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FireGryphon
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Antivirus software

Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:24 pm

What's good these days? I have Windows 8.1 and have no plans to upgrade. I currently have Kaspersky, but want to ditch it and go for something else. What is the anti-virus program of choice these days?
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Re: Antivirus software

Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:16 pm

Believe it or not Norton Antivirus is very good these days. It is subscription based I believe and it is what I use on my Windows 10 PC. I know everyone says Windows Defender is good enough but I Norton gives me info on what it is doing, whether it is stopping a virus or blocking an attack from a malicious website. I just use the most basic package Norton offers, since I only use 1 computer and don't need a multi-computer license, but if you get a high enough package it comes with LifeLock identity protection.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:26 pm

I use the thing built into Windows, a hosts file that (among other things) blocks known-bad hosts, and some security/privacy-related browser extensions.

At work we use Symantec and it's a gorram annoyance. Seems rather more likely to produce a false positive than stop nasties.
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Re: Antivirus software

Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:28 pm

A long time ago, someone recommended me "Common sense 201x"... jkjkjk
I also use whatever is built into Windows, and just a good measure of common sense and caution on what I use, haven't had any issues since the Limewire days!
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:45 am

My AV is Linux, and has been for nearly the past decade now.

No, it isn't inherently immune to malware, and in fact has been attacked repeatedly, and perhaps even with increasing frequency over the years. But nearly all of those are server attacks, designed to break into infrastructure systems by exploiting weaknesses in web services or remote administration tools.

So yeah, I guess I'm basically relying on a form of "security through obscurity"... :lol:
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Dieter
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:00 am

I was using ESET and MalwareBytes for years with good success. ESET was lightweight, but they really haven't kept up with the threats, so I have switched to Bitdefender. I was a bit shocked at it's installation size (installer is ~500MB for the full package), and it also uses a bit more memory than I'd like, but it has worked well and provides good protection, based upon tons of reviews. I was able to get a couple of 6-month trials of the software, but I picked up the 2-year family pack (up to 15 devices) for $40 this past weekend, and I feel that's cheap for the protection provided.

Although I have multiple lifetime licenses of MalwareBytes, I'm only using it as an on-demand scanner (no realtime protection) since it's effectiveness is pretty low these days.

Bitdefender doesn't seem to have any performance impacts on my system, other than memory usage.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:49 am

I stay far away from traditional AV products now, and just rely on the built-in Windows Defender. At work I supplement this with basic network filtering.

Seriously, I couldn't count amount of machines I've had to 'fix' that were damn near unusable just due to having an overzealous AV product on them.
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 10:51 am

At home I use windows 10's own anti-virus, open dns or 9.9.9.9, firefox with ublock origin.
While I use an admin account on my own machine, everyone else uses a regular user account.

You can use a hosts file but I rather use a curated dns service instead.
The kids use open dns which is very locked down and the adults use 9.9.9.9.

Mobile devices and guest machines also use opendns.

At work we use sophos and webroot.
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:17 am

I'll run Housecall (housecall.trendmicro.com) periodically, but I see little point in having a background scanner. Signature-based detection has been behind the curve for years now. The most clever and insidious malware is getting through.

Run an adblocker, disable web scripting (with exceptions for sites you trust), and don't download questionable or unsavory executables (especially pirated software).

If a site blocks visitors who disable ads or scripting, you don't need to view it and probably shouldn't. I can almost guarantee your security is more important than whatever they're offering.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:03 pm

Haven't really had any complaints with BitDefender. It's rated among the highest in detection rate, and I haven't really noticed it bogging down the system in most cases (though it does like to do a full scan when you plug in removable media).

I run it on both the Windows machines and the Macs in my home.

I was using ESET on my wife's Mac, but she complained that it firewalled off her wifi (as in no wifi at all) in too many instances when she was out trying to use public wifi. Even in places we trusted, like the co-op school where are kids go a few days per week.

I can understand being paranoid, but you should be able to whitelist sites you are comfortable with and have that stick. After her umteenth complaint about it, I switched her over from ESET to BitDefender and she hasn't really had any problems since.
Last edited by Buub on Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:49 pm

I'm using Webroot SecureAnywhere. It had good reviews and seems not to slow down the system.
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 1:07 pm

Bitdefender--it's ruthless. Not cheap, but I've got deals at newegg--$44 recently. End of year is the best time to buy AV as they discount before the new version is offered.
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:18 pm

BitDefender Free Edition. Seriously. It's free, it's lighter on resources than any other product I've used including their own which also get high marks for that, and it does everything you need an antivirus to do. It's got the same protection built in that BitDefender is known for. It doesn't have all the features and customizability options, but it also doesn't harass you or constantly ask you to upgrade like others do. Set and forget.

If you want to pay for more features, Kaspersky Internet Security would be my recommendation, but if you don't like it then any of the BitDefender premium options would be my second choice.
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Re: Antivirus software

Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:57 pm

I have been using Webroot for quite a while. It is not resource intensive, and monitors for bad behavior instead of just for file signatures. The price is pretty good too; I just bought a 3-license pack from Amazon for ~$20 to use for 2019.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:29 am

I use Windows Defender + the free version of Malwarebytes.

I also use Spywareblaster as a preventative measure. All it does is maintain a blacklist of dangerous websites and will add them to your favorite browse's blacklist. Even if something did compromise or redirect the browser it would not load the known bad sites. It is completely free to use.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:53 am

Thanks for all the responses. I guess I’m behind the times, but I am surprised that a regular antivirus program is not required for security. This is true even with windows 8?

Do you guys trust things like BitDefender et al enough to do online banking on your computers?
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Dieter
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:53 am

FireGryphon wrote:
Thanks for all the responses. I guess I’m behind the times, but I am surprised that a regular antivirus program is not required for security. This is true even with windows 8?

Do you guys trust things like BitDefender et al enough to do online banking on your computers?


There will be lots of varying opinions on whether or not AV is necessary on Windows these days, but generally it's recommended, and any security audit for a company would have a finding if they weren't running endpoint protection. I run it because I'm not concerned about my activities, but with all of the zero-day exploits, compromised servers (from normally trusted websites), and similar threats, running a good AV program is vital, IMHO. Ideally you'll find an AV program that doesn't solely rely on signatures, but also monitors behavior and suspicious/abnormal activity.

Win8 overall is typically considered less secure than Win10, so I'd recommend AV. As others have pointed out on here, you also want to run a good browser and ad blocker (I'd recommend Chrome/Firefox with uBlock Origin at a minimum; HTTPS Everywhere and DuckDuckGo's extensions are also useful). Also, keep your system and software fully patched.

I have no concerns doing online banking, especially if they offer (and you use) two-factor authentication (Duo, Google Auth, etc.). Bitdefender even has a "banking mode" (I don't remember exactly what it's called), but it's basically an isolated browser session that doesn't allow any other sites or plugins to access; I don't use it, but it's available.

I have no doubt there will be others that post the exact opposite opinion, and they do have valid points about some AV programs being worse that some malware. You've started with this forum and you'll get some good opinions & suggestions, so you're on the right track. From here, you'll need to do your own research and decide what your risk tolerance is and what makes the most sense for you personally. Good luck!
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:03 am

Dieter wrote:
There will be lots of varying opinions on whether or not AV is necessary on Windows these days, but generally it's recommended, and any security audit for a company would have a finding if they weren't running endpoint protection. I run it because I'm not concerned about my activities, but with all of the zero-day exploits, compromised servers (from normally trusted websites), and similar threats, running a good AV program is vital, IMHO. Ideally you'll find an AV program that doesn't solely rely on signatures, but also monitors behavior and suspicious/abnormal activity.

In a business environment, I would agree 100%. In an environment with people who aren't as online-savvy, I would agree. In a normal personal setting, I find it unnecessary.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:20 am

I disagree. The threats are just too numerous and too devious, and the software we run is just too buggy. Even with my diligence not doing stupid things, I don't trust that I can always be as diligent as necessary, and that hackers have not found a way into buggy software that does not even rely on my carelessness to exploit.

Antivirus/anti-spyware is relatively inexpensive and innocuous these days. It's an extra layer of security that everyone should be running, even if it's a second line of defense behind just being careful. IMHO...
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:32 pm

I am using TrendMicro.
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:08 pm

In the last few years some security professionals have raised concerns that AV software itself can be used as an attack vector. Just like any other software, AV software may have vulnerabilities of its own, and by its nature it needs to run with elevated rights so it has the capacity to allow an attacker into otherwise secure layers of the system.

Examples:

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/clever-do ... s-malware/

https://securityintelligence.com/is-you ... to-attack/

https://arstechnica.com/information-tec ... us-is-bad/

I'm still not convinced that dropping AV completely is a good idea, but it isn't the slam dunk it used to be.

I used to use ESET Nod32, which served me well for years. Since building my new system, though, I have switched to Windows Defender, largely because it seems to do a reasonable job of catching malware and since it is part of the OS anyway it's already present as an attack vector.
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Re: Antivirus software

Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:28 pm

K-L-Waster wrote:
I'm still not convinced that dropping AV completely is a good idea, but it isn't the slam dunk it used to be.
I used to use ESET Nod32, which served me well for years. Since building my new system, though, I have switched to Windows Defender, largely because it seems to do a reasonable job of catching malware and since it is part of the OS anyway it's already present as an attack vector.

It appears some of the disagreement may be a terminology thing. Since Defender is on by default in Win10 I'm assuming everybody is using that, so when I say:
I find it unnecessary.
I am talking about anything over and about Windows Defender.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:30 pm

As others have said, it depends on the person using the computer. Someone like my mother requires AV, she picks up bad stuff all the time on Win 10. My father needs it because he is no longer able to understand how to see the difference between a program, the OS, and an advertisement popup. My uncle isn't any better, he thought he was fine because his AV said the computer was clean, except that his AV suite had been compromised and the system was infected. (it was one of the popular free ones, forgot the specific brand)

For the tech savvy I don't think it's needed. AV's cause their own problems and due to their nature have access to everything in the OS including the kernel which makes them lucrative attack vectors in of themselves. A year ago a half-dozen major AV brands were susceptible to the same hack that granted full system access on Win 10. Small, cheap AV vendors that don't have the resources of major brands in particular have their own exploit issues with regularity.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:05 pm

Windows Defender is all you need for traditional viruses, because traditional viruses aren't the main attack method any more; the proliferation of free and OS-included AV has made them a high-investment, low-return option for people trying to exploit you, so most of them have moved on to exploiting you and your browsing habits instead of your OS vulnerabilities.

You probably want to ensure that your browsers are secured and that HTML/Java/Flash file associations don't do anything stupid like default to Internet Explorer - if you even need Flash or Java installed at all, that is! The sandboxed Google variants give you way less exposure than having to install the native versions of either - and though Chrome can be a sluggish RAM hog, it's easier to just set and forget than Firefox or Opera are with their script-blocking and flash/Java workarounds you'll need to typically get by with on the web. In saying that, I'm still a huge fan of Firefox+NoScript for "deny everything unless I explcitly allow it" scenarios.

If you are in the habit of getting infected, grab a yourself a utility that defends against malware/ransomware and can clean up mess; Malwarebytes isn't a bad option for that.
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Re: Antivirus software

Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:22 pm

I just wanted to add that all I use is Windows Defender (Win10) anymore for all my systems. My wife and I both use safe browsing habits and I do the periodic scan with malware bytes (I really gotta give them money at this point...). As others have mentioned your weakest point is your browser. Lock that down (either by using an adblocker or noscript plugin) or just by not going to dubious sites and you're set.

Avast used to be my favorite, but it's gotten so ingrained into the system lately (along with adware for the free version) that it's not that different from the malware it claims to protect against.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:40 pm

nuiiii wrote:
I didn`t quite like it because it didn`t find many threats on my computer

I’m not sure I follow. Maybe that’s because there were any threats? :lol:
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:57 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Windows Defender is all you need for traditional viruses, because traditional viruses aren't the main attack method any more; the proliferation of free and OS-included AV has made them a high-investment, low-return option for people trying to exploit you, so most of them have moved on to exploiting you and your browsing habits instead of your OS vulnerabilities.

You probably want to ensure that your browsers are secured and that HTML/Java/Flash file associations don't do anything stupid like default to Internet Explorer - if you even need Flash or Java installed at all, that is! The sandboxed Google variants give you way less exposure than having to install the native versions of either - and though Chrome can be a sluggish RAM hog, it's easier to just set and forget than Firefox or Opera are with their script-blocking and flash/Java workarounds you'll need to typically get by with on the web. In saying that, I'm still a huge fan of Firefox+NoScript for "deny everything unless I explcitly allow it" scenarios.

If you are in the habit of getting infected, grab a yourself a utility that defends against malware/ransomware and can clean up mess; Malwarebytes isn't a bad option for that.


This.
 
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Re: Antivirus software

Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:04 am

I use Windows defender and refuse to visit shady websites or clicking unknown links.
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Re: Antivirus software

Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:17 pm

Funny thing today... seems windows defender for win 10 has shaped up greatly... I know they have been working on it for a long time... but I got to notice just how much.
I was downloading a few ebooks from the cybersecurity humble bundle, and there is included code examples... defender + smart screen just popped up and nabbed both one zip with .py files as well as one of the epub format ebooks that had code in the book listed.

Now, these are stuff I reported as safe back to Microsoft, so hopefully not for long, but the fact they do seem to inspect inside archieves, code snippets, etc is pretty impressive. Now this is just standard pattern recognition, but the hard problem is obfuscating things that arent widely used, and no antivirus is going to pick those off without a real sandbox, and even then it'll be hard. But, most AV is very low impact these days.

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