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QOTD: Has a Virus Ever Infected Your PC?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 92 comments
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Once in a while, there's always a major outbreak of computer viruses. This year, the Conficker virus is making the rounds.

Simply put, computer viruses don't play on vulnerabilities of the operating system, they play on the inexperienced. This is of course, unfortunate. Several years ago, viruses were the only hot news in terms of malicious software. Now, spy-ware, ad-ware and other forms of malware are the hottest topics.

Even if you're experienced and savvy with computers, there are always going to be friends and family members that are not so experienced with how to handle themselves around a computer. It's always easier to trust people we know, and virus writers know this. I personally hate receive emails from anyone that asks me to check out a cool or funny slide show. It doesn't even matter if it's from my family--the email goes into the trash right away.

Then there's simply normal email. Not enough people know how to use the BCC (blind carbon copy) field in their email client when sending out emails to multiple recipients. This frustrates the heck out of me.

The question of the day is: Has a virus--or other nasty adware--ever infected your computer?

Let me know what you use to protect yourself, if anything.

Personally, I haven't used an anti-virus for nearly a decade. It all boils down to knowing what to keep an eye out for. But sometimes, just sometimes...

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  • 1 Hide
    kingnoth , March 27, 2009 5:03 PM
    Jumper.B !!! Ah good old floppy disk virus....
  • 0 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , March 27, 2009 5:03 PM
    I get virus every once in a while, usually while fixing someones computer. Can't aways killdisk and reformat. Sometime they want to to try and save their data.
  • 0 Hide
    deltatux , March 27, 2009 5:03 PM
    No viruses on the systems that I own since 2003. However, my family computers ... not so much since they have less security scrutiny than the amount of attention to security detail that I place on my computers.
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    HermDawg , March 27, 2009 5:06 PM
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    dfusco , March 27, 2009 5:07 PM
    Yes, but my AV usually picks them off.
  • 0 Hide
    MagicPants , March 27, 2009 5:08 PM
    Once back in 1999 I got the stone monkey-b virus. Nothing since then. I've had virus checkers catch things about 3 times that I think were real threats. These days I use no script, ad-block, kaspersky and a hardware firewall.

    I know ad-block is bad for the sites I visit, I wish there was a way to just block the annoying flashing or slow loading ads instead of everything.
  • 0 Hide
    Tech-Boy , March 27, 2009 5:11 PM
    Yes only once. I used no anti virus for 3 years until one day bam the screen changed its background and the computer would not work properly. Since then I have used avg free and haven't gotten a virus since.
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    leo2kp , March 27, 2009 5:12 PM
    When I don't turn off scripting, then yea I get them. Happily I don't forget to do that too often when I'm looking something up potentially hazardous :)  I've only had two infections in the past 7 years, none of which were too terribly bad, but I reimaged nonetheless.
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    theubersmurf , March 27, 2009 5:16 PM
    I had one once, but on a computer bought several years ago and has since been reformatted and sold to someone else.

    I Use Panda's Antivirus since then.

    A funny story, the computer that got infected was a dell, with a free brief subscription to McAfee Antivirus. When I got the virus, I called McAfee for support, the tech I talked to, recommended That I switch to either Panda or Trend Micro's PC-cillin. Never had a problem since. So, at least, if McAfee's product was completely ineffective (and it was) at least their tech support is good. :p 
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 27, 2009 5:18 PM
    Not with Linux. I have a separate subnet for Windows systems under repair. They usually have viruses so on this subnet they don't get gateway access and can't connect out. I then run Knoppix on them, export the drives with Samba, and offload the user's files from a Linux system. Then I format, reinstall, update, install anti-malware apps, and then transfer the user's files back. The Windows system is good for a month or two.
  • 0 Hide
    Dreasconse , March 27, 2009 5:18 PM
    Yes. before I really knew about computers, I was using Norton, a virus got into it, and then next thing I knew there were thirty.
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    spanner_razor , March 27, 2009 5:22 PM
    Serious viruses tend to be attracted once a year but that's what happens on the seedier side of the internet. Where grizzled nerds come to drink shandy and talk of exploits past. So many antiviruses these days pick up legimitate programs as viruses and you have to monitor them too much as the auto-learn features are naff.
  • 0 Hide
    mwinfie , March 27, 2009 5:32 PM
    I haven't been hit with anything seriouse for quite some time. I did remove a lot of MSBlast viruses back in the day for a buddy who owns a PC-Repair shop. There were at least thirty computers lined up along the floor to be vacinated.
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    thartist , March 27, 2009 5:33 PM
    no... not that i remember... since my first pc in 98.

    in my opinion you really have to be (if not a novice) an idiot to get a virus. i don't get all the security/insecurity buzz.
    in fact, i just install an antivirus from time to time to see how things are going, and get the same false positives of always about some keygens (oops! never said that!). no more security measures and i'm no genius (well, maybe that is false modesty).

    just download everything from official sites, or renowned sites. in my case betanews, softpedia, or filehippo. and that's the magic formula. security BS panic over the web is just business.
  • 0 Hide
    pogsnet , March 27, 2009 5:40 PM
    Virus is a thing of the past. Trojans are here... You never know if your infected or not unless you install an antivirus.
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    Avenger_K , March 27, 2009 5:41 PM
    Not my own, but my dad's PC (Win95) once got one back around 2000.
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    antilycus , March 27, 2009 5:46 PM
    I did, have no idea where it came from and I am pretty damn savy. Ended up reformating and put it back on since the files were locked and an unlocker wouldn't let me delete them. I have no virus protection as I just look at the processes and port activity.

    I usually use Super Anti Spyware Home edition to remove my threats, but I would refer NOD32 in the pay environment.
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    Tindytim , March 27, 2009 5:47 PM
    everyone has gotten a virus, but it wouldn't be a good virus if you knew it was there. By the time there is a noticeable effect on performance or function, there are already multiple pieces of malicious code running on your machine.

    I just reformat my windows partitions every few months with an few discs I've slipstreamed.
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    deck , March 27, 2009 5:51 PM
    If you are getting lots of viruses, you need to stop going to all those Porn sites...

    jk, but seriously, a large majority of viruses are self inflicted. Most people just need to take more care about where they go and what they click on on the internet.
  • 0 Hide
    chromaone , March 27, 2009 5:53 PM
    Not since a floppy boot sector virus in the days of Windows 3.1.
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