Why do you keep your computer clean and secure?

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by firefox2008, Sep 30, 2007.

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  1. firefox2008

    firefox2008 Registered Member

    May 17, 2007
    Is because you are scared of the sharp knock by the feds?
    Is it because you are scared a spouse/boss/friend might see what you are doing?
    Is it just simply stopping people from stealing your identity?

    And how illegal/embarrassing is what is on your computer?

    I am a hypocrite for asking these questions btw because I have been in search of the perfect privacy product for years now, I just want to open a discussion about reasons for why so much time and money has been invested in privacy and security.
  2. AKAJohnDoe

    AKAJohnDoe Registered Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Clearly it is due to the complete and utter lack of control and organization in the world surrounding our little lives, so we feebly attempt to exert a semblance or illusion of control over the dominion of our computers. :D :D
  3. the Tester

    the Tester Registered Member

    Jul 28, 2002
    The Gateway to the Blue Hills,WI.
    I view it as more like maintenance.
    Cleaning temp and junk files may make for better performance.
    I don't have to defrag often and that's a plus IMO.

    I use security programs to protect private data(personal identity,passwords etc..)

    Nothing illegal or embarrassing on this computer.
  4. Rmus

    Rmus Exploit Analyst

    Mar 16, 2005
    I assume you are addressing the home user.

    I also assume from your descriptions that "clean" means nothing illegal nor embarrassing.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "secure" - passwords? encryption?

    Regarding computer security -- I don't think that is any great mystery: it's no different than any other aspect of security. Some people put bars on all windows in their home. Others in the same neighborhood have very little external security other than locks on their doors.

    The psychology of security is very complex. Bruce Schneier's book, "Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World" is a good read on this.

    Privacy is another complex area. Here, we respect each other's privacy and wouldn't look in another's desk drawer or computer files. I don't use a login password.

    As far as your scenarios: if someone has something illegal or embarrassing, then the fear factor rises accordingly, and one is constantly looking for "the perfect privacy product."

    As far as identity, or personal/financial information: storing that on a computer would of course necessitate appropriate security measures. I choose not to keep such information on my computer, rather, using external HDs.

    Likewise, a friend who has his office in his home keeps all business and personal data on external HDs which are kept in a secure place when he is not at the computer.

    Security is a state of mind, first and foremost. Once one has dealt with his state of mind, the security strategy unfolds naturally and easily.


  5. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    I like to keep my computer clean because i hate clutter, i like to keep my system trim and fast.
    I keep it secure to prevent identity theft and protect my data. I don't have anything embarassing/illegal to hide but a lot of it is irreplaceable.
  6. WSFuser

    WSFuser Registered Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Same reason here.

    As for keeping my computer secure, I just dont want malware.
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005

    I don't keep my computer "clean" because:

    1. I'm not scared of the feds, they don't apply to me.
    2. My wife is fully aware - and approves - of my multi-GB pron stash.
    3. No one can steal my identity - it's too convoluted - and I'm the only person with my name in the country, probably even in the world, so stealing mine would be a bit of a giveaway ... :)
    4. Illegal - nothing at all by laws in modern Western countries, not sure about some other countries, embarrassing, nothing at all either, because I am not ashamed of what I like or do nor do I hide it, furthermore, the question of shame is quite subjective. Being liberal at heart, I am more lenient toward all sorts of things ...

  8. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    What most people disagree here is what to use, and what is excessive.

    The reasons to stay "clean" are the obvious ones:

    1- i won't be a bot (one of the main problems of the internet)
    2- my bits are my bits and no one else's (doesn't matter if you think i don't have important stuff, i do)
    3- computer stays fast (i don't hog it)
    4- it's interesting to learn about it
  9. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    I don't want anybody controling my computer but me or knowing what is on my computer and what I am doing with my computer. I also fear a Knock on the door by the feds. I also like to keep people from breaking into my computer.. online or by physically trying to access the computer. What belongs to me should stay mine.
  10. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Nation's Capital
    Simple answer: I don't. There is nothing that I can afford to lose that is on the computer. If PCs were become immediately obsolete, it would not affect me (although I will miss the online flea markets, instant news and updates, the ton of free information). But I could go back to just reading books and newspapers.:cool:
  11. Concepts

    Concepts Registered Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    I don't seem to have any of these problems running linux on my other machine :p

    Its not the internet everyone should be scared of its Microsoft you should be protecting yourselves from.
  12. Bethrezen

    Bethrezen Registered Member

    Apr 16, 2002

    asking something like this is like asking why do you lock your from door/windows when you’re going out

    Its basic common sense if you go out and leave your place open then the law of averages says you are more likely to get burgled

    its simple psychology most criminals are opportunist looking for soft targets/easy money if your place is well secured criminals are less likely to target you coz its too much effort when there are easer targets further on down the street

    its no difference in cyber space a compute that is well kept and well secured is going to run faster and smother programmes are going to function better and you are decreasing the odds that you are going to be the victim of cyber attack which in some cases can lead to other forms of attack like identity theft depending on what information is/was on your computer

    so why do i clean and secure my computer

    because its common sense,
    because its good practice,
    because I don't want to be a victim of cyber attack,
    because I don't want unauthorized people looking at things on my computer they shouldn't be,
    because I hate slow argumentative computers that either wont do what there told or take all eternity to do what there told

    when I'm on the computer I expect it to do what its told when its told and not in 10 minuets when it feels like it

    so its for these and many more reasons I keep my computer clean and secure

    its also why I advocate avoiding the use of Microsoft products in favour of smaller faster more secure open source alternatives like firefox

    because all M$ products suffer from and excessive bloat/overhead and more importantly major security issues which either go unfixed or are not fixed quickly enough IE is a prime example of this M$ support for IE is absolutely abysmal
  13. Doc Serenity

    Doc Serenity Registered Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Good thread.
    I have nothing unusual to be embarrassed about. I don't think anybody would want their most private stuff open to public scrutiny. I just keep my really private stuff off my pc.
    I don't generally go places that would be considered dangerous.
    However, I'm disabled and live on a very small fixed income so I do my best to learn pc security here and implement it on my pc.
  14. crikt1

    crikt1 Registered Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    As for why, I was a victim of an auto dialer years ago, on my very first PC. It almost cost me a great amount of money. It did cost embarrassment, time, anxiety and paperwork. My PC had to be completely recovered and I set out to find prevention solutions. However, because I had to learn how to deal with all the negatives, a lot of positive learning and action resulted for me. I had to learn all about the PC, the Internet and how software and hardware work. Now, after several years of trial and error, ongoing self-instruction and lots of reading, I earn a living helping others in these concerns.

    Thanks to Paul and all of the rest of you here who have helped me over the years, Wilder's security forum was and still is, an integral partner in my on-going education. Thank You All!

    It just makes good sense to protect your investment. There doesn't have to be anything to hide. I keep my PC clean, secure and protected for the same reasons I keep my body and home that way: To avoid expense and pain and also to promote health, longevity, comfort and enjoyment.

    Now, if there could just be less mutual exclusivity between security and convenience!:D
  15. gkweb

    gkweb Expert Firewall Tester

    Aug 29, 2003
    FRANCE, Rouen (76)

    I could say a lot of things, but I am simply stating the main reason : it is my computer, not the malware writters one. It is my home, strangers sleep outside.

  16. beetlejuice69

    beetlejuice69 Registered Member

    Mar 16, 2005
    I have to say for the same reasons as farmerlee. No more no less.
  17. Jim Verard

    Jim Verard Registered Member

    Jun 5, 2007
    From distorted points of view, and a weak justice, everything we say or do can be illegal.

    So I wish there's a way to remain free and safe, and have my privacy respected these days. My only problem here is related to all my passwords. I am using XeroBank/Firefox which doesn't prevent passwords from being accessed by everyone. I can't erase them everytime. I need them to be saved and only accessed by using a master password.

    They need to be saved anywhere (and I have more than 20 different logins/passwords), but locked from other people.

    KeePass can't do the job and fill all the forms at the same time. So, unless someone decide to wake up Mozilla and they realize how stupids are, my computer is everything, but secure. :rolleyes:
  18. EASTER

    EASTER Registered Member

    Jul 28, 2007
    U.S.A. (South)
    I keep my system clean for it's main purpose, PERFORMANCE! :thumb:

    I "try" to keep it secure so that when something malicious/destructive or educational i might be researching & testing at the time won't wind up making changes that will either degrade from it's top optimum performance or lodge some freak code into the system costing me myriads of time to reset normal patterns again, an annoyance which i might add is been greatly relieved thanks in part to rollback ISR's like FirstDefense, not to mention Paragon Drive BackUp Pro. Also helps to have a few extra hard drives to fall back on.
  19. Long View

    Long View Registered Member

    Apr 30, 2004
    Cromwell Country

    Same here. Security is not really a problem/issue for me - so I like a clean fast machine with as few programs as possible - certainly nothing unnecessary running real time.
  20. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    My computer starts with "A".
    After being on-line my computer has "A + B + C + D + ...".
    I don't like that, because I didn't install B, C, D, ...
    So I put my computer back to "A" during each reboot.

    I replace my dirty shirt also with a clean shirt every morning, I do the same with my harddisk.
    I don't have any good reason for this behavior, my parents taught me to wear a clean shirt every day. :)
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