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Old 09-13-2017, 12:28 PM   #21
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I don't know who your ISP is, but we've had Norton for free from Comcast for as long as we've been with them (many years). I also run the basic free Malwarebytes app every once in a while.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
Hooray!

I ran a network of 2000 PCs for 10+ years with no anti-virus software. It's one of the purest examples of a problem that barely exists being fixed by a product that doesn't work. I saw an interview with John McAfee where he admitted that he didn't use any AV software.

Of course, malware in general *is* a huge problem. But almost all successful malware relies on exploiting bugs in the operating system, which is not what most AV products protect you against --- indeed, they can't, because the AV software companies don't know where the next critical bug is any more than the OS makers. (Or they do, but the OS makers refuse to patch it, as happened when WannaCry trashed a lot of Windows XP systems earlier this year. Do you remember any anti-virus software companies telling you how they saved you? The UK national health system's AV company, Sophos, had to remove the NHS as an example of a big organisation it was "protecting" from its web site, because it catastrophically failed to protect them. Yet for some reason, people forgive AV software even when it fails them time and again.)

The problem is that the model of the "evil virus that will infect your files and destroy your PC", which kicked off the whole AV industry 25 years ago, is so persistent, even though such viruses are basically extinct; where it's at now is worms, which are basically orthogonal to viruses and are immune to typical AV software security scans. Malware is now a billion-dollar (underground) business, based on sitting there and quietly using a percentage of your PC's resources. It has no interest in doing much damage to your computer; rather, it's basically a parasite whose interest is to take what it needs from the host without killing it (and, ideally, without the host --- which means you and your PC together --- knowing the parasite is there).

Your money is far better spent on a premium subscription (if you have lots of data; if not, the free deal can be fine) for Google Drive or Dropbox or OneDrive, or perhaps giving $20 to a friend to configure a nightly backup of your main data. By far the biggest cause of data loss is physical theft of the computer (especially laptops), followed by hard drive failure. Backups protect you against those as well as the (mostly mythical) Evil Virus That Trashes Everything.
I believe you but I suspect you were very lucky, or you were infected, and never knew it. I worked in and out of IT and Finance and every place I worked got infected with viruses even though thousands of intrusions were blocked. Did you leave IT before thumb drives were invented?
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:17 PM   #23
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+1 US Grant1962
According to the tech guy (Leo LaPort) none of the antivirus services are worth the time or trouble to install.
1. Most issues with Win machines will be mal-ware not virus.
2. Most anti-virus didn't catch the last invader "wanna cry" and those that did might not catch the next invasion.

Best bet:
Use Caution and common sense surfing the net.
DON'T open attachments from people you don't know, and if suspicious call the party and confirm email.
DON'T open junk mail (jokes, cartoons ect.) from mass mailings even from trusted friends. The other addressees could be infected. STOP mailing mass mailing if you do it.
AND Windows defender and Malware bytes.

Regards
Bflotom
Sent from my Mac
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:16 PM   #24
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AVG free for many years. Recently switched to Avast free. It's about the same. Both provide adequate protection but constantly harass you to upgrade in varying ways... and yes, they "gum up" the system. I thought about Windows Defender recently, but the technical reviews are not good at all. Never had an infection that wasn't disposed of quickly and effectively by these programs. So despite the system efficiency impact, I'll stick with the free stuff and deal with the harassment.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:44 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
Windows Defender here. No issues.

Also run free Malwarebytes occasionally.

Clean as a whistle for years.

Don't make this too hard.
+1
Exactly seems to be enough.
And it's FREE.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:30 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
I believe you but I suspect you were very lucky, or you were infected, and never knew it. I worked in and out of IT and Finance and every place I worked got infected with viruses even though thousands of intrusions were blocked. Did you leave IT before thumb drives were invented?
I'm glad you asked that because a colleague and I (he had the idea, I dug around and found the mechanism) actually developed a method of keeping worms on USB storage from getting onto PCs that worked better than Microsoft's, and was recognised as so doing by Computerworld and US-CERT. The blog post I wrote about it at the time (almost exactly 10 years ago, funnily enough) got enough hits (in its original location; it's moved since) to get me a check for $100 from Google for the advertising it generated; 10 years later, my credit balance from all my subsequent blog posts is up to about $50...

How we kept our network free from viruses more generally: we wrote scripts that checked the integrity of various bits of Windows, and ran them twice a day. This checked in on all of the major registry locations used by malware. The list of those is many orders of magnitude shorter than the list of known problems. A bonus was that we often detected people who were bringing in unauthorised devices and installing their drivers. However, this required a conscious decision by us to take responsibility for every copy of Windows. We (re-)installed it on all our PCs from scratch when we bought them, and if we had any doubt about an installation, we reformatted and reinstalled. This only took about a dozen keystrokes from the tech, so we could do this in bulk if necessary.

We got hit twice by major e-mail worms (one time because our chief executive took his laptop home, making it the only PC outside the firewall that weekend, but hey, he's the boss so the rules about security don't apply to him), but because our scripts were also able to remove undesirable entries, it usually only took a couple of hours to remove them, even from quite a large number of computers. We were also fanatical about patching, and we read a lot of literature to keep current. Many of the worst worms could be prevented by immunisation, like the memory stick solution above - just create a certain magic file and the worm would pass the PC by.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:24 AM   #27
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We have had several different things over the years including Norton and Defender. The most effective in our experience is ESET Smart Security, which we have now.
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