Turn off PC to prevent intrusion???
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Thread: Turn off PC to prevent intrusion???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2000

    Turn off PC to prevent intrusion???

    I read somewhere??? that it is very important to turn off your computer when it is not being used. Such action supposedly will help prevent hijackers, etc. from taking over your computer. Such advice brings to mind the 1983 movie 'War Games' in which Matthew Broderick's computer comes to life while he is across the room asleep in his bed and the computer trys to start WWIII. Is there any positive benefit to shutting down that has any effect on foiling highjackers or any other sources of monkey business that could be at least annoying or perhaps harmful?

    Just wondering?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    notnoid--If you have good and up-to-date antivirus, antispyware and firewall programs installed on your PC, you should have no problems with malware when your PC is idle.
    The main ways to get malware are when you use the PC, such as to surf to sites that give it to you, open email (or email attachments) that contains it or install programs that contain it. In those cases the best defense, in addition to the programs mentioned, is caution. Pass up sites, email and attachments that you are not sure of. Scan attachments and installation files with the antimalware programs mentioned.
    You might also want to look at the Security and Privacy tab settings in IE's Tools|Internet Options. I have Security for the Internet Zone set at Medium-High. In Privacy|Advanced I check the box to block all third party cookies.
    WIN7 Ultimate SP1 64bit, IE 11, NTFS,
    cable, MS Security Essentials, Windows 7 firewall

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Tx.
    And, unlike the "movies," if your pc is off, your protected from the outside world
    "They say "don't try this at home" so I'm coming over to your house to try it."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Maryland, USA

  5. #5
    HAN's Avatar
    HAN is offline Virtual PC Specialist!!!
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Jim's right, in that if you are reasonably careful and your PC (and your connection to the web) is setup safely, then your risk of infection is minimized. But as Steve notes, nothing is safer than OFF!

    Are there any other benefits to powering down? IMO, yes. A key one being something called memory leaks. Some programs that are not perfectly written have a nasty habit of consuming more and more RAM while they run. And the worst of these memory "eaters" may not totally disengage from the RAM when they are closed. Over time, if you have any of these "leakers", your system runs slower and slower. In cases like this, a reboot can work miracles. Since most of us really never know (or even pay attention) to things like this, shutting down can be a very beneficial thing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Sheboygan, WI
    Plus, you save on the electric bill with it shut off.
    Just be sure to follw doc's instructions.

    Power company here figures the average user will save $7 a month by turning them off. Our rate is $0.068 which is cheaper than most.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Switching off is a good idea for power reasons etc, but in terms of the risks a typical home user faces I don't think it makes a difference. If you stick an unpatched XP machine on the Internet it'll be owned in well under a minute, so switching off for 8 hours a night really doesn't make much difference to the attack window.

    By all means shut it down, but don't have the impression that your PC is somehow safer while you're sitting in front of it than when you're in bed. If anything, with all the browser and plugin exploits in popular use these days, it's probably safer when you're not touching it.
    Safe computing is a habit, not a toolkit.

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