I still don’t use anti-virus software. Am I still nuts?

I still don’t use anti-virus software. Am I still nuts?

I still don't use anti-virus software. Am I still nuts?

Let me make clear proper up entrance, as a result of I bought an earful final time, that I am particularly referring to third-party anti-virus software program. And as you will learn under, there’s a safety instrument I do embrace, although it is hardly an AV utility.

For years I have been the on-call tech man for members of the family, and most of my “restore” jobs contain clearing out malware infestations. You in all probability know the sort: hijacked browsers, rampant pop-ups, severely impaired laptop efficiency.

The irony is that there is often some form of safety software program working on their machines, be it McAfee, Norton or the like. However after listening to me mutter underneath my breath about PEBKAC errors (although much less so these days — see “A impolite awakening” under), I get the inevitable query: “Nicely, what safety software program do you use?”


Loopy? Loopy like a fox, thanks. This has been my modus operandi for years, and I swear on a stack of Wikipedias I’ve by no means had a single situation. No viruses, no adware, no rootkits, no browser hijacking. No identification theft, no keylogging, no trojans.

Have I needed to reset passwords following database breaches like this one? In fact. However that is past my management. What I can management is my very own PC and the way I work together with the Web. After almost a decade of operating nearly no third-party safety instruments, this is the rating: Broida, 1; Hackers, zero. And a yr after I shared this “stunning” revelation, the rating stays the identical.

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I understand this flies within the face of typical knowledge, which insists you do not even boot your PC except it is shielded by a complete safety suite. Meh. I am advantageous with it in precept, and a few customers undoubtedly want it, however I balk at each the price and the efficiency impression (although each have decreased admirably lately).

My security secret

How do I get away with this on-line offense, this browser blasphemy? There is not any trick to it; it is only a easy trick.

My laptop runs Home windows eight.1, as safe an working system as Microsoft has ever launched. (All collectively, now: “That is not saying a lot!”) Along with its built-in firewall, the OS presents anti-virus safety within the type of Defender (previously the standalone Safety Necessities), plus SmartScreen for cover from malware and phishing scams. Web Explorer additionally gives loads of safeguards towards hijacking and the like, although I am a Google Chrome consumer.

Talking of which, all fashionable browsers — IE, Chrome, Firefox — make use of sturdy security measures of their very own, and let’s face it: your browser is the gateway to many, if not most, infections. Chrome, for instance, will warn you about suspicious websites earlier than letting you thru to them, and its sandboxing helps stop malware from “escaping” one tab and infecting all of the others