I Surf Unprotected

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That's right. I don't use any anti-malware apps.

Did I just hear jaws drop across the interwebs? As an IT professional, I spend a good amount of my time educating people about computer security. I strongly recommend that people use antivirus and anti-malware software. All computers on my network run McAfee Anti-Virus Corporate Edition, and I’m a regular user of various anti-malware applications when cleaning up my client’s computers.

Yet for the last couple years, I’ve always had one PC that has no antivirus software installed.

I don’t store critical documents on it nor do I do online banking with it. It’s certainly not my work computer. If it were to crash and burn, I would shed no tears. At first it was laziness, but now it’s an experiment.

In over two years, I haven’t gotten a single virus or piece of malware. The only protection I have is that I’m behind a Linksys firewall and I have my Windows firewall enabled. On this computer I’ve used Windows XP, Vista, and currently Windows 7 Beta.

Don’t try this at home kids. This is only for the professionals. I have to clean up computers on a regular basis that, despite the fact that they DO have antivirus software installed, still got a virus or some nasty piece of malware.

How have I managed this dangerous and reckless feat without any consequences?

Simple. I trust no one. If for some reason a pop up Window comes up asking me to click OK or Cancel, I click on ‘X’ instead, I never open e-mail from people I don’t know regarding products I didn’t buy. I keep my system updated with the newest security updates from Microsoft. I use Chrome as my main browser, but I also use Firefox and IE only when I have to.

Like I said, don’t try this at home kids, and please, stop installing cutesy applications that put smiley faces in your e-mail, quit opening UPS Tracking e-mails from products you didn’t ship, and for the love of God, don’t “Scan your computer” when a popup from a program you don’t recognize comes up. When in doubt, press Ctrl-Alt-Del, start the Task Manager and click End Task.

Just because you’re wearing a helmet, doesn’t mean you should keep bashing your head into a wall!

Michael Scalisi is an IT manager based in Alameda, California.

[Editor's Note: Maybe Scalisi and Rick Broida should get a room?]

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