Actual letter in PC Magazine

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by bubbamac, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    I just had to share this one. I left out the name, but it's in the Feb. 2005 issue of PC Mag.

    I couldn't agree more with the advice of Eric L. Howes, the analyst for Spyware Since no single program can eliminate all spyware, pop-ups, viruses, and Trojan horses, I have been using all of the utilities he mentions since long before your article appeared. I currently employ Ad-Aware SE, Search & Destroy, Norton Utilities 2005, PestPatrol, and ZoneAlarm Pro. I run all of them on a weekly basis, and I have not had any problems.

    Whew. Smooth running machine he's got there. How do you get anything done?
  2. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Well, he only runs them once a week. So, hopefully, during the rest of the week he is able to get stuff done, while hoping he's not compromised by the time his weekly cleanup occurs.
  3. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    I just cleaned off my friends PC for him. 122 Viruses and over 200 spyware files.

    Its gotten really bad.
  4. VincentVega macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2004
    It's not that bad for all PCs. For instance, mine sits behind a hardware firewall, I use software to filter out all ads and pop-ups, I have anti-virus software running constantly (it can be over-sensitive, but best to be safe), I run Adaware every so often and watch which websites I visit. Oh, and I only use Opera for surfing - IE is confined to Windows Update.

    Hmmm, that's still quite a lot. With a little effort and common sense, it's not hard to avoid spyware and viruses. Unfortunately many PC users don't seem to be that wise.

    How can anyone have 122 viruses and 200 spyware files? Does he surf porn all day? :eek:
  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Because you know what you're doing and his friend doesn't.

    I never had any viruses on my PC (I got rid of it before spyware really kicked in) but I knew what precautions to take.

    My aunt (only member of family still with PC) hasn't a clue although she has a vague idea of a software firewall and occasionally remembers to update virus defs. At Xmas, I deleted 24 trojans and 16 viruses - almost enjoyed it since it was such a novelty! :rolleyes:
  6. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

    Mar 19, 2004
    A series of tubes
    That's absolutely pathetic. Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of Joe-Average Windows users nonchalantly reporting similar anti-crapware setups.
  7. DaiKirai macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2005
    I just got this banner ad up top:


    I actually am on a PC (until my Mac Mini arrives), but if this appears for the Mac users here too, that's a good chuckle :D
    Ever hear of targeted advertising, fellows?
  8. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    They're randomly placed from a fee-paying service... I got caught out asking about that once.
  9. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    That's the point; 500 million PC users all have to expend regular effort because the operating system manufacturer decided it was a fine idea to allow lots of flexibility for applications to open processes and exchange data autonomously, and tightly integrate network access with the OS. Which gave virus writers and spyware writers a big, beautiful, unsecured (and perhaps unsecurable) sandbox to be creative in.

    And why: Because Microsoft has inverted the traditional quality-assurance cost-benefit equation. They have pulled off the stunning accomplishment of moving quality assurance and remediation costs completely off of their balance sheet and onto their customers' by releasing products that force the CUSTOMERS to assume the risk, the testing and the repair labour. And then they get them to pay every year for upgrades! I tell you it is stone-cold brilliant, and a scheme of this scale has never been accomplished in the history of business.

    Take the 10 minutes (best case) to 1 hour (typical?) per month that is required for preventative maintenance, Windows updates, security updates and rebooting after updates -- now multiply this times approximately 500,000,000 Windows machines (it was actually 603 million total computers in 2001, we have to allow for growth of another 240 million or so, but then allow for retirement and non-Windows machines) and you have three billion hours per year of wasted human productivity -- just on routine maintenance, not counting bugs, crashes, viruses, spyware and remediation of damaged systems.

    John Dvorak counts 700 million machines and says "Gates said that 5 percent of Windows machines crash, on average, twice daily. Put another way, this means that 10 percent of Windows machines crash every day...With 10 percent of them crashing daily, we have 70 million crashes every 24 hours... that's roughly 30 billion crashes per year.",4149,1210067,00.asp

    Which all goes to my contention that Bill Gates is responsible for more overall human misery than any person alive.

  10. DaiKirai macrumors member

    Jan 17, 2005
    Figured something of the sort. "Fellows" means the fee-paying service, then, not our site admins :)
  11. timnosenzo macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2004
    ct, us
    CanadaRAM, well said. It's never long after these threads start that someone says that a PC user who's computer is inflicted with malware or viruses is an idiot. I've never had a PC be infected, but I see how easy it is for it to happen. I don't think people should have to be security experts to have Internet access...I think malware is really tricky, and if you're not 100% sure what to look for, you're going to get into trouble.
  12. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
  13. adt macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Perth, Western Australia
  14. bubbamac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    Forgot to mention it in the first post:

    I don't want this to turn into a huge Mac is better than Windows thread, even though that's what I'm implying by posting the letter. It's just an illustration, provided by a real Windows user who is quite proud of the ease with which he protects his computer (maybe).

    I've got a Windows machine myself, while I've had loads of spyware, I've only had 2 viruses make it onto the computer, and they were both caught by NAV. But still...

    I run Ad-aware and Search and Destroy (about once/month), as well as NAV and ZoneAlarm. He's only got one more app than what PC Mag suggests. It's a PITA.

    On my PB, I run... nothing.

    To each his own.
  15. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    I ran a PC unprotected over a cable modem in 1997 and never had any problems. Its only been in the last 2 years of so that the spyware, trojan and virus problems have become a serious for me. Since that time, I have just canned my PC and now use my Mac exclusively.
  16. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Classic. And with the best kind of reasoning, too. Brightened up my morning on what is turning out to be a really rather crappy day. :)
  17. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Can beat that.

    Got over 800 bad files with Ad Aware on my girlfriends Mums family computer.

    NO one had an idea what spy ware was so i had to educate them into using Firefox.
  18. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    This past summer I had to reformat my pc (WinXP); I forgot to disconnect it from the cable modem. Before I was finished installing everything I had popups happening for "male enhancement". Jeez, they couldn't even wait for me to finish installing the OS :rolleyes:
  19. Kreamy macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Yes they have, that ad targets >95% of the people that use the internet. i think thats targeted pretty well.

    My windows PC is uninfected and fine. ITs crap enough as windows i cant imagine it with viruses too... =O/

    How to prevent viruses? easy : 1) Get SP2 unless youre a pirating bastard in which case - haha
    2) Get AVG Full Edition (well worth the money) runs daily updates and takes up virtually no memory, kicks ass of norton, mcafee, bullguard, nod32 and any other crap people think is good
    3) Get Microsoft Antispyware

    ta-da! clean!

    Meanwhile i still fear using a computer that does not have an apple logo on it.
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I run Virex like once a month.

    Hey, it makes me feel better about dropping $99 for my .mac e-mail if I'm using it for anything else.
  21. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have McAfee anti virus and AdAware installed and they run regularly - there is no slowdown and it uses hardly any resources... my computer has no spyware and no viruses and never had a trojan - its a Windows machine that thinks its a Mac! (Well, it easy for it to think that - I use an Apple Keyboard lol)
  22. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Lol XP Corp SP2 Integrated is one of the top pirate downloads (much like ANY Windows software has been in the last century or so). And before any accusations about my sources, I got mine thanks to the nice student deal at Maryland, thank you very much =D.

    Here, let me show a picture of what I get everytime I run MS Anti Spyware:

    It runs around 3am every morning (at least that's the default setting). I've stopped it from doing so b/c it never finds anything. 0. Nothing. In fact, I daresay, its a waste of productivity to be running anti-spyware period when you use Firefox.
  23. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    that was one of the main reasons I switched to a mac in the first place. I ran a combination of adaware, spybot, and zone alarm not to mention the countless viruses that my good family would send me. Once I switched things became easier. I began to have more time to work on stuff.
  24. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    Can beat that...

    I finally gave up on my son's computer (9yrs). I've moved it into a DMZ so that it won't infect anybody else.

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