my picture' will win 9 times out of 10. It dosn't really matter what anti-this or anti-that you have installed because no software will save you from your own actions. There is no solution that comes in a download or on a CD. Simply knowing what constitute a safe action on a computer and what may not would be of great help but unless you know or are told then you will probably continue with the same habits. Then there's learning the hard way, after a few malware problems you start to put cause and effect together.
    How Can I Reduce My Risk?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009



    On seeing the thread title, I expected to find the OP had been flamed. It's unusual to see the balanced viewpoint (on anything, really!)

    I'm not about to uninstall Spybot or AVG because they do alert me to something horrid, once or twice a year. But I'm very relieved to see I'm NOT at risk from constant attacks of "drive-by malware" and other scares

    Thanks, Psycho & Shelf Life.

    Last edited by cherryaa; 2009-12-02 at 15:27.

  5. #5
    Esteemed Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    OK, I was going to stay out of this one, but that last post proves that it has gone too far.

    Though the situation used to be one where someone being careful could simply avoid malware by avoiding 'risky' sites, a quick browse through any security forum like the General Security Alerts here shows this is no longer true. Though these risky ventures into P2P, Warez and adult content are still simply asking for it, simple online searches and even otherwise reputable sites are now regularly compromised and used to deliver malware.

    Though I agree with the original poster that someone with relative common sense and a bit of technical knowledge can avoid the use of antivirus, mostly by using other free tools, I don't believe that can be applied to most of the population. This is simply because many don't have either the level of online common sense (children, older adults) or the technical understanding to know when they've encountered malware.

    The entire purpose for antivirus is really notification as much as direct protection, since often the infection will somehow slip past, but at least the person using the PC is made aware. This knowledge is truly valuable, since it helps someone decide whether to trust their PC for banking, shopping or other purposes where identity or other theft might occur. Without this information, something that operates quietly and without significant overhead might go unnnoticed for days or even years.

    So though someone like myself might be able to go without an antivirus by using other tools such as anti-spyware and related monitoring, I would never try that with my other family members who have none of the technical background to make that feasible. In fact, I happen to have bumped into a fake anti-malware advertisement myself recently while doing a simple search, which though clearly visible might have easily slipped by if it had been more quiet.

    Not having basic antivirus is simply stupid for most nowdays, since Microsoft is now providing its Microsoft Security Essentials complete anti-malware product for free to consumers and home-based businesses.


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