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I'm talking about my question: How far should one go to protect his PC? Closed as primarily opinion-based.

But I never wanted to hear opinions, I wanted facts, like "Is FTP safe?", And the fact is "No".

Maybe I didn't ask my question right, maybe I should have asked: "Is there any antivirus capable of detecting all Malware?."

And that is not an opinion based question, you see before I asked my question, I did some research, according to pcmag.com, who tested all the well known antivirus released in 2013, no antivirus is perfect. What does that mean? it means that 1 antivirus is not enough.

I personally have tested nod32 (Esset), Norton, avg, bitdefender, malwarbytes, and avast, none is perfect.

So I'm not the kind of guys who asks about opinions, otherwise I would have asked on yahooanswers.com, maybe on the survey section, where i can get like 20 opinions easily.

Besides, I tried to explain that i tried MWB and AVG and I showcase the results, to try and explain that I need precise answers, I asked 3 separate question, so you could understand my point of view clearly.

I tried to make this question as scientific as possible, I never wanted opinions. But the answers weren't great, i had to pick the one that sounds better, but It's not my fault, I didn't asked for opinions, i asked for data and test, it's a security issue, when did security issues become about opinions?

"Sir, we have a worm, no in my opinion it's a RAT, no, in my opinion you should restart the server and everything will be fine" That's how you see it right?

on yahoo answers, I'd get 20 answers, people debating why they're antivirus is the best, that's why that site exists, people love to give opinions. I want data, facts, tests.

So lets come back to the original question:

If a user didn't want to hear opinions, but the answers were primarily opinion-based, would the question be closed?

  • Between the question title and "How far should one go to secure his PC? Where is the line between security and being paranoid?" it's reasonable to consider your question primarily opinion-based. You want to be safe? Disconnect all network interfaces, no exceptions, ever. Put the computer into a guarded vault. This is how e.g. certificate authorities do it with their root certs (search for "key ceremony"). If your data needs to be 100% safe from modification, deletion, and distribution, there are no alternatives. – Daniel Beck Sep 14 '13 at 16:30
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    Also, you seem to draw the wrong conclusions. If one AV doesn't catch 'em all, it doesn't mean two of them will. AV also uses techniques that look suspiciously like malware to be able to do their job (which also requires a certain level of trust in running any AV at all), so multiple independent AV's consider each other malware and it's going to be a mess. – Daniel Beck Sep 14 '13 at 16:33
  • @DanielBeck see you still giving opinions... – Lynob Sep 14 '13 at 16:35
  • @DanielBeck i tried avg alone for 3 years man, and it said im protected, then i decided to give mwb a try, it caught 25 malware, then and only then i started doubting having only 1 antivirus, like 1 month ago i installed mwb, i've been using 1 av for years, give some data to back your clames – Lynob Sep 14 '13 at 16:38
  • @DanielBeck i tried almost all of them for at least 6 months – Lynob Sep 14 '13 at 16:38
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    Today's AVs are a combination of signature (malware known to vendor) and heuristic (program does X, X has little legitimate use, so probably malware) approaches. As it's impossible to determine for an arbitrary program how it'll behave (basically Halting problem), there can be no 100% protection against malware (unless you consider the 'prohibit everything' approach valid). Your experience matches this. Now you need to decide whether that's good enough for you, or what you're willing to miss out on (e.g. networking) to be safe. Now it's all opinion. – Daniel Beck Sep 14 '13 at 16:45
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    Of course, all of this isn't relevant to this meta question. But it seems to be based on the assumption that your question doesn't ask for opinion, while in fact, it does. See the first part of my first comment. – Daniel Beck Sep 14 '13 at 16:47
  • @DanielBeck i started using mwb 2 months when this user told me about it superuser.com/questions/608752/windows-7-system-restore-failed before that, i never knew abt it and what using only one av, been using avg for like 2 years, before that, i tried pretty much all of them – Lynob Sep 14 '13 at 16:48
  • @DanielBeck so you're telling that because i asked "How far should one go to secure his PC? Where is the line between security and being paranoid?" it's a opinion and then you say here can be no 100% protection against malware (unless you consider the 'prohibit everything' approach valid). how so? i'm rightfully paranoid if i can't protect my pc 100% thats why im paying the av company, how you feel if u trusted an av and when you scan using another one you catch 20 virus? have you ever tried scanning with another av or do you blindly trust your av? – Lynob Sep 14 '13 at 16:57
  • @Nifle I'm not behaving like an ass but you're giving answers like you don't care, disable your network card or turn off your pc and never use it or you will never be able to secure it so get over it if thats how you think about security then why the hell did you create security.stackexchange.com and if please tell me why is my question not a good fit for this site? some explanations, according to the faq, im perfectly on topic, if there's no proper answers then it's not my problem – Lynob Sep 15 '13 at 16:01
  • This isn't security.stackexchange.com if you hadn't noticed. And as we have said, questions that result in speculation, discussion or opinions are not welcome. – Nifle Sep 15 '13 at 19:28
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Generally, if your question attracts a lot of answers that are merely statements of opinions, then it might be the fault of the question, but it doesn't have to be. In the former case, the question should be closed, in the latter, the answers should be downvoted and/or deleted.

In my opinion, both "Is FTP safe?" is very opinion-based.

If FTP is safe can rely on several external factors (where is it used? WAN? LAN? locally?) and on your definition of what safe even is.

"Is there any antivirus capable of detecting all Malware?." is a very simple question that can only be answered with "no". Even if you would use every anti-malware package that exists, then you still wouldn't be able to detect all malware. Just because there are simply certain cases that would make it impossible for such a software to detect a certain malware.

This is only a subset of the questions you asked in your post though. Your overall question can not be reasonably answered, it can only collect answers containing what people think would be a correct answer (when it is merely their opinion).

Let's have a closer look at why this type of question is a problem.

When you ask how far you have to go to protect your PC, I would summarize that you want to know (from an expert) which countermeasures you would have to deploy to avoid being infected by a malware or possibly having your system intruded by an attacker.

Now someone might answer "I use SuperScanner 2013 Ultimate and I have never had any problems." Which is great for him, but it doesn't answer your question and it's not the answer you're looking for. This is exactly why you posted this meta question, because you don't want answers like that on your question and you might think that these answers caused your question to be closed even though you didn't want them in the first place.

So, let's assume I am an expert and I was to answer your question with something like "I never connect my workstations directly to the internet, if I need a file, I download it from a separate machine and then copy it to my main workstation offline. Also, I only use GNU Hurd as my operating system." Is that answer any better? No, it isn't.

So, what exactly would a proper answer to your question look like?

Studies by Kramer et. al., Johnson et. al. and Lucrov et. al. in 2009, 2010 and 2012 respectively have shown conclusively that installing ACME AMP Plutonium Edition on your Windows workstations will prevent 78% of all intrusion attacks and 82% of all infections of known viruses. Any other anti-malware package proved less effective. Installing additional anti-malware software did not increase the measurable security of the system.

Oh, yeah, that would be awesome. Except that studies like that don't exist. And if they would exist, what would a study from 4 years ago mean today? A ton of new malware would have been written since then. You also can't measure security. You might have 100% protection from virus infections and then fall victim to a phishing attack.

Bottom line, there are no proper answers to a question like that. If you want to have a talk about how to improve your existing system security, join the chat and get some opinions there.

  • I think i found some sort of an answer, there's a small german comany that do that kind of tests av-test.org and it's very famous that cnet talks about it reviews.cnet.com/8301-3667_7-57564385/… but i think you have a valid point sir – Lynob Sep 15 '13 at 13:18
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    man... it is almost like he missed the point of your answer, in how after everything you said, he starts off his comment about how he found what he was looking for. – Bon Gart Sep 18 '13 at 18:10
  • There are (unfortunately) some narrow-minded people that can only see an answer if presented on their (expected) terms. – Doktoro Reichard Sep 18 '13 at 18:24
  • I think in the FTP case, that's not opinion-based, but rather an insufficiently constrained question (though of course the questioner might not realise that). If different people make different guesses re the question intent, then aside from that guess itself, their answers are likely still objective. – Croad Langshan Apr 3 '15 at 14:20

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