2018: Thoughts on Anti-Virus and Anti-malware (Windows 10)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Hook, May 14, 2018.

  1. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    This has come up in bits and pieces in different threads over the years, but I thought it might be interesting to get current thinking.

    I have recently come back to using my Windows machine more and using my light weight Linux laptop more for portable computing. Mostly it was just to not let myself get too rusty on Windows. I'll likely go back and forth. All my key apps are multi-platform, so it's pretty seamless.

    I got thinking about this noticing that the current update of Malwarebytes Free has changed. Their formerly free Internet intercept protection is now rolled into the Pro update you have to pay for. Up until now I have been using Windows Defender, Malwarebytes Free (manual scan) and the Intercept protection (free) and I've done fine as far as I can tell. However, should I consider more?

    Work gives me a free subscription to McAfee Internet Security, a fairly well-reviewed suite. It runs (no choice) on my work laptop and seems to do fine in terms of not bogging down the system, although, to be honest, with my work network it would be hard to tell. :vbwink: However, I have previously resisted using it at home.

    Is Malwarebytes Pro or something else enough better that I should consider paying for ir over either my current setup or McAfey?

    So, I'm just curious what folks think about the current state of virus/malware protection and what solutions you are using and why.

    TIA,

    By the way, I'm generally suspicious of these companies. They have too much of a vested interest in raising paranoia. :vbrolleyes:
     
  2. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I feel the same. However, since there is some level of real risk, I keep Avast Antivirus (free) on all computers in my household. I've considered upgrading to Avast Internet Security (AIS) , but the extra features don't impress me enough to do it, plus it would be expensive (USD 105 for 5 computers / year). AIS offers a "sandbox" to safely run supicious apps - I'd rather not run anything remotely supicious; protects from fake shopping sites - I only buy from Amazon.com and mercadolibre.com, both bookmarked on my Chrome site; plus a few other things I don't think I need.

    The free Antivirus seems to be doing its job well enough. It has informed me a few times when I've attempted to visit sites marked as unsafe, even once prevented me from entering a site because it had supposedly been hacked. All this sounds a bit unreal to me, but I prefer to err on the safe side and accept its recommendations. I routinely check my wife's and kids' computers to see if anyting is amiss. So far all seems well, and none of us has ever seen a warning of virus or malware detected. But Avast can get annoying with its popups and ads, and of course the only way to get rid of them is by paying the subscription. It's funny that since they can't convince a user with its app features they try to annoy him enough to make him pay. Sounds just like ransomware IMO ;)

    I worry that some apparently basic malware slips under Avast and a few other security suites I've tried (McAffee, Kaspersky, Windows Defender, etc). The "Skypee" virus is a recent example of a type of virus that rewrites folder attributes, making them hidden, and creates a series of shortcuts, mostly in USB flash drives. The apps above failed to erase it from work computers, and I had to manually delete the exe files, the registry entries, and reformat the flash drives. It was a PITA, and it would seriously annoy me if I pay for AIS, only to find it fails at removing it too.

    On a funny note, last week a friend called me worried because he had downloaded a cracked program (a simulator for industrial processes that costs upwards of USD 40.000!), but a virus had entered his laptop with the crack. I recommended Avast Antivirus. I also recommended not downloading and installed cracked apps, but I seriously doubt he'll listen to that. He thanked me, hung up, and later called me again to tell me he had downloaded and installed a cracked version of Avast Internet Security, but it had made things worse. Not only it had not eliminated the virus, it installed other malware stuff. He's still debating whether he should format his drive :D :D :D
     
  3. Dngrsone

    Dngrsone One Serious Wiku

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    All I can say is your friend is an idiot.

    I have been using Defender for the last few years because it's already there and doesn't seem to slow Windows down any more than it already is, which is glacial on my laptop.

    I use Linux 97% of the time, though and sit behind a firewall appliance, so there's that.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  4. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    The bloat in 3rd party AV 'solutions' is not worth it. The detection rate of the varying AV suites are not far off from eachother. Using a manual scan from MalwareBytes is a good addition to your protection plan.

    When using Windows, if you really want to protect your data, don't use an admin account. How many of you are guilty of doing just that? How many of you turn off User Access Control? Yeah, they're a nagging mess, but guess what, they slow malware down if not stop it dead in its tracks. Use a regular user account, and escalate when you need to make changes you trust.

    How many of you use a Microsoft account, vs a local account? There's a distinct trade-off between convenience and security.
     
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  5. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    hc, I'm not following you here; can you take pity on a survivor of a rough Monday and explain in more detail? thnx!
     
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  6. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Like Rick, I too could use some guidance. My Windows account on every computer is admin (same with my wife and kids), and I see no way to change it to regular. If it is indeed not possible to downgrade an admin account, then it would be necessary to create a new account, set it up as regular, then stop using the admin account. Is this so, or am I missing something?

    I do keep UAC turned on, and the slider 3/4 of the way up, on the setting recommended by Windows itself. I seldom see any nags, and it's always when I install or uninstall an app. Is it advisable to turn the slider to the top setting for maximum protection and, I guess, more nags?

    On all my computers I use a Microsoft account, and yes, it was for convenience. I could turn my work laptop to a local account with a minimum of loss of convenience, but not so sure about my personal laptop or my kids' or wife's computers. HC, could you elaborate on the trade-offs you mention?
     
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  7. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    Got a meeting I have to head to, so can't respond with any value at the moment. I will see what I can do after. :)

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using Tapatalk
     
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  8. headcronie

    headcronie Greyscale. Nuff Said. Super Moderator

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    If you can provide your edition of Windows, I can better prepare for it. There are differences between Home and Professional. And now I gotta run...

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using Tapatalk
     
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  9. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Thanks HC. All the computers in my household are running Wndows 10 Home Single Language, 64 bits, and all received what I guess is a major update because it took long to download and apply. My laptop reads version 1709.
     
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  10. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    For me, at home I have Win 7 Home Premium…work is a "hands-off User!" set-up but runs Win 7 Pro
     
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