Back in, if I remember correctly, 1991 my parents bought me 80x286. My journey into computing so began.
But this post is about anti-virus programs (what? They are called "programs" in the past). In 1991 and following 4 years I used F-Prot. It was so simple and clean. After exposing myself to Windows 95 in late 1995. I tried several anti-virus programs however never settled on any single one of them and this went on at least for a year. At some point I noticed I was so careful and never caught a virus since '94 (MS-DOS 6.21). Then again I used several programs till Windows 98 came out. With that upgrade I abandoned virus protection altogether. If I really needed a virus check in those early unprotected years (98-00), I emailed the file in question to myself and let yahoo or hotmail does the dirty work for me. Anyways this also went for at least 2 years till Windows 2000 came out. After then everything changed over a night.
Found this on the WEB, thanks to one who captured it =)
First of all; trojans came back. To me it was the only way to catch on harmful code. Other than that NT based OS was pretty clean and neat. In order to save myself from trojans and etc... I never run an executable file from anywhere except for official sites of well-known commercial sites.
Second, networking got better significantly. Well, we all know XP's 60 second reboot bug/virus (oh boi what a pandemic it was) prior to the time service pack 2, but I never caught that 'cause I always use up-to-date OS.
I still, today, do not use any kind of security application. Either I am lucky or my cautiousness is paying good. By the way, I own a Mac and a Windows 8 Developer Preview. However with a little bit caution I do not think my Mac or Windows 8 are in anyway danger. Of course it is only true for an up-to-date Lion and Windows with MS Security Essentials and default firewall.
What I don't understand is how come viruses were more threat than now back in early 90s without networking. Did we really exchange that much files with people via floppy disks? I don't think so. Even if I remember incorrectly, the ratio that I remember was horrible. Whenever I took some file from someone and scan it, F-Prot was like mad. Every-time. Strange but true. So I came to a conclusion that I remember incorrectly and ask around friends who is from different profiles and owned PCs back in those days. They all said one way or another the same thing, "we were not safe back then". So this my little poll proves that somehow, we were really exchanging that much executable file in the past. However there is still a chance that in fact viruses were so (maybe too) much common, we catch on easily.
I also must state that there are bluetooth viruses, harmful phishing page links etc for our smartphones. It is still dangerous out there but if you be so careful and do not to accept anything from an unknown connection (bluetooth or otherwise) or click on nothing you do not know, it is pretty easy to avoid PDA viruses as far as I concern.
What I really am paranoiac about is that phishing pages. If I click on something bad and give any kind of login information about any service to any phishing page, it is highly probable that I am going to get hacked sooner than I thought; so I try to be very careful about where I am surfing.
Anyways, what I am trying to say is that back in old days viruses are so easy to catch up but somehow so easy to get rid of and so less harmful. Nowadays is none of these are true sadly.
A little trivia about very very old days; "In February 1953, there was a total of 53 kilobytes of random access memory (RAM) on the planet."