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Windows 7: Think your free antivirus is safe to use? .... think again

20 Jan 2015   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The best virus protection is in the index finger of your right hand

The second best are frequent images, Then you can always backpaddle

The third best is running all internet activities in a virtual Linux machine - and scan everything you have downloaded there with Virus Total before you move it to the host machine.

That's all I can think of. --- A yeah, there are also some AV programs you can use - if you believe in them.


warning   Warning
This AV strategy does not apply to left handed people



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21 Jan 2015   #12
Jacee
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit SP1
 
 

When downloading programs, DO NOT click on 'run' when done downloading .... save them to your "Downloads" folder.

Right click to run as Administrator. Always look for pre-checked 'bundled' toolbars and such... uncheck them! Then allow the program file to run.
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21 Jan 2015   #13
Jonguy30

Windows 7 x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I'm also using MSE and am happy with it. I like its clean interface and it's relatively problem-free. Every other AV has a terrible UI (avast comes to mind) and if it's not that it has other problems such as making your computer boot slower (avira), casue BSODS among other things.

And imo the worst "feature" an AV can have is auto-quarantine....

Btw if you buy an AV suite does it still come with these toolbars and other crap? Or just the free versions?
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21 Jan 2015   #14
RoasterMen

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Well I gotta admit most free anti virus do it but some will just ask you if you want to install crapwares or not and some free antivirus softwares will install it without you even noticing.
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21 Jan 2015   #15
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Well, I like MSE and have never had issues with it. I'm using ESET right now and like it very much. It's the paid version, but I got it free, so it's OK. I did notice one thing. When I was using MSE I know I got a drive by once. MSE scanned and found nothing, I did Malwarebytes, and nothing, Kaspersky online found nothing. ESET online found about 12 and I had them deleted. A couple were Trojans and not just PUPs, which made me wonder about the others. But ESET's UI is very good, and it never gets in the way or bothers you. If you go to known virus type site, it will stop you and advise you. I like that. Most of the problems I have ever had were searching for something and ending up someplace I didn't belong. ESET has fixed most of that at least.
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21 Jan 2015   #16
Tookeri

Windows 7 Pro 32
 
 

People are too naive when it comes to AVs and think it can protect them from everything bad. Sure, the protection rate may vary between AVs but no AV can detect everything. The bad guys even use services like VirusTotal to modify malware until no AV detects it anymore. AV companies will always be one step behind and no matter how many scanners you try you can never say with 100% that your PC is really clean.
Some malware, just like AV products, comes with support and toolkits for customization when people buy it. Including ways to uniquely encrypt and obfuscate parts of the code to avoid detection.

Here's a couple of questions to think about:
  • Why do some AVs completely block access to malicious web sites, why not rely on real-time scanning of the website content and simply just block any downloaded malicious files instead? They obviously know what malware exists on that web site, otherwise they wouldn't have blocked it.
  • My AV has a feature called Banking Protection that isolates the traffic to the bank and stops all other traffic to and from my PC during banking sessions. Why would they need such an extra protection if the AV was able to detect all bank trojans?
Then there's exploits, an area where AVs usually hasn't been that good in protecting. Luckily there are several good options for an anti-exploit product. An interesting question here is how many exploits exists that only the bad guys knows about? Or to put it this way: in each months patches from Microsoft, how many of them do you think Microsoft themselves have discovered? Usually none. They are mostly discovered by security researchers. When a hacker discovers a vulnerability in a product, do you think he reports it to that company?

There are other good protection mechanisms like anti-executable software like ERP(EXE Radar Pro) or AppGuard. If you have Win 7 Pro there's a built-in feature called SRP(Software Restriction Policy). For higher Win 7 versions there's AppLocker. For example you can configure it to only allow executable files to start from the Windows and Program Files folders. You need to temporarily turn it off to run/install a new program. That's security in a very good but very different way from how an AV protects you.

Some good quotes:
Quote:
Bruce Schneier:
Is Antivirus Dead? Symantec declared anti-virus dead, and Brian Krebs writes a good response.

He's right: antivirus won't protect you from the ever-increasing percentage of malware that's specifically designed to bypass antivirus software, but it will protect you from all the random unsophisticated attacks out there: the "background radiation" of the Internet.
Quote:
Brian Krebs:
Security is all about layers, and not depending on any one technology or approach to detect or save you from the latest threats.
Some additional good layers to use:
- A virtual environment
- A standard user account for daily use
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21 Jan 2015   #17
RoasterMen

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
 
 

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22 Jan 2015   #18
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I have only used Eset free on line scan and it works quite well. If I ever did go to a store bought 3rd party anti virus Eset would be at the top of my list just because of the quality job it's free scan does. I have some qualification any program on my computer must meet.

1. It must work well with Windows
2. It must work well with Malwarebytes.
3. It must do the job it was advertised to do.
4. It must work well without me tinkering with it all the time.
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23 Jan 2015   #19
scr

1. Windows 7 Home Premium sp1 - 64bit 2. Windows 7 Pro sp1 - 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I have only used Eset free on line scan and it works quite well. If I ever did go to a store bought 3rd party anti virus Eset would be at the top of my list just because of the quality job it's free scan does. I have some qualification any program on my computer must meet.

1. It must work well with Windows
2. It must work well with Malwarebytes.
3. It must do the job it was advertised to do.
4. It must work well without me tinkering with it all the time.
In that case Eset is your product. I've been using Eset NOD32 since v2 I think. 3 years ago I went to Eset Smart Security. Believe it or not I still use Eset Smart Security on my 13 year XP machine that has 1 GB of memory and 1.77Ghz Cpu. Everything else I tried even MSE brought that old dog to it's knees. There is no noticeable impact on it or this system. Eset has a boot scan that only takes seconds on this system, not the fastest system in the world.

I'm happy to say that, so far, I've never been infected however I am probably one of the most cautious internet users online. If I'm starting to sound like an Eset fan boy... uhm I am.
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23 Jan 2015   #20
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scr View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
I have only used Eset free on line scan and it works quite well. If I ever did go to a store bought 3rd party anti virus Eset would be at the top of my list just because of the quality job it's free scan does. I have some qualification any program on my computer must meet.

1. It must work well with Windows
2. It must work well with Malwarebytes.
3. It must do the job it was advertised to do.
4. It must work well without me tinkering with it all the time.
In that case Eset is your product. I've been using Eset NOD32 since v2 I think. 3 years ago I went to Eset Smart Security. Believe it or not I still use Eset Smart Security on my 13 year XP machine that has 1 GB of memory and 1.77Ghz Cpu. Everything else I tried even MSE brought that old dog to it's knees. There is no noticeable impact on it or this system. Eset has a boot scan that only takes seconds on this system, not the fastest system in the world.

I'm happy to say that, so far, I've never been infected however I am probably one of the most cautious internet users online. If I'm starting to sound like an Eset fan boy... uhm I am.
I am using ESET Smart Security and love it. You almost don't know if it is working or not (except for the icon) Even during a scan, it makes almost no impact on performance. I have Malwarebytes too, they get along very well.
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 Think your free antivirus is safe to use? .... think again




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