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+ - Do we really need anti-virus software?

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An anonymous reader writes "On my dual-boot notebook I run Linux most of the time and Windows XP when I have to. My Windows setup is as minimalist as I can get away with, so one of the things I didn't install is anti-virus software. I've had this machine for almost 5 years now, and run Linux 90 to 95% of the time, but there often extended periods when I run Windows fairly extensively — for example there was a period of about 6 months once where I ran Windows about 75% of the time. However in all that time I never contracted a virus or worm or spyware or any of that nasty stuff — and to check that I occassionally go to the major anti-virus sites and run their free virus scans. Now, to be sure, I don't run IE (except when I have to in order to access sites that only work with IE, and then only when I absolutely have to), and I don't run Outlook, and I don't go to questionable sites, and I don't follow phishing emails, but I have run Windows in some fairly-unprotected environments like airports and coffee shops and hotels. Have I just been lucky? Or is Windows really not as vulnerable as we've been led to believe as long as you follow a few simple safe computing rules? And if so, what are those rules?"

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