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Thread started 05 Jan 2018 (Friday) 15:41
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Do you keep your photo pc offline?

 
ncjohn
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Jan 05, 2018 15:41 |  #1

I know that some people have a pc that they don't use for anything except their photography and related stuff, and they keep that machine offline so it can't be compromised by a virus or whatever internet nasties.

My question really is, "If you're one of those people, do you have anti-virus on that machine? Do you keep the OS updated?" It seems to me that, if you have a machine that's never exposed to the internet then you don't need anti-virus, and if the machine works fine then you don't need updates.

I'm about to become one of those people who have a pc that never goes online, and I'm interested in others' experiences and opinions.
Thanks




  
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shocolite
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Jan 05, 2018 15:54 |  #2

You have to be careful that whatever medium you use (usb/LAN/HDD etc) connected to your PC has no virus on it!

IMO, keeping the OS up-to-date not as important as anti-virus.

If the PC is completely standalone then the risk is much reduced, not not risk-free.


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Lenty007
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Jan 06, 2018 02:26 |  #3

Indeed!

For as long as I do photography I use a seperate pc for the pics.
That pc is NEVER plugged to a server, getting updates or having an antivirusprogram.
Sure USB-sticks are going from one to the other but while the internet-pc gets overwhelmed with virusses, spam, malware, ... the difference is undisputable.
I've read about the possibility of coupling a virus to an image file but, fingers crossed, haven't encountered this situation (yet).
With virus-disasters in mind the pics are stored seperately on regular basis (extended hard drive).

(One should always treat a pc like it'll be the last time it runs - so BACKUP-WHILE-YOU-CAN)

From time to time (usually every 3 years) the internet-pc needs to be cleaned up (format-c), the photo-pc keeps on running like fresh-out-of-the-box.

For the internet-pc I use a (friendly) student-pc
For the photo-pc I use a (mean) game-pc

Both are using the same (4K)screen so in case of the student-pc I had to replace the module but they are working splendidly.

I guess it gives me a good feeling to know that my pics can never be hacked besides the one I choose to put online!

Good luck!

Greetings from Ghent,

Alain




  
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IndyTim
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Jan 06, 2018 07:45 |  #4

My principle operating system is Linux so I can't relate to virus's and malware and such. I do use Windows (7 Pro) for photo post processing. All of my photo's are stored on Linux partitions (both internal and external backup). I also make hard copies to DVD (stored in physical safe) of finished photo projects. I do not rely on any cataloging utilities but rather I use a scaleable identification system.

My daily computing system (Linux) is on line. The only net access on Windows is to do either installs or updates of apps, plus the cloud connection to the post processing apps.

My personal take on cloud storage is that it's an option waiting for a hack.

-Tim




  
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Cham_001
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Jan 06, 2018 13:09 |  #5

Personally, I should be doing as Alain suggests:
Dedicated stand-alone Laptop/PC sole for Imaging (Private and client Galleries).

If people are to dedicate a computer as 'stand-alone' there is no harm in connecting to the internet on a weekly/monthly basis just to update core software and/or the Anti-Virus. Doing this is good-practice because technologies move forward positively and negatively. You also ensure that any USB's/Backup devices are protected with the latest version of Anti-Virus to protect against any malicious threat.
1.> Just make sure that your Internet connection SSID is private and you assign password encryption.
2.> Never ever let anyone ever know your mac-address (network adapter details) for any of your computer devices.
3.> Never let anyone 'touch' your 'Work' / 'Images' computer.
4.> Do not have any website Payment Account information on this stand-alone computer either (online Banking/eBay/Amazon/..​.etc).
5.> Keep software to a minimum using only reputable and known Developers (Adobe/Oracle/IBM/Micr​osoft/...etc) those websites are typically secured.
6.> more advice from others.....
Follow the above 5 guidelines and you should be OK.

There are very good and FREE anti-virus software available. I use AVAST for my MBP-2014 model. Bought 3+ years ago and totally clean and free of Viruses with AVAST - and I am to paying any of the Subscriptions. You just have to Register the Software and you must re-Register annually. That's IT!!.I have never had a system-crash nor has this device been corrupted for me to 'Clean'.

Now that I am re-organising my own Photo-Galleries, I am considering to do this myself - you can never be too careful and there are no guarantees.
I will try and get a decent DELL/HP laptop with 2TB of local storage connected to a RAID backup array amounting to say 4-6GB probably a wireless device to exchange images to and from Windows to Apple.

I will only have core software installed only: Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom installed with Microsoft Office/Outlook and a few Utility programs with AVAST. I will leave this Internet-Independent, but I am planning to connect to the internet ONLY to update the OS & those core software Applications.


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
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tim
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Post edited 6 months ago by tim.
     
Jan 10, 2018 01:48 |  #6

Nope, one PC for everything, never had a problem. Keep the OS patched and anti-virus up to date and you'll probably be fine.

Make sure you have good backups (at least 3 copies in at least 2 locations) and you'll definitely be fine. I go a bit further with backups: I think I have 5 copies, when you count internal, the backup at a friends place nearby, the backup at work, uploading all new work to Amazon S3 until it's in Glacier, and the archive of everything in Amazon Glacier updated every 6 months. Glacier has medium res jpeg files rather than raw, 720p video rather than 1080p, and all docs in their original form.

I'm an IT professional, with a degree and all, 20 years experience.


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drmaxx
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Jan 10, 2018 03:16 |  #7

I am with tim on this one. Keep up to date and don't be stupid and you will be fine. All my losses so far are related to own stupidity or technical failures. A paranoid backup scheme is the only way to keep your data safe.


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jan 10, 2018 08:28 |  #8

One PC up to date OS etc. Pretty much the only virus I've had was from swapping USBs because the computer wasn't connected to the net/network.

Don't open stuff from people you don't know, or from people you do know but aren't expecting/isn't their style.


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mike_d
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Jan 12, 2018 21:53 |  #9

tim wrote in post #18537649 (external link)
Nope, one PC for everything, never had a problem. Keep the OS patched and anti-virus up to date and you'll probably be fine.

Yep. I shake my head at all the Chicken Littles who act like you can't plug a Windows PC into the Internet without it being overrun with malware, your bank account drained, identity stolen, and you teen daughter kidnapped within seconds.




  
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davesrose
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Post edited 6 months ago by davesrose.
     
Jan 12, 2018 22:34 |  #10

I keep all my workstations online because I am technologically competent. To stay online, you're sure your computer will stay up to date with virus definitions and hardware upgrade drivers. My opinion about a PC that's kept offline is that it's more vulnerable from any potential virus that may be lurking with removable storage. From time to time, I might encounter a virus or a windows pop up....most times, they can be eliminated from my anti-virus software. Every once in awhile, I may need to manually clean it up (it is extremely rare now). One thing that gets me is reading posters saying they need to re-install Windows from time to time to improve speeds. My instances of Windows Vista to Windows 10 haven't ever seen slow downs with age. It could be that I do keep drivers up to date and I don't allow bloatware.


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mike_d
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Jan 12, 2018 22:50 |  #11

davesrose wrote in post #18539825 (external link)
I keep all my workstations online because I am technologically competent. To stay online, you're sure your computer will stay up to date with virus definitions and hardware upgrade drivers. My opinion about a PC that's kept offline is that it's more vulnerable from any potential virus that may be lurking with removable storage. From time to time, I might encounter a virus or a windows pop up....most times, they can be eliminated from my anti-virus software. Every once in awhile, I may need to manually clean it up (it is extremely rare now). One thing that gets me is reading posters saying they need to re-install Windows from time to time to improve speeds. My instances of Windows Vista to Windows 10 haven't ever seen slow downs with age. It could be that I do keep drivers up to date and I don't allow bloatware.

Avoiding the urge to install every random thing you see can definitely keep your computer running faster, longer. I don't re-install my OS often either. I install it when I build a new PC and just keep using it.

In the old days, I'd do a fresh install when a new version of Windows came out (for example NT -> 2000 -> XP) because in-place upgrades were a really bad idea. That's gotten better though. My current desktop started out as Win7, then I upgraded to Win 10 about 6 months after it launched. It's then been upgraded through however many versions of Win10 there have been.

I have upgraded my hard drives to SSDs which makes a big difference. I'm convinced that a lot of Windows slowdown issues are actually hard drives showing early, but difficult to diagnose, signs of failure.




  
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davesrose
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Jan 12, 2018 23:11 |  #12

mike_d wrote in post #18539834 (external link)
I have upgraded my hard drives to SSDs which makes a big difference. I'm convinced that a lot of Windows slowdown issues are actually hard drives showing early, but difficult to diagnose, signs of failure.

My opinion is that the complaints about slowdowns are from bloatware. All my current workstations do have SSDs for their main drives. It's improved boot up times and application starts, but I also didn't have issues with slowdowns with Windows XP/Vista when my system HDs were IDE, SCSI, or SATA platter discs. The only HD failure I've seen is when I dusted off my dad's old IBM PC with 30MB "Winchester" drive...and it didn't boot. Apparently they were notorious for failing. It's actually amazing how much platter drives improved: in both density and integrity with laptop scenarios. I started picking up laptops in the early 2000s, and anytime I've run disc scans, they've never shown bad sectors.


Canon 5D mk III , 7D mk II
EF 135mm 2.0L, EF 70-200mm 2.8L IS II, EF 24-70 2.8L II, EF 50mm 1.4, EF 100mm 2.8L Macro, EF 16-35mm 4L IS, Sigma 150-600mm C, 580EX, 600EX-RT, MeFoto Globetrotter tripod, grips, Black Rapid RS-7, CAMS plate and strap system, Lowepro Flipside 500 AW, and a few other things...
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tim
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Jan 13, 2018 01:21 |  #13

mike_d wrote in post #18539803 (external link)
Yep. I shake my head at all the Chicken Littles who act like you can't plug a Windows PC into the Internet without it being overrun with malware, your bank account drained, identity stolen, and you teen daughter kidnapped within seconds.

I'm considering not even bothering with antivirus. My backups are such that if my house burned down I would lose little to no data.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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tim
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Jan 13, 2018 01:22 |  #14

davesrose wrote in post #18539847 (external link)
My opinion is that the complaints about slowdowns are from bloatware. All my current workstations do have SSDs for their main drives. It's improved boot up times and application starts, but I also didn't have issues with slowdowns with Windows XP/Vista when my system HDs were IDE, SCSI, or SATA platter discs. The only HD failure I've seen is when I dusted off my dad's old IBM PC with 30MB "Winchester" drive...and it didn't boot. Apparently they were notorious for failing. It's actually amazing how much platter drives improved: in both density and integrity with laptop scenarios. I started picking up laptops in the early 2000s, and anytime I've run disc scans, they've never shown bad sectors.

I suspect constant windows updates, plus software install and uninstalls, don't help. Windows 10 gets refreshed every 6 months or year when major updates are done, which I think disguises the problem. My Dads W10 computer needs to be refreshed though.


Professional wedding photographer, solution architect and general technical guy with multiple Amazon Web Services certifications.
Read all my FAQs (wedding, printing, lighting, books, etc)

  
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mike_d
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Post edited 6 months ago by mike_d.
     
Jan 13, 2018 01:27 |  #15

tim wrote in post #18539879 (external link)
I'm considering not even bothering with antivirus. My backups are such that if my house burned down I would lose little to no data.

I think most IT people now consider antivirus to be far less important or useful than non-technical people believe it to be. I just run Windows Defender because it's there, it's free, and it keeps Windows from complaining. Regulatory agencies require it but we all know it's not very high on the list of things that protect your computer.




  
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Do you keep your photo pc offline?
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