TV-2012-08-21 #084 – August 21st, 2012

Listener email: IT Publications, Contracts and Anti-Virus.

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2 Responses to “TV-2012-08-21 #084”

  1. Blain Newman says:

    Mike & Carey,
    On system protection against infection…
    On my personal machines I run no AV at all.
    * I’m careful about what site I visit
    * I don’t open links in emails unless I’m expecting something specific
    * I faithfully use WOT on every machine I own or work on.
    * I restrict my wife’s surfing to only Sandboxed browsing
    * I do my best to scare my family into Sandoxed only browsing (non-gamers)
    * I did treated my mother-in-law to a Full version of Malwarebytes.

    I thoroughly enjoy the back and forth between you two guys.
    You each come from differing backgrounds and bring unique perspectives to the podcast.
    Keep up the good work!

    Happy Trails

  2. B. Tarbox says:

    I’m pretty much the same in my approach; have a large home network behind three in-line routers and that’s it. I personally gave up on AV about the time AVG became bloated and started slowing systems way down (version 8 or 8.5?).
    I’m fairly well convinced that AV’s “bite” is in general, worse than the minuscule protection it provides when compared to the user influence when it comes to potential for, and actual system infection. Since I’ve stopped using AV, there’s been no change in infection rate; both time intervals = 0 infections over more than two dozen machines over more than a decade. I check once in a while with something like Malware Bytes just to be sure and always get a clean bill of health.
    The benefits I see are all resource utilization goes into computing and I’m heavy into the gaming and video rendering and photo-retouching/processing. Also I don’t get the so-called “bit-rot” that was so common in the past, which called for a fresh install of the OS, although I suspect the advent of SSDs has masked this to a great degree, I still see little diminishment of speed and response when it comes to spinning disk technology even after more than a half dozen years of use with dozens of programs installed and six dozen or more processes running all the time.
    Of course I can’t advocate this sort of behavior for anyone else since we all interact differently with the signals and signs that an infection may be imminent. For instance if I’m on a page with flash, even YouTube, I will always right click on the so-called flash window and make sure the context menu is flash-related; if not, that page is gone because I don’t trust Adobe or any other company with my personal Internet security.
    I’m making that observation across a couple dozen systems or so that seem to function so much better without the presence of any AV software.

    XP is still the King of the Hill for me, 32-bit Windows 7 is a very close second, certainly an acceptable replacement; on 4 of the “heavies” I’m trying to run 64-bit Windows 7 ostensibly so I can run a couple concurrent VMs on SSD. That works fine but other things do not; unrecoverable gaming bugs that seem 64-bit related when Googled, system degeneration over a fairly short period when I use system virtualization (RETUNIL), slow network utilization with some program functions, poor FireWire performance, XP access to 64-bit system shares that were working unexpectedly cease to work, preview handlers crashing, explorer crashing occasionally.
    I’m sure it would all work better if I only ran a homogenous society of 64-bit Windows 7 citizens but like I said, XP is still king for me and I’m a “show me a better way and I’m on it like white on rice,” sort of person, so there’s very little sentimental value if it doesn’t perform to a high standard. I don’t know what I’m going to do when XP really does become obsolete! Well, 32-bit Windows 7 is very good as well, in fact I’m composing this on a remote 32-bit 7 system now and its been as solid as an XP system for weeks.
    Just to bring it all back around and wrap it up in a pretty bow, I think the increased security in a 64-bit system is at least partly responsible for the decreased performance. The hardened kernel is good for closing many of those viral and malware vectors so sought after by hackers, so they’ve turned much more to application and social hacking now. That same hardened kernel keeps programs from installing low-level drivers that can optimize performance, hence the reduced effectiveness of programs like RETURNIL and SandBoxie. Folks usually only mention that increased security is good and leave off the fact that increased security comes at a cost, and that cost is that it is diametrically opposed to ease of use. I’m one of those who doesn’t need the security so I’m full on chasing after great performance. Other’s would need to temper that desire for more security.

    So in conclusion in my best Soup Nazi voice; No AV for me!

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