Windows Basic Security Questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by macjay, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. macjay macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2003

    1) If I'm using Windows and never download anything but official software from the internet (Firefox browser, etc.), never download any files from spam emails, and never load any harmful files onto the computer, does that theoretically prevent any chance of getting a virus? Are there any other ways to get a virus in Windows?

    2) If I go to a secure web page (such as when doing banking, etc.) in Windows, is that just as secure as being on the same page in OSX?

    3) If, in addition to the preventative measures in #1, I use the free AVG anti-virus program, will Windows be as secure as OSX?

  2. sfh macrumors regular

    May 27, 2008
    Sacramento CA

    just going on the internet on a windows machine can get you a virus.. you need an antivirus programs such as Kaspersky or AVG stay away from norton and mcafee they both are bloated over priced POS that don't catch viruses very well

    going on the internet :
    for example one of our staff went onto the state employment development website to get a form. someone had hacked into their server and put a virus on there that automatically loaded into any visitors machine (windows). so even trusted sites can be compromised (kaspersky caught it, norton and mcafee did not)

    secure pages only denote that the data being transfered comes from the expected server. So if there is a virus on that server then you are likely to get it on a windows machine .
  3. TheCakeIsALie macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
    It's impossible to "theoretically prevent any chance of getting a virus" on any computer/OS (well, unless you unplug your Internet cable, don't attach any removable devices, and your computer is clean to start with). It's even possible to get a virus while you are doing a clean install of an OS (I know that's quite possible for XP) if you don't unplug the Internet during installation.

    Install anti-virus suites if you are using Windows. Simply "never download anything but official software" isn't going to prevent your computer from getting a virus. And don't forget you can always get a virus from a USB drive or other removable storage.

    Secure website wise, it really mostly depends on the type of encryption used by that website and less so on the OS you are using. You'll most likely be fine on both Windows and OS X.
  4. illegallydead macrumors 6502a


    Oct 22, 2007
    As mentioned, you still CAN get a virus from just about anywhere. Good job on going with AVG.
    However, in my ~10 years of using a computer on a daily basis, moving from Windows 95 to ME to 2000 to XP to OSX, I have maybe gotten 1, read ONE virus, and it was immediately caught. Mind you, I didn't go to the cleanest websites either.
    The point of all this is that you should always be careful, be smart, and having a anti-virus is always good in Windows. As some have mentioned, the only way to stay 100% secure is to NEVER attach you computer to any sort of network (which kind of cripples its usefulness for most folks)

    Lastly, you say "as secure as OSX". I will just say that the ONLY reason there are few to no viruses for OSX is because of :apples: comparatively low market share. If they attain maybe 15-20%, hackers will likely start targeting Macs as well :(
  5. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2007
    Hackers can't just shift gears and apply Windows viruses to Macs. The environment is completely different and a huge part of the reason there are none for Macs is because OS X requires a password for such changes, market-share has much less to do with it. You have to knowingly and willingly install viruses yourself.

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