I discuss those few brave individuals who run Windows without recommended protection.
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This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
Every so often I hear of people who run Windows without anti-virus or
anti-spyware software. A good friend of mine runs this way, and the other day I
happened to hear that a couple of high profile tech industry folks do the
Now, while it might be OK for them, I’m concerned that it sets a misleading
example, and might cause others to think that they can get away with doing the
Here’s the deal.
If you’re behind a firewall, and if you really know what you’re doing – and
I do mean really know what you’re doing – it is possible to simply
avoid almost all sources of spyware and viruses.
Unfortunately while the rules sound simple, in practice they’re not. And one
little mistake on your part can result in disaster.
In order to run without malware protection:
You would need to never open any email attachments unless you’re absolutely
positively certain you know where it came from. Absolutely positive – if
there’s any question at all, the attachment is discarded, no matter where it
looks to come from. Some folks simply reject all attachments.
You would need to never download anything from the web, again unless you’re
absolutely positively certain you know it’s from a trusted source. Absolutely
positive – if there’s any question at all, you simply bypass the download.
You would never visit any website that might be considered “questionable”,
since those are often a source of spyware and other malware. You’d probably
need to tighten the security settings on your browser – including turning off
And so on. The key to running safely without malware protection is extreme
skepticism – don’t trust anything – and what I’d call a lower level of
curiosity – don’t visit or run anything just to see what it might be. It
requires a lot of knowledge and experience to know by looking what is, and is
not, potential malware, and to act accordingly.
Knowledge and experience most folks don’t have.
The fact is we all need to be wary and skeptical and develop that sense for
what is, and is not, legitimate, but that only comes with a lot of time and a
lot of experience. For 99% of Windows computer users out there, there’s simply
no excuse: you must be behind a firewall, you must run anti-virus software, you
must run anti-spyware software and you must keep the databases for all these
tools up to date on a daily basis.
I supposedly know what I’m doing, and I run these tools anyway. The cost is
low compared to the cost of infection.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11030 in the go
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Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.