Is unattended system a security risk?


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I'm new to Windows 10. I've been using XP (and ocasionally Linux) for getting on for 15 years!

I've always been in the habit, when a computer is on, but temporarily not in use, of disabling the internet connection, thinking there might be a security risk leaving the system unattended. There is no possibility of a 'local' attack; I just feel vulnerable leaving the system online unnecessarily.

In Windows XP I used a firewall which, with a couple of clicks, blocked all traffic. In Linux systems there is an icon on the task-bar which will disable the network.

On the Windows 10 system I have to right-click the Network task-bar icon, then "Open Network & Internet settings", click "Change adapter options", then right-click "Ethernet" to click "Disable". Then, as long as I leave the 'Network Connections' window open I have a task-bar icon to quickly enable or disable network.

I get the distinct impression Microsoft really doesn't expect me to be doing this! Am I totally paranoid? Does everyone else just leave their computer online regardless?
 
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"totally paranoid" Maybe, maybe not, it's generally a state of mind. Using Device Manager may be a bit quicker with its Disable on right-click of the Network Adapter [NIC] on a Desktop. On a Notebook, in the Notification Area and its Action Center enabling Airplane Mode will do the same, some Desktops can be had with an optional Wireless/Wi/Fi adapter and the same setting will work.
 
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I don't have any real numbers to quote but from long experience the greatest security risk on any PC is the end user. I'd reckon that an unattended system is thus way more secure that when the user is present!

Seriously though, a decent firewall (which Windows 10 already has) can be configured to reject all incoming connections and to do so silently (so that the other end gets no indication that they've reached an active computer). There is thus no security risk at all from an unattended computer - unless the user has already installed malware of course - and thus no need to manually disable the Internet connection.

I've left every PC I've ever owned running 24 x 7 and never had an issue.
 
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Thanks for those reassurances. I'll have a look at the Device Manager option and make sure the firewall is configured as suggested.
 
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I'm new to Windows 10. I've been using XP (and ocasionally Linux) for getting on for 15 years!

I've always been in the habit, when a computer is on, but temporarily not in use, of disabling the internet connection, thinking there might be a security risk leaving the system unattended. There is no possibility of a 'local' attack; I just feel vulnerable leaving the system online unnecessarily.

In Windows XP I used a firewall which, with a couple of clicks, blocked all traffic. In Linux systems there is an icon on the task-bar which will disable the network.

On the Windows 10 system I have to right-click the Network task-bar icon, then "Open Network & Internet settings", click "Change adapter options", then right-click "Ethernet" to click "Disable". Then, as long as I leave the 'Network Connections' window open I have a task-bar icon to quickly enable or disable network.

I get the distinct impression Microsoft really doesn't expect me to be doing this! Am I totally paranoid? Does everyone else just leave their computer online regardless?
Yes I leave it on most of the day. I assume windows security is perfect, I know maybe its not, but I do rely on it and I haven't had any real problems, apart from occasional popups of young ladies telling me they are available.
 
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I'm new to Windows 10. I've been using XP (and ocasionally Linux) for getting on for 15 years!

I've always been in the habit, when a computer is on, but temporarily not in use, of disabling the internet connection, thinking there might be a security risk leaving the system unattended. There is no possibility of a 'local' attack; I just feel vulnerable leaving the system online unnecessarily.

In Windows XP I used a firewall which, with a couple of clicks, blocked all traffic. In Linux systems there is an icon on the task-bar which will disable the network.

On the Windows 10 system I have to right-click the Network task-bar icon, then "Open Network & Internet settings", click "Change adapter options", then right-click "Ethernet" to click "Disable". Then, as long as I leave the 'Network Connections' window open I have a task-bar icon to quickly enable or disable network.

I get the distinct impression Microsoft really doesn't expect me to be doing this! Am I totally paranoid? Does everyone else just leave their computer online regardless?
Yes, I leave my computer on all day. I assume windows security is perfect. I know it's not but I have not had any problems apart from popups from young ladies telling me they are available.
 
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There is no gap like an air gap. That said, unless you have painted a target on your back somehow, a private user should be safe enough being connected.
 
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Thanks for the further advice. I'm feeling a bit more comfortable now. I had been getting rather worried recently because Windows Defender had found three PUPs. I wondered how they had managed to get into the machine past Defender and Firewall. When I managed to find the relevant info in Windows Security, I discovered of course that the affected programs were ones I had put there in my archive of programs I had found useful in the past! They obviously weren't doing any harm, but I removed them anyway.
 
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Yes I leave it on most of the day. I assume windows security is perfect, I know maybe its not, but I do rely on it and I haven't had any real problems, apart from occasional popups of young ladies telling me they are available.
Any addresses to pass on? :rolleyes: ol ( I''m 87 years old.)
 

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