Don't overclean your PC

Security vendors like to turn up the dial on computer security threats, but the Bleeding Edge blog says if you don't strike a balance you'll waste time and end up overcleaning your computer.

The article argues that in security, it is always better not to get invaded than to get invaded and clean up what you think has got through, because 'cleaning' products can underclean (miss unwanted material) or overclean (change or harm your computer).

It suggests you should stick to a budget for maintenance time to free up your time for more productive activities.

Here's Bleeding Edge's tips for just-enough computer security:

  1. Make routine backups of your system volume - if you have the now ubiquitous USB external hard disks, the presence of a Maxstor or Seagate hard disk allows you to use their cut down, free version of Acronis.
  2. Make even more regular System Restore Points. Also, Windows XP Pro's native backup utility can back up system state and ConfigSafe will do the same for Vista (not fully exercised yet)
  3. With regards the Internet, think about doing things in a virtual machine (VirtualPC or VMWare) or put on some protection (ShadowStor ShadowProtect)

Most of the advice we get says we don't do enough to secure our computers - so it's interesting to hear someone espouse the opposite view. Do you think it's on the money?

Can you overclean your PC? [Bleeding Edge]


    With regards to the internet.

    (1) Use Firefox
    (2) Connect from behind a NAT router
    (3) Turn off scripting by default (NoScript for FF)
    (4) Don't visit nefarious sites

    These simple steps will stop 99% of all "nasties". You don't need an Antivirus or Firewall in my opinion. I've existed happily without either for several years by following steps 1-4.

    I use Firefox, I connect from behind a router (used to use the free version of Zone Alarm), and I use AVG free. That and common sense are about my only security, and I've been fine so far.

    Firefox and Gmail have virtually ended all support calls from my family :)

    Hehe that makes sense. I moved my parents over to a Mac when the iMac first came out, and they won't go back to PCs now - they're convinced the Macs are safer.

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