I’ve been using Azrael (my PC) without an anti-virus for more than a month now. For the best part of one month, I’ve been running Windows XP SP2 plugged to the internet (I was, of course, running Opera and Firefox. Not IE7.) without any anti-virus or anti-spyware and no patching whatsoever, just a properly configured firewall. This afternoon, I decided to end my little study. It was time to check my PC’s condition. I downloaded several popular anti-virus and anti-spyware solutions and ran full system scan on each of them.
The result? Azrael came out clean. Not one virus or spyware was found. Nada. I think if the users are informed and vigilant enough, there is still away to avoid getting malwares without using third party solutions. (Although, the bugs and the fact that programs still randomly crashes in Windows is an entirely different issue. 😛 ) In a previous entry, I talked about what an average user needs to know.
Security is very, very hard to accomplish because the best security will still be useless to a clueless user. The security community’s mandate is to protect, once and for all. This becomes even more difficult when you have to protect your users against themselves and against their own ignorance.