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Thread: Computer protection

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Computer protection

    Just had to reformat and reinstalling software on my Lab computer. It's an oldie but a goodie. Perfect for the Lab. It is a Pentium III 500 mhz so it's not very fast. But about all I do with it run Winamp streaming music thought a good set of speakers.

    I use it browse the net and sometimes I pull down a PDF files from my main computer. It's networked to all the computers in the house and they all share files. It has a large second hardrive in it, that use to back up files to from my main one, over the network. Just in case of a HD failure.

    With it reformatted and not bloated with software it runs so much faster I am being very careful about loading just what I need on it. Not much. What I was tossing around is what level of protection I need on it.

    I run AV software and a Firewall on all my computers. But I don't know if I really NEED it on this one. If it gets a virus no big deal! I just reformat and reinstall the software. Besides in all my years I have never been infected but one time and that was stupidity on my part. I knew as soon as I did it I made a mistake. I am careful and I don't have email program on this one.

    My concern is the fact that it is networked. If I did get a virus off a web site I visited, I am wondering if it could spreed to the other computer via my network? Probably safer to run it but got to say I love the way it is running without it.

    Someone know the facts and not just opinions? What risk would running naked present to my other computers?
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Looks like you are well covered now. Nothings perfect but what you have is tons more than a lot of folks get away with. I think Vaughn is the eekspurt on the this stuff.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
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    I don't know the definitive answer, but I do know the few times a virus has shown up at our office, the infected machines have been immediately physically disconnected from the in-house network. I'm pretty certain viruses and other malwear can spread through your network if you're not careful.

    The way you've described it, you're at a pretty low risk of catching something on that machine. Still, unless running the AV and firewall software causes the lab computer to run unacceptably slow, I'd go ahead and run them anyway. Sort of like wearing a life vest on dry land in case of a flood, you'll probably never need it, but there's still that one time it might come in REAL handy.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
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    One of many risks I see with your architecture (all your home PC's being networked and one unprotected) is my favorite beasty . .. the self propagating sleeper. These little buggers install themselves on unprotected machines and then go to sleep. Later they wake up and spread to other machines that they can reach on your network and install there and go to sleep. Infection is often allowed even on protected machines because the beasty is being delivered by a trusted machine that has rights to share drives, etc. Clever, eh?

    After a random period the various little beasts (by now sprinkled liberally throughout any reachable PC's) fire up at different times (sometimes days or more apart). The plan is that the virus in machine "A" fires off and you detect it and spend a few days getting rid of it. By then the virus in machine "B" fires off re-infecting any hosts not already infected. . . namely machine "A" that you just got back online. And so the fun continues until you totally isolate the machines and clean them all.

    Don't you wish the folks who write these things would spend as much effort doing something useful? Moral of the story is; protect anything that is reachable directly or indirectly or adjust your comfort level on rebuilding machines. ;-)
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 02-10-2008 at 01:41 AM.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5
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    Good points! With the spread of home networks I was assuming that viruses were network enabled so to speak. Plus since I do regular file backup to the Lab computer it would be pretty simple for a virus to get spread I think.

    Odds are slim of getting one on that Lab computer but the more I thought about it the more I decided it was foolish to take a risk of infecting my Business computer I depend on, in order to speed up that computer.

    I had not realize it but I have 4 computers in my house now! I have a tablet PC that I forget about. I use it in the field, download the data to my desktop and it goes back into the bag. I never thinking of it because it isn't generally used. The thoughts of cleaning ALL of those up and trying to restore the data sort of got my attention. So I have downloaded AGV for the Lab computer.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    ...So I have downloaded AGV for the Lab computer.
    Good move.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Vancouver, BC
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    You didn't say but I am presuming that your home network is behind a firewall?

    I gave up running AV software on my computers a couple of years ago. I found they slowed the computer down and were just as irritating as viruses. I haven't had a problem on the two computers I use and if my kids have a problem I just wipe the disk and reinstall windows. As long as you stay away from risky sites and don't open unknown email attachments I think your risk is fairly low.

    Greg

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