Does anyone here actually surf the internet without an antivirus program?

@Asylum (48281)
Manchester, England
May 18, 2008 5:00pm CST
A friend of mine recently brought his laptop to me because he was having problems. To my horror I discovered that he had been surfing the internet for months and was not using any antivirus program at all. I lost count of the amount of Trojans that were living on his system and have never seen so many viruses in one computer at any time. The idea of trying to remove the Trojans was laughable, so I had to restore the laptop to it’s factory default. It was fortunate that it was a recent laptop, otherwise it would have required a repartition and reformat followed by reinstalling Windows. I found it hard to believe that anyone was not using an antivirus program. Have you ever surfed the internet without one, or known someone who has?
10 people like this
37 responses
@gabs8513 (48716)
• United Kingdom
18 May 08
Oh no that was silly of him lol I have always had an Antivirus on mine and the one I have is free and works great I also have other Protection on here I hope he has learned his Lesson
2 people like this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
18 May 08
Yes, it was extremely stupid of him, and I certainly made sure that he was aware of it. He assures me that he is not going to use it without antivirus again.
1 person likes this
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
19 May 08
It is a learning experience for everyone who has a laptop or PC and who surfs the internet, to have reliable anti-virus protection. Some people learn it the hard way, or become victims of virus attacks before they realize that protection is a necessary thing. One thing I realize is that some people, even when they have anti-virus programs installed, think that they are well protected when in fact, they don't even have virus signature files updated regularly. Some people don't even have signatures updated since installation of the anti-virus programs, and that can be a year or two back. Now, even anti-virus programs alone may not be adequate, because spyware, adware and other malicious programs also lurk around and can be even more dangerous than viruses. Whatever programs installed have to be able to take care of not just viruses, but also adware, spyware, trojans and other such potentially destructive programs.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
It is a learning experience that some people will never forget, because the price of a mistake of that calibre can be seriously high. It would be bad enough for myself to contract a vast array of trojans, but at least I am capable of reformatting and reinstalling the system. In the case of someone like my friend, he had no alternative but to ask for my help or pay good money to have the work done at a computer centre.
• India
19 May 08
I do use Anitvirus software on my computer but they are all pirated. I don't think I have seen many people using a registered software in my country. I know a lot of them in my country who do not use Anti-virus software because they use something called PC HEAL once a month.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
I see no need to use a pirated version of antivirus when there are free options available.
• Bangladesh
19 May 08
I did tried keeping my computer safe without antivirus software. but eventually i had to buy a antivirus. The worst threat is data loss. I had to format my full hard drive and then reinstall OS. Now i use kaspersky. kaspersky has hiest detection level of all the antivirus as kaspersky claims, but now sure though but kaspersky is very light. i would recomend kaspersky internet security. Because i don't want to take any change for my data. so better be safe then worry.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
I agree, the loss of data is the major issue. It may be laborious to reinstall Windows, but at least you can restore the sytem, whereas lost files remain lost.
@only1shi (405)
• United States
19 May 08
i have to say that i have never done it. where did your friend get their laptop? most new ones will come with some sort of antivirus software installed when you purchase it. now, i will say that i may not always have the protection that i need. i was completely oblivious to adware and spyware and the different scans that you can do for those until about a year ago.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
He had a trial version of Norton which had expired after 3 months, so he simply carried on and did not worry about it. It is definitely the last time that he will make that mistake.
1 person likes this
• India
19 May 08
well, it depends on ur pc.. i keep dual os.. so no worrries.. vista i got antivirus, but on xp no such things.. But i'll tell u one thing..surfing is damn dast without antivirus and firewall...
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
It is also very dangerous and having 2 operating systems is no protection. Do you ever scan the Windows XP partition from Windows Vista, because you may have a very unpleasant surprise.
1 person likes this
@jesbellaine (4157)
• Philippines
19 May 08
Well, if I am not downloading anything then it is okay if I turn off my firewall and/or antivirus program... but when I am downloading something... have to scan it first just to make sure.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
You are downloading every time that you visit a website, because you have to download the files to view the page on your computer. The only way to avoid downloading would be to switch off the internet connection and browse via cache, which restricts you to previously visited sites.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 May 08
I surfed for about 2 years without antivirus protection. It's not very smart, but if you only go to trusted sites, and are very careful, you can do it. That was about 4 years ago, and I would not advise it, especially now. There are many more viruses and trojans, and untrustable sites today. If you do not have antivirus protection, there are free programs that you can use, that offer close to the same protection as programs you have to pay for. A good site to some at is www.filehippo.com
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
I suppose that you have a valid point, sticking to specific sites should restrict the risk. Nevertheless, I would be very wary of any site today because trojans seem to appear in the most unlikely places. There is also the matter of emails, it only requires one spam email to cause a problem.
1 person likes this
@golfproo (1841)
• Canada
18 May 08
Hi, I must admit that I did the same thing. I was using the Internet for over a year without virus protection. I ended up having to take the computer in to a repair shop to get it wiped out and redone. I can't say it has ever really been the same. You really need anti virus on it. cheers,
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
It is not just the need to reformat the hard drive in order to clean the system, which I could easily do myself, but the fact that a lot of files would be infected and therefore lost.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 May 08
Surfing the web without protection? That's either really brave or really stupid. I should know because I learned that the hard way. Up until a few years ago, my computer was without any sort of protection. Plus, I had the program 'Limewire' and that did not help at all. I had to restart Windows over and over. And I had to redownload programs and stuff. It was kind of like repairing your stuff after a natural disaster; I had no idea where to start.
1 person likes this
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
18 May 08
Limewire is a dangerous program to run even if you do have antivirus installed, so without antivirus you may as well install the viruses on the system yourself.
1 person likes this
@Elixiress (3893)
25 May 08
Yes when I first got my computer back in about 1998 or something when I was not as aware of things like virus's and firewalls etc. Ever since then I have used virus software. I have Norton on my desktop computer and McAfee on my laptop.
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
25 May 08
To be fair it was risky in 1998 but nowhere near as dangerous as it is today with the vast increase if virus activity. Providing that you visited only relectable and established sites then there was little danger 10 years ago, whereas today there is a risk of a virus from almost everywhere.
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
25 May 08
My apologies for the mistype, it should have been respectable and not relectable.
@Elixiress (3893)
25 May 08
It is okay, mylot should have an edit button to correct your typos. I agree with you, since less people used the internet, less people put various onto it, so it was a lot safer.
@joimarquez (1840)
• United States
26 May 08
i have been using my computer surfing the net for 2 years now and i didnt have any anti virus installed....but eversince i havent had any problem with viruses (knock on wood!!!) or maybe i just dont download anything frrom any sites except songs on my limewire....but so far so good.
• United States
26 May 08
maybe...but as long as my pc not crashing im not even worried about it....i have been downloading songs and videos thru limewire and never have a problem with it still...
@killer_r (42)
• Indonesia
20 May 08
Well, one thing, your friend must be visiting porx sites or warez site rite? Or maybe open suspicious e-mail? Based on my experience, if you use Internet in a "right way", you should not get such problems. I notice we usually find viruses and trojans in warez site, or in porx sites, along with spyware. So if you want to visit those sites, it's better to "arm" yourself with appropriate defense software:)
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
20 May 08
Fourthdimension is quite right here. Viruses are no longer restricted to certain sites as they used to be, so you would need to be very selective to avoid them.
@aplaza (631)
• Netherlands
20 May 08
You'd be amazed at the number of people who aren't defined as stupid or crazy who just don't realise what's out there. Worse yet many people think that running the free version of something will really keep stuff out. Often it's really a question of getting what you pay for. If it costs nothing you can bet it won't do much or be as good as a paid version. What really amazes me is that people will gladly pay a lot of money for a computer and then be stingy in making sure that their expensive equipment is safe. Let's put it this way: If you have a computer you also need to take out insurance in the form of a firewall/antivirus/spamblocker and then learn to use themA friend of mine called once about something and over the phone I was able to advise what she needed and also help her install something. At the same time I also gave instructions how to configure the firewall her dad had running. He had it on there but had never bothered to configure it so he was still getting a load of nonsense. The lesson here is that if you have something running on your pc then don't assume it will do the job unless you know what it does and have configured it correctly!
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
20 May 08
This is very good advice aplaza, and as you say there are far too many people who do not heed it. They will happily pay £1000 for a new computer and then avoid buying antivirus for around £17, which is certainly not a good saving in the long run.
@aplaza (631)
• Netherlands
20 May 08
Thanks Asylum. I totally agree that 17 quid isn't much to spend for what I like to call an "insurance policy" It's a good thing that some computers are sold these days with a trial firewall/antivirus/spamblocker already installed on it. Wonder if Alan Sugar does that over there? If not I'll gladly be an apprentice to immplement that idea for him! lol ha ha It's just too bad that a lot of people still think that everything on the net - and thus their pc - should be free.
• United States
20 May 08
Yes, I've been surfing the web for years without any security. (I run linux :)) Your post is a good reminder to windows users, though.
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
20 May 08
Several Linux distribuions are becoming very popular recently, so it may change in the near future. The only reason that Linux is not subject to the same problems is that people write viruses to attack Windows because more people use Windows. As Linux increases in popularity it may well become another target.
• United States
20 May 08
Sorry, not true. Security by obscurity is a complete myth. Most servers run linux. If you take down one key server, you could take down thousands of desktop workstations; so linux is a huge target. It's not the obscurity of linux that protects it but the construction. See this article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/ It's a long article, but that's one of the myths it completely debunks. :)
@laura1167 (149)
• United States
19 May 08
I don't use anti-virus but that is because I have a Mac. I don't know how Mac is able to make a machine that doesn't require protection, but I have to wonder why Windows hasn't copied their methods. When I had a PC I used AVG freeware. But I don't know if they are still offering that or not.
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
19 May 08
It is not that Mac have developed a system that it is not vulnerable to viruses, but that people do not bother to write viruses for Mac. Windows has the lions share of the market, so the people who create viruses target Windows in order to affect a larger audience. Linux is also quite safe for the very same reason.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 08
Oh, that makes more sense! hehe But it would be great if they were able to come up with a method of blocking viruses without anti-virus programs because they are usually designed in a way that slows everything else down while they run. I used to run anti-virus on Windows at night for this reason until someone said I should shut down and let the computer "rest" at night. Now our Windows computer is so old it doesn't even matter anymore. It doesn't update because there's no room in the memory, so it's still SP1. It has AVG free version and it runs every morning. But really the computer is there for the main purpose of acting as a portal for the wireless router. My kids often use other means to access the internet like with the Wii, the Playstation 3 or their PSP's. Every once in a while someone will try to go on with these devices and they yell "who's hogging all the bandwith!" lol It's usually someone downloading a new game.
@bluespace (132)
• Canada
14 Jul 08
I do it with Linux but not with windows and even with Linux i will use the online scanners once in awhile just to make sure!
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
14 Jul 08
Whenever I use Linux I still tend to use antivirus as a matter of habit. I realise the risk is minimal where Linux is concerned, but I suppose that using Windows for so long has made me a little wary whether there is a risk or not.
• South Africa
25 May 08
I have been doing so for about a year without any trouble. I suppose this depends entirely on what you do on the net. I mostly visit a few regular sites, although I do download occasionally. I guess that if you do download a lot, especially from some of the more shadier sites, then an antivirus would be essential.
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
25 May 08
It used to be that if you stuck to trusted and regular sites then you would be okay, but this is no longer the case and a virus can be obtained from virtually anywhere nowadays. You claim that you surfed without antivirus for a year with no trouble, but I very doubt if you have a clean system at the present. If you are not using antivirus then how do you know that you do not have trojans?
@dana234 (2116)
• Spain
24 May 08
Yes, I knew someone who surfed without an antivirus. The computer came with Mcaffee and when it expired he didn´t do anything about it. I´ve noticed that he had no antivirus when I had to use his computer once. He wasn´t even aware how dangerous it is to use the Internet without any protection. It was his first computer, he basically used it to receive and send mail. Needless to say that his PC collapsed after six months. His technician said that he´s never seen so many viruses, malware a.s.o. on a computer before.
• China
24 May 08
Are you kidding? That's too dangerous for your computer. There are too many virus and trojan of interent. What the worse , a hacker will broke into your computer system. May be you will lost your account of your E-mail or bank account keys .
@Asylum (48281)
• Manchester, England
24 May 08
It certainly is dangerous, but my friend was still prepared to do so and then wondered why his computer was in such a mess.