Do You Really Need Antivirus Software?

DyNamiC.

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,256
99% of antivirus programs seem irrelevant when not a single one of them can stop a fake antivirus infection.
 

Chimel

Gawd
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Jul 19, 2010
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981
I download apps all the time, for instance utilities such as CPU-Z or updates to the apps installed on my computers. I trust these publishers or the web sites I download from, but it does not mean that the apps or the sites can't be compromised. Even my firewall has ports open for special applications like instant messaging, torrenting, and some I am not even aware of, that are gaping security holes for malicious attacks.

An antivirus software is just one armor plate in the panoply that every user should wear for complete protection. Not using AV means that you have a vulnerability in your heel like Achilles. You might not find your Paris, but the risk is there nevertheless. (Don't you love dumb analogies? I noticed the condom one was used already. ^-^)
 

NeloDiavolo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
373
I run Microsoft Security Essentials and it runs quietly in the background. It is efficient, takes up very little space, and actually has caught a few viruses. I am careful but you never know when your best friend may want to log into Myspace and click on a trashy link hidden in the messages. I have always ran antivirus and no longer pay for them since there are many great free ones out there now.

If you didn't have antivirus then there is a chance you would not even know its there. And not all viruses display symptoms to your computer. There are many that just sit there and wait to be activated. And my personal favorite, Malware. Nothing like good malware to collect your data, passwords, and internet cookie information.

All that being said, a well executed virus will take out your system, antivirus or no. Honestly, I think their is no right answer as we, as the admins of our own hardware, are free to exercise our own practices.
 

GreenMonkey

2[H]4U
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Jun 25, 2006
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Also... to those saying "I don't run AV and don't have any infections", you wouldn't know... virtually all actual malware (other than those spamming popups telling you to pay up to clean up) runs silently, sending it off to other computers to infect, keylogging your info, spamming forums, etc. That's like saying "There's no radio waves going through MY house!" without having any equipment to detect if there were... :rolleyes:.

Thirded!

These are the people's machines that end up as unknown zombie machines, or giving all of their personal info to hackers. :rolleyes:

There's no good reason not to run at least MSE.
 

Sly

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 17, 2004
Messages
5,748
Stayed clean since i migrated from Win98. No infection through WinXP aside from the usual cookie warnings.

This week i got hit by something that got past my UAC, MSE and firewall (See my thread in OS forum).

So far, anti-virus hasn't been very useful for me. Only time i've seen them work is when i'm trying to clean up someone else's computer.
 

niconx

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 26, 2004
Messages
2,951
This is the only security software I use outside my browser:
http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal/

All it does is check to see if there are updates to the software that you use. Handy for things that windows update doesn't check. It really makes you realize how very long the built in updaters in Adobe and Java take to check for udpates.
 

Tolyngee

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 17, 2005
Messages
4,516
Run without AV software and someday you'll likely be bring your PC to someboday like me to "fix" lol

Running your system with absolutely no AV software is the only reason that makes sense to me why some people do a clean install of their OS every month or so... I can't come up with anything else that would clog-up their system and slow it down in a month...
 

daglesj

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
5,646
Running your system with absolutely no AV software is the only reason that makes sense to me why some people do a clean install of their OS every month or so... I can't come up with anything else that would clog-up their system and slow it down in a month...

Its that or some form of OCD and maybe not having much on in thier lives.:D
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2007
Messages
674
Also... to those saying "I don't run AV and don't have any infections", you wouldn't know... virtually all actual malware (other than those spamming popups telling you to pay up to clean up) runs silently, sending it off to other computers to infect, keylogging your info, spamming forums, etc. That's like saying "There's no radio waves going through MY house!" without having any equipment to detect if there were... :rolleyes:.

No kidding. Most people have absolutely no idea they're infected.
Plenty of AV software that doesn't slow down your system (Avira, MSE) and if you have kids, you'd better be running AV software.
Only machines that don't run AV are my Linux boxes.
 

The Oatman

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 19, 2007
Messages
415
Absolutely, I use Avira because it's extremely easy to block the free version's pop-ups and I've had it block more real threats than MSE ever did (not on my system but on systems I administered). I don't really give much consideration to all the other bloated AVs out there.

It's no guarantee, but as others have said, it's part of a larger armor, and most needed if you need to open files from clients, etc. Noscript and Adblock are better protection for anything web related.
 

Master [H]

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
2,629
I'm smart about my surfing, but that doesn't mean I trust the internet. I've had very few instances of anything popping up as a problem, but it's been nice to have the protection when it was available.
It's like never getting any immunization for yourself and hoping not to pick up a case of the flu. May not, but the extra layer doesn't hurt.

On the other hand, it's incredibly stupid to visit a bunch of .torrent movie sites and every porn site if you do have AV, even updated. Kinda like being up to date on your shots and running through a leper & ebola colony, if you get the drift.
 

Gorankar

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2000
Messages
11,003
Ok so I looked up your specs in your profile.

PC 1: Intel Core i7 970 | 12GB DDR3 G.Skill Ripjaws

Thats as far as I could get before loling my ass off.

If you run any Core i7, a 970 no less, and 12 frigging GB of RAM and AV slows down your system, you are doing something wrong.

Without a doubt. He must be using a poorly configured Norton product, or have his scans scheduled for an inconvenient time.
 

Cerulean

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Messages
9,477
Also... to those saying "I don't run AV and don't have any infections", you wouldn't know... virtually all actual malware (other than those spamming popups telling you to pay up to clean up) runs silently, sending it off to other computers to infect, keylogging your info, spamming forums, etc. That's like saying "There's no radio waves going through MY house!" without having any equipment to detect if there were... :rolleyes:.
Ah, the smell of extreme generalization in the morning! :D

This every 3 to 6 months. ;)

As w00dix said earlier:
At the end of the day, if someone is targetting me, they'll leverage one of countless undisclosed vulnerabilities in my phone, computer, alarm system, etc. All I can do is keep the script kiddies off my back.
Also worth reposting:
99% of antivirus programs seem irrelevant when not a single one of them can stop a fake antivirus infection.

Anyone with a PC less than 5 years old who claims that AV slows down their PC is either -
I posted with at least 7 years of experience experimenting on this on Windows XP (on my machines); I know I don't have much (if any) credibility to stand on, because who does if they can't cite sources and present all scientific data that they have collected? (And speaking of which, who in this thread or any of the other past threads or in general, ever does?)

No kidding. Most people have absolutely no idea they're infected.
How many antivirus software do you have installed running simultaneously? :D And are you an intelligent and smart operator of computers and browsers? Both these will make a tremendous difference in weighing whether your antivirus works because you're an intelligent operator like some of us without antivirus, or...
 

flegg

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
1,176
All AV would do for me is waste my time, money, and a little bit of system resources.

Buy a legit version of window vista or 7 and keep it updated + run a free scan or use MSE every other month.

Haven't felt the slightest need to use a real AV since I stopped using XP.

There's plenty of ways to torrent without getting malware if you are into that.

AV is mostly for idiots and people that want a false sense of security (is there a difference?).
 

MikeHoncho

n00b
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
17
Have hardware firewall with filtering and never had any issues with viruses or malware. I do clean my system periodically but haven't any serious issues in years.

If it makes you feel safer to run AV software, then do it. It's like insurance, do you need it? Maybe not, but its better to have it in case something happens.
 

Sovereign

2[H]4U
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Mar 21, 2005
Messages
3,098
He's right about one thing: anti-virus software has become subject to an arms race. Just like the TSA, they react to every threat, creating ever-bigger layers of protection. At first, it was just anti-virus. Then it became A/V and firewall. Then A/V, firewall, and "communication scanning" (IM, email, etc). Then A/V, firewall, communications scanning and anti-spyware. And so on.

Obviously, this could be partly blamed on an insecure operating environment (running as Admin 24/7 doesn't help).

I believe the question should be what level of protection you need as a user. Microsoft Security Essentials is great for the "safe & mundane" surfers (i.e. no downloading from questionable websites).

If you have parents/siblings/friends/relatives who aren't as computer-smart, education is still the best line of defense. However, a more complete solution might be justified there.
 

LordCalin

Gawd
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Oct 5, 2009
Messages
901
I run MSE.. before that, I ran nothing at all and never had any problems. My defenses were firefox, and adblock .. and even surfing porn I surprisingly never got anything. I see systems on a daily basis brought in for virus cleanup that are running everything from norton to AVG to kaspersky, and yes even some running MSE.

I figure every AV software is about 3 days behind the curve for latest exploits and versions of what's in the wild .. so yes they help, but if your not computer savvy, your gunna get infected.

What I detest more then anything is the bullshit antivirus software ISP's are having customers install.. it's got to be the worst bloatcrap ever created for resource usage, and couldn't catch a 5 year old virus if it tried. But the end user dosn't know that, they listen to the ISP and think oh well i'm safe now.
 

nilepez

[H]F Junkie
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Jan 21, 2005
Messages
11,827
silly.
i have built myself countless computers over the last 20 years. not one has ever had silly AV installed and none have ever been infected. sure i run an ad killer or malwarebytes every once in a while, but there is no need for silly on-access scanning and memory hogging on a gaming PC.

dont surf for porn and suspicious downloads. its not that hard...

Memory hog? I'm running several IEs, FF, XBMC, a few explorers, Light Room, Secunia, NIS 2010 (need to d/l the new version) and various other programs, and I'm using well under 2GB of ram.

As for never being infected, how do you know? I rarely have anything turn up, but when I do, it's not something I would have noticed. There's no doubt that safe computing practices will mitigate most attacks (as Bott says in the article), but considering that there are several quality FREE packages (MS, Avira and so on) and that you can get Norton AV, NIS or Norton 360 from Frys for Free (or 20-25 if you've got nothing that qualifies for the upgrade rebate), I just don['t see the point of not running it. You can always disable it during gaming if you're super worried about it.
 

rei1574

Gawd
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Messages
517
Nope - you really dont. Unless you're an idiot and you want your system bogged down 24/7.
 

Ocean

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 19, 2003
Messages
4,927
eh, i dont use ie, and gmail is my email. i dont know where i would get a virus.

i will use an on demand scanner like malware bytes, if im suspicious.
 

darkhunter139

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Messages
6,138
I use MSE now because there is really no reason not to but before that I did not run anything. Never had any trouble with viruses.
 

Krieger91

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 6, 2007
Messages
1,879
I only vist

Amazon
Hardocp
Voodoo extreme
Youtube

And just use Steam for games.

So no, I dont use AV, I dont download anything.
 

/usr/sbin

Successfully Trolled by Megalith
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
3,927
I run Noscript / ABP in my browser.

I scan my PC once a week with Malware Bytes, and ad-aware.

Considering I don't really download anything but data files, this seems more than adequate to me.
 

Blown 89

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
3,436
I haven't run AV in a long, long time. No problems here. I scan a few times a year to make sure everything's hunky-dory. Smart habits, sandboxed browsers, and common sense and I'll be fine. I'm safer than the people who believe that their AV will always keep them out of trouble.
 

Ultima99

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 31, 2004
Messages
4,905
I only vist

Amazon
Hardocp
Voodoo extreme
Youtube

And just use Steam for games.

So no, I dont use AV, I dont download anything.

Better look out for the Hardextremesteamtube virus from the Amazon rainforest. I hear its worse than ebola.
 

Zoson

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 4, 2001
Messages
6,113
anti virus software is such crap. no. all it does is slow down your PC. If you're a good computer user, you won't get infected anyway.
 

MunchE

n00b
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
6
I haven't run AV software in 10+ years. If you don't install random things like an idiot, then viruses aren't a problem. Smart computing is better than any software you could install.
 

XamediX

2[H]4U
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Oct 27, 2003
Messages
3,082
I use MSE and don't have to limit myself nearly as much as some of you do while using their computer. I visit all kinds of sites. I tend to stay away from the usual crap but everyone has their weakness.

If I see a hot asian chic in a popup for a website that caters to black guys, there is a large chance I'm clicking that one anyway.

DocFaust, no because I'll deal with the overhead of the AV software as long as it doesnt send all my info to a 14 year old in china that blamed russia for the source of attacks.
 

Elsie

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
169
I also don't run any AV, I couldn't be bothered to renew norton and vowed that I would when I got a serious problem, that was about 2 years ago and nothing's turned up here. People are saying that there's no point not having AV, but for me I'm just too lazy to install it if I don't need it. When I get a virus I'll get back on the bandwagon but it's only a computer, people comparing computer viruses to STDs are rather missing the point, I can't reformat my cock, balls or brainstem.
 

Bgrngod

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
440
I haven't ever owned or had AV installed on any of my machines. Avoid goofy sites and don't install stuff you don't trust. No problems.
 

Azhar

Fixing stupid since 1972
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Jan 9, 2001
Messages
18,876
I'm laughing so hard at the sheer ignorance of many of you guys without AV software. I want to make a request to Kyle or Steve or any mods to never allow these people to have the [H] in their forum titles. They're absolutely do not deserve them.
 

DyNamiC.

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Messages
1,256
anyone here that doesn't use AV is not an IT technician it appears lol

I've worked in IT for 6 years in some form or fashion. I currently am one of two technicians at what is pretty much the largest PC repair shop in my area.

Recommending a full time antivirus program to "Joe Random" customer results in the following:

1. They buy an AV program.
2. They get hit by random fake antivirus variant #7234.
3. They come in raging about how they had the latest AV and still get infected.


Tell me again what the point is for "Joe Random" to buy the AV software in the first place.

Instead, I recommend they use Malwarebytes and simply run a full scan each week or if their PC acts strangely.
 
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