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Antispyware - do you need it?

  Managing ed 15:12 30 Nov 2007

Recently one of our contributors wrote a piece suggesting that antispyware was a waste of time and money: click here

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this met with some dissent, not least from the security software community, and PC Tools (author of our current Best Buy Spyware Doctor) was sporting enough to outline its counter-argument: click here

What do you think?

Matt Egan
Managing Editor

  anskyber 11:10 01 Dec 2007

"The best protection, and it's been said many times, is plain commonsense, a good AV programme, and a firewall."

Pilloried, never, or at least not by me. It has to be the best advice on the matter.

  anskyber 16:11 10 Jan 2008


While I think that GANDALF <|:-)> is taking a risk, perhaps not as large as some might think, I agree with the main thrust of his comments that protection is mostly provided by the user being thoughtful.

Where GANDALF <|:-)> and I part company is over the safety of this strategy for all things. I cannot find the precise report I was looking for but this click here is a version of the problem which no amount of common sense will ever deal with.

The case in point is where a search engine site is corrupted by innocent sounding results ( eg xmas carols at Xmas or similar) where even the wary would be taken to sites only to be infected.

  anskyber 16:15 10 Jan 2008

and that is the idea that many anti virus programs do cover spyware as well. GANDALF <|:-)> does use an anti virus program so he may, if the author of the report is to be believed, be covered.

  Legolas 16:21 10 Jan 2008

You are all giving me nightmares thinking about running my system with no protection I shudder at the thought. I admit to being paranoid when it comes to nasty computer viruses.

  Forum Editor 19:41 10 Jan 2008

I really find it astonishing that anyone who uses the internet thinks it necessary to run such a collection of so-called protection software applications.

I am probably online for as long as anyone in this forum, and almost certainly for far longer than most. I have a total of six machines on my office network, and five on my home-office wireless network. My business machines run all day everyday, and are permanently online. My home machines probably run for about twelve hours a day, and are also online all the time.

All the computers use the Windows firewall, and all of them use anti-virus software. The majority use AVG, but other machines test other applications from time to time. I run no anti-spyware software at all, unless it's being tested.

None of the machines has been infected with a virus for as long as I can remember. None of them has been hacked, and none of them is awash with spyware. We routinely sweep the machines for nasties, and nothing turns up, it's clean in there, apart from the odd instantly recogniseable false positive.

I'm convinced that there's no magic involved - I simply insist on, and enforce, a very strict code of internet practice, based entirely on commonsense.

  Forum Editor 00:23 11 Jan 2008

Of course it is entirely a matter of choice, and you are perfectly entitled to hold an opinion that differs from anyone else's - if you want to run five anti-spyware applications there's nothing in the world to stop you.

The point I was trying to make is that it really isn't at all necessary - as demonstrated by my personal experience.

  [email protected] 08:20 11 Jan 2008

i used to use norton, was the only person on the planet who liked it, it seemed. i tried vista in febuary and tried many different security programs, and discovered nod32, which runs pretty much unnoticed, thats all i use now, well that and a home hub, it passes shields up and leak test with flying colours i noticed, i also use spyware blaster as it doesnt scan or phone home, security is a very personal thing, after all it's your files and your pc, if you want to choke the life out of with 16 cookie detectors thats up to you. ccleaner seems to clear them out anyway.
in 2 years i gave only had one malware problem and that was due to my mate responding to a message that was a trojan.
i have said it before our 2 system program writers at work use no av, no firewall and never have, i wouldnt advise this at all and wouldnt try it myself because i dont have their knowledge, but background defragging, firewalls, registry cleaners, optimisers and cookie spotters are not used or missed on this pc back up and a good av do me fine, each to their own.

  [email protected] 15:38 19 Jan 2008

i have a feeling that those on here who know what they are doing, probably made their own minds up about 3 pages ago..........

  IClaudio 17:29 19 Jan 2008

Would the last one out of this thread please put out the lights?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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