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Malware, Anti-virus Necessary or Not?

Vanessa28

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We all know these popups. Telling us our pc is filled with spam and errors and needs to be scanned. And yes....you run a scan and of course your pc is heavily infected. And we believe that right away, right? ;) *cough* *cough*
Now what do you think? Do you really need to protect your pc or do you think with the right mindset you should be able to browse the internet without the risk of your pc getting infected? And if you can do that is this simply by avoiding torrent sites and only go to the sites you really need/want to visit? Or do you think every pc should at least have some kind of safety on it? I know most pc's have firewalls. But is this enough or totally unnecessary?
 

Dan

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Some people seem to think if you are careful you won't need an anti-virus but that's simply not true. Anything can be encrypted with malware including my avatar.(it's not btw)
Websites can run malicious scripts as soon as you visit them. Heck even ads in the past have had malware. Plus if you were actually being targeted personally it would be even more so easier to some malware on your computer. You can get malware very easily if you aren't careful. While you may be careful who's to say someone on your network isn't so much. An anti-virus is a must, and even those can't protect you always.
 
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There should be atleast some anti-virus protection on every PC. From what I hear, theres a chance that even legit sites can get hacked every once in a while and become infested. Besides, some protection is infinitely better then no protection.
 

Austin

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Feb 24, 2010
Some people seem to think if you are careful you won't need an anti-virus but that's simply not true. Anything can be encrypted with malware including my avatar.(it's not btw)
Websites can run malicious scripts as soon as you visit them. Heck even ads in the past have had malware. Plus if you were actually being targeted personally it would be even more so easier to some malware on your computer. You can get malware very easily if you aren't careful. While you may be careful who's to say someone on your network isn't so much. An anti-virus is a must, and even those can't protect you always.
This, pretty much.

There's a really bad misconception going around that only stupid people get viruses. The sort of people who actually click the ads claiming that as the millionth visitor to the site you're getting a prize, or people who while illegally downloading music click on the first result of "Justin_Bieber_Discography.exe". These people obviously get viruses more often, but this is not the only behavior that can lead to malware. It happens much less often, but any site you visit running Javascript, or Flash, or Java can potentially infect your computer. Again, there are other precautions you can take such as running Firefox with NoScript and manually approving each script, or running any modern browser with some form of ad-block, but again these aren't 100% guarantees.

There are some very bad anti-malware programs out there that aren't too far off from malware themselves, but there also exist several good programs. They're largely free and have an almost negligible resource footprint. Not going to the trouble of installing them, activating the protection module and running regular scans because you think you're a computer expert and super hardcore is stupid, plain and simple.
 

Vanessa28

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Oh so true. And even if you would visit like only 1 site a day there is still a risk. Like you said Austin it can get on your pc by what we would call "normal" programs. I once got some malware on my pc thanks to an adobe update. So it's still possible. There are those who think they are not risking anything and are totally safe but nothing is certain and especially not on the internet
 

Clank

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No it is not necessary, but it is like insurance; it covers stupidity, for example,
Vanessa28, did you check the checksum of that update with the checksums on adobes page, wait a few days to hear of any bug reports, or reports of anyone else getting malware from it...Now I know most people don't want to go to these lengths, thus anti-virus was created, however it is not necessary to use.

Though generally I use a linux rig with Firefox using Adblock, Ghostery, and most importantly "plugins.click_to_play" set to true, so no plugins(java, flash, silverlight), load until I tell them to, thus basically eliminating the need for malware protection.
 
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I don't know how effective Avast free is but it makes me feel a lot safer. So far I haven't noticed any problems so I would belive its working and I don't feel like my money is being wasted. But I wouldn't use a windows pc without it. Soon as I got my laptop on the internet I went to getfirefox.com and then I got avast from it.
 

The Joker

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As a tech working in the field, I can say that A/V is nessassary on all systems and platforms. Nothing is 100% but that does not mean its time to try 1-0% protection.

I don't know how effective Avast free is but it makes me feel a lot safer. So far I haven't noticed any problems so I would belive its working and I don't feel like my money is being wasted. But I wouldn't use a windows pc without it. Soon as I got my laptop on the internet I went to getfirefox.com and then I got avast from it.
And as for free A/V's like Avast and AVG...I do more virus removals on computers with that or nothing at all than with any computer with a paid subscription A/V. Just think about that.
 
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misskitten

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My own website was once hacked and every single page infected with hidden malicious code (that is to say my host's server was hacked, not my site directly), which actually lead to google marking my entire domain as unsafe until I could fix the problem and prove to google that my site was once again safe to use, so yeah, malicious code can pop up anywhere. I think having an up to date antivirus helps. I am not acting all stupid online; I don't click on strange links, I get suspicious if an e-mail doesn't make sense and tend to hover my mouse over a link to verify that it leads to a reliable source before I click it. However, I am not one of those super-duper-never-taking-a-single-risk-whatsoever kind of people online either. If I am looking for something, I will give a site a chance and rely on my antivirus to alert me if there's anything weird going on.

So far *knock on wood* I have managed to do this without my computer becoming infested.
 

Ganondork

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No it is not necessary, but it is like insurance; it covers stupidity, for example,
No - it's pretty necessary. I was running on a computer with no anti-malware, anti-virus (outside of McAfee, which is a virus in itself), and no firewall for the better part of a year. I was very careful about what sites I visited, but malware still popped up. So I decided to get every mean of protecting my computer, and even now, I still occasionally come upon threats. And I visit the same ring of sites every single day; I rarely visit new sites, unless I'm doing something for school.

Vanessa28, did you check the checksum of that update with the checksums on adobes page, wait a few days to hear of any bug reports, or reports of anyone else getting malware from it...Now I know most people don't want to go to these lengths, thus anti-virus was created, however it is not necessary to use.
Or you can just install anti-virus software. I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials - one of the few Microsoft products I can say I really like. I recommend MalwareBytes for anti-malware software, and Comodo for a Firewall. All work much better than other programs I've looked into. Clank's method is much more lengthy, and really doesn't stop the problem at its source.
 

Ventus

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Anti-virus programs are not necessary, speaking from experience, if you aren't visiting a greater part of the Internet (something like 99.9902841%). Any site can be hacked - even government sites get hacked from time to time. It isn't so much about being careful, rather it is being in the right place at the right time. The Internet no matter what anyone or any law may say, isn't a private affair: anyone can see what you're browsing whether you like it or not. Not even heavy-anti virus can protect you from that. :I

Going along with what I said about right place right time, I had been running a forum for two years straight and nothing happened to me. I had no kind of anti-virus, not even McAfee (which sucks btw). However, another two years after that, my PC basically got fried from viruses, lost me sound card and several other things. Wasn't a good experience, I tell you.

So I'd say getting malware and what not is a chance affair moreso than it is "oh I have X anti-virus so I am safe!!1on1e"
 

Kogasa

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The Internet no matter what anyone or any law may say, isn't a private affair: anyone can see what you're browsing whether you like it or not. Not even heavy-anti virus can protect you from that. :I
Uh... no. People in your local network could possibly see what you're doing, but they'd have to know how to. Your ISP is able to see what you're browsing, but it is illegal for them to check unless they have a warrant.


Ventus said:
So I'd say getting malware and what not is a chance affair moreso than it is "oh I have X anti-virus so I am safe!!1on1e"
However, whenever you're caught in this "situation", having an antivirus could get you out clean. Which is.. good.

Basically, antiviruses aren't necessary, but get one any way. A good one. It can only be a good thing. I recommend uhh, MalwareBytes and Microsoft Security Essentials.
 

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