General Question

Truefire's avatar

Secure or insecure network?

Asked by Truefire (155points) September 14th, 2008

My Dad doesn’t want to install antivirus/firewalls on any of the Windows computers in the house.

He thinks we’re safe with just the ‘firewall’ on the router. He won’t even run Firefox on any of them. I run , so obviously I know better, but I need someone else with ‘professional’ expertise to prove that we need security software.

Right now, I’m stuck with a Vista machine (the harddrive doesn’t like linux, my OS of choice) so I set my Avast scanner to High.

Can someone convince him, short of infecting my network?

PS He is generally tech savvy, he’s just far too trusting of Microsoft. Therefore, I can’t load ‘fake viruses’ to scare him or install security software without him knowing.

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12 Answers

iwamoto's avatar

hmmm, well, it’s a bit of both i guess, personally, when i still had windows i only had a router level firewall and that was all i needed, simply because i was a safe surfer.

i think that’s part of it there, how much security are you going to need ? if you keep your devices and browser up to date you’re pretty safe with normal surfing behaviour.

then again, i haven’t dealt with virusses and such in 2 years…and i’m glad for it

blastfamy's avatar

Me thinks that someone that thick headed will only learn through being burned personally. It will happen eventually; it’s only a matter of time.

Make sure that the data you have on that machine is safe. Don’t get burned yourself.

Truefire's avatar

In addition, can anyone confirm the huge difference in security between Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7/8?

Truefire's avatar

@blastfamy: Thanks, I’ll try.

iwamoto's avatar

the browser engine is the difference, from what i’ve read so far on wikip. i think chrome is one of the safest browsers around at the moment, because of the independant processes and the phishing filters it utilises, you could give that a shot

Truefire's avatar

It’s not me that needs to know it :D I need someone to be overly convincing here. He will eventually be reading this thread. Chrome is an idea he may accept, though. However, it doesn’t run on Win2k which is what 2 out of the 5 PC’s we own run.

RandomMrdan's avatar

if he isn’t running an anti-virus, the microsoft vista that he trusts so much will continue to tell him in the bottom right of his screen that he doesn’t have any, and they recommend it.

As far as the fire wall goes…I’d keep the vista firewall on…it’s a bit over kill at first, but it will change with use.

And for anti-virus, I don’t like Avast so much, I prefer to use this guy it requires virtually no maintenance and scans all day long, and yet uses next to zero resources (which kind of helps stream line vista).

You really have to level with him. Just mention something like….these things are here for a reason, people use them because they are known to prevent these types of things, why take the risk on being a safe surfer, or having faith in just a fire wall (by the way a firewall is really just a gate that you choose when to open and close, the anti-virus is suppose to double check what you let through).

If he still says no…well then, it’s his own damn fault when his identity is stolen through spyware, remote viruses, trojans, worms, adaware, rootkits, etc…the list goes on…there is just too much there to just ignore it in my opinion.

Hopefully he wise’s up and gets some decent protection.

Hope it helped.

Truefire's avatar

Unfortunately, he uses XP Home on his main computer, with Avast(may be gone now) but the media center win2k laptop plugged into the tv all day uses no antivirus, and neither does my Mom’s/kid brothers.
I had Adblock+ and FF3 on theirs, but he just did an OS wipe.
Mine is the only one with Vista(smacks head).

tWrex's avatar

Go grab Nessus and scan your network from the inside – update it first. Show him the results. Then scan it from the outside and see what you find then. If you’ve got no holes, you gots no holes! Sometimes a router firewall is better than you think. And sometimes it blows ass. I’d still run an av/firewall, but I’m paranoid.

bodyhead's avatar

There are bugs and worms that are released through exploits in IE itself. That’s crazy that he won’t run virus protection on the computer. You can get a virus just by looking at an email (with html viewing turned on) or by browsing (legitimate) websites. I’ll see if I can find some white papers for you.

In fact, the only thing you are protected against is those self-perpetuating worm viruses that just bounce from computer to computer. Most computers with viruses get them through email, peer to peer software and via websites with exploitable code (like an out of date php engine or something like that). He is not protected. If he’s worried about the cost, you should try something like AVG. I use it on one of my computers and haven’t had any problems.

Truefire's avatar

Yeah, we used to have Avast, and that worked fine. AVG isn’t that great in my opinion, I lean towards ClamWin, or Avast. If you could find something to convince him, that would be great.
I just got a virus for the first time in a long time, because my computer is on a network with the (soon to be) zombie computer. I can’t wait to get another harddrive…. I’m so used to the security of Linux now, not to mention my hardware is OSx86 compatible :D

jkwells1's avatar

Whatever you do, DO NOT buy or Install any Symantec Product. I use Grisoft’s AVG Antivirus or Internet Security products for home users. I got a computer this weekend that was infected with 12 Trojans, one being a product that mimics a Windows solution called: “Antivirus 2008”. I downloaded a 30 Day trial of AVG Internet security and it was able to clear all malware. Thank You Grisoft! I think in the end it is a matter of how safe you are when visiting shady or con like sites on the net. You and your father may be good at surfing but with more than 2 PCs at home do you trust that the other folks using your computer will be as cautious? Good Luck. PS Spybot 1.6 is also a God Send!

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