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I’ve done something recently that would probably make a lot of peoples toes curl. For that reason I’ve kept it a dirty secret and not spoken of it openly.

I have…. (sharp intake of breath)… removed all the internet security from my PC.

Yes it’s true. No anti-virus. No firewall. No spyware checker.

You see, for some time my system has been bogged down with the bulk of all this software that was never doing anything. Only myself and my girlfriend use my PC. I use it for all-sorts but I’m pretty web-savvy. I also use Gmail totally online for my email (which means I don’t need any kind of anti-spam plus it’s good at filtering out the rubbish from my inbox – the stuff that’s most likely going to cause viruses, etc, to be installed).

And all is clear.

I’ve been like this for a few months – before that all virus and spyware scans had come up empty since.. well pretty much forever. I’ve only ever had one virus and the only “dose” of Spyware was down to my own fault.

My daughter has an old laptop (which would creak with a virus scanner on it) and that’s just the same. She’s 8, so the kind of person most likely to end up with Spyware on her computer. But, no, that’s clean as well. That, I can say, is down to education. And before anyone takes an issue at an 8 year old having her own computer… it’s restricted (websites, hours it can be used, etc) via CyberPatrol.

I should add, however, that I do have a router with a hardware firewall as part of it, so that’s performing some of the firewall duties for me.

What I do now is run a standalone spyware scan (Ad-Aware, that kind of thing) and free virus scan every couple of months. Just to be sure.

Of course, this means I’m taking a risk. The upside, however, is that my PC runs smoother and quicker as a result. And it’s cheaper ;o)