Last week I was at Dragon-Con, the worlds largest Science Fiction convention. I happen to be the Volunteer director of the Blood drive and this year we were about 200 units short of the world record for a non-disaster blood drive (well there is always next year). I attended a session at the Electronic Freedom Foundation track ( the same track were I was a panel member discussing medical marijuana), on Why You Should NOT Use a Virus Scanner. My view of virus software was changed forever. I have already made the changes on both my office and home computer and plan to do this on all 7 computers at my medical practice, both desktops and all laptops at home.
First your need to understand that virus and worms need to have administrative permission to do what they do. If they are opened in a user that does not have administrative permission then they just sit there. You don't get infected.
Second you need to know that you can only get a virus if you allow it in. It is like a vampire that it cannot enter your house unless you give it permission(at least according to True Blood). So you have to be super careful not to open attachments you are absolutely sure about. Not to click on any part of a pop up. If anything is suspicious then restart your computer or use task manager to close it. Even if you get am e-mail from a close friend or loved one, unless you are expecting it do not open it.
Third thing to know is that virus/worm/hazard protection is the biggest hog of CPU and memory on your computer. Also you may have multiple competing programs running. i just finished doing this to my wife's computer and she had 7 different forms of protection. Also you will probably be infected before the virus software has your virus's information. Additionally virus software can get expensive. I spend over $450 dollars a year between all the computers at my medical practice and my family. Also it isn't unusual for the protection to lapse and a system not to be protected anyway. So why not ditch the BITCH.
Here is what you do:
- Update and run what ever virus software you have.
- Do a Back-up of your system.
- Using Add/Delete Program from Control panel remove every virus/ad-blocker/spam filter/protector you have on your computer.
- For good measure while your at it remove all this programs you haven't used in two years.
- I also removed all the Microsoft Office and Word-perfect software (ultimately replacing it with Open Office).
- Using Google Chrome Pack I loaded Spyware Doctor and Google Chrome(safest browser to use to prevent malicious programing), you can also load other great free programs at same time.
- In Control Panel I opened User Accounts and added user with limited access (no administrative capabilities). I called it by person using computers first name.
- I then run Spyware Doctor after updating it and also Defrag and disk Cleanup. All of which can be found in the Control Panel.
- I then open my computer Browser and in Documents and Settings, I copy the contents of the current user(with administrative abilities), into the folder of the new user with limited abilities. This gets all your e-mail and bookmarks and preferences to the new user. You obviously don't need to do this if you are setting up a new computer or don't have anything you care about if you were just getting a new computer.
- I then turn off all the features of Spyware Doctor so it will not run at all. This is very easy, on status page click the two green on buttons so computer immunization says Disabled and Intelliguard protection is off (when you click it you get pulldown and ppick the never(not recommended) line. Then in settings unclick every box but let it download updates silently.
- Now turn off computer and when you restart only open limited user. **Never leave administrative user running in back ground.*****
- You are ready to go.
- Never open attachment you are 100% sure about.
- Never hit reply to e-mail you are not 100% sure about.
- If you end up on a web page you didn't expect (i.e you got redirected), then close browser and re-open browser and resume your browsing.
- If not sure of e-mail instead of hitting return or clicking on link go to email program or browser and send e-mail asking to clarify if it was ligit email, link or attachment.
- If you do need to download something. down load it and then check it with a Web (cloud) based virus scanner, before opening or running it. It is actually less often then you think you will need to do this. I will post here a site to go to later today so it you see this before come back tomorrow.