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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prolar Bear View Post
    I'm back to bother you, fine and knowledgeable people. The McAfee trial on this laptop is about to expire: what would you recommend for a free antivirus? I had Avast on the other PCs and while it's served me well, lately it's grown quite annoying with all the popup ads. Right now I'm looking at Avira, AVG, Panda and BitDefender - any clue about those? Thanks in advance!
    I use this site for getting the latest state of play for those decent free solutions:

    http://www.techsupportalert.com/best...s-software.htm

    I've used AVG and Avira from you list, and those are both decent, however you can get better free options as in that article. They also have sections for Firewalls and Malware scanners etc. A site worth bookmarking.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prolar Bear View Post
    I'm back to bother you, fine and knowledgeable people.
    The McAfee trial on this laptop is about to expire: what would you recommend for a free antivirus?
    I had Avast on the other PCs and while it's served me well, lately it's grown quite annoying with all the popup ads.
    Right now I'm looking at Avira, AVG, Panda and BitDefender - any clue about those?
    Thanks in advance!
    The #1 thing you can do to prevent viruses and malware from getting a hold on your system is to run as a standard user. Create a separate user account for the times when administrator privileges are needed.

    If you're running a program that needs the current account to be an administrator (e.g. first login on uplay), you can temporarily set your standard account to "administrator", then back to "standard" user afterwards.

    It's been shown that 90% of malware will be blocked if you don't have administrator privileges:

    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/standard...ews-18326.html
    http://arstechnica.com/information-t...-admin-rights/

    As for anti-virus, use whatever you want, but I've had no issues with MSE and running as a standard user.

    For those interested in why AV is becoming less relevant, Michael Krebs wrote up a good explanation:

    http://krebsonsecurity.com/2014/05/a...ive-antivirus/

    Put simply, a crypting service takes a bad guy’s piece of malware and scans it against all of the available antivirus tools on the market today — to see how many of them detect the code as malicious. The service then runs some custom encryption routines to obfuscate the malware so that it hardly resembles the piece of code that was detected as bad by most of the tools out there. And it repeats this scanning and crypting process in an iterative fashion until the malware is found to be completely undetectable by all of the antivirus tools on the market.

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Note 3: I have read so many articles over the last 3 years about how "Traditional AV is dead" and "Detection based AV is dead" etc.. But I have not yet been able to work out if this is true, or if it's just an attempt by AV companies to get people to upgrade to the paid versions with all the "social media / online banking protection". I also haven't been able to work out if that social/banking protection actually does anything.
    I haven't installed an AV package in ages, because most of them are crap at malware/spyware detection (sometimes because they can't keep pace with it enough to provide any actual protection), and the old viruses of the past where AV packages were useful have largely died off (or again they're too slow to react). Heuristic detection methods more often than not lead to too many false positives for me to really be bothered with them. Haven't had an infection of any kind for years now.

    Quote Originally Posted by thedosbox View Post
    The #1 thing you can do to prevent viruses and malware from getting a hold on your system is to run as a standard user. Create a separate user account for the times when administrator privileges are needed.
    Which is why I hate when people whinge about UAC in Windows - it was designed to help with this, yet people go out of their way to disable it. The biggest security flaw with any system appears to be the user these days. Maybe that's true for anything - old Kevin Mitnick didn't need 1337 H4X0R skills when people were willing to cooperate with him.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.
    Soldant's Law - A person will happily suspend their moral values if they can express moral outrage by doing so.

  4. #24
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    So the day after I mention here that Avast once gave me problems with Unity games, I load up AI War to try the new expansion and it crashes to desktop at launch, every time. A confirmed issue for others too on Arcen's support forum, and setting folder exceptions for the game doesn't help. Avast never gave me a problem with AI War previously, just Bionic Dues, but suddenly it's taken a dislike to it.

    Fuck you and goodbye Avast. Ditched it for MS Security Essentials. In Avast's favour, at least their uninstall is easy and clean.
    Last edited by Colonel J; 19-08-2014 at 08:26 PM.


  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Which is why I hate when people whinge about UAC in Windows - it was designed to help with this, yet people go out of their way to disable it. The biggest security flaw with any system appears to be the user these days. Maybe that's true for anything - old Kevin Mitnick didn't need 1337 H4X0R skills when people were willing to cooperate with him.
    Well, running as an administrator with UAC enabled is still worse than running as a standard user. But yes, disabling a feature intended to warn users that something sketchy might be about to happen is a bad idea.

  6. #26
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    Is there a big difference between running as an administrator with UAC and running as a Standard User?

    If you're an admin you still have to accept the UAC prompt, and AFAIK programmes still don't run with full rights (hence having to right click and choose "run as administrator" even when you are an administrator)

    If you run as a standard user, wouldn't the only difference be that you'd have to enter a password for each UAC prompt and each time you tried to Run As Administrator?

    Or is there another major difference behind the scenes?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Is there a big difference between running as an administrator with UAC and running as a Standard User?

    If you're an admin you still have to accept the UAC prompt, and AFAIK programmes still don't run with full rights (hence having to right click and choose "run as administrator" even when you are an administrator)

    If you run as a standard user, wouldn't the only difference be that you'd have to enter a password for each UAC prompt and each time you tried to Run As Administrator?

    Or is there another major difference behind the scenes?
    The concern is that malware may leverage attack paths that don't trigger UAC such as a browser vulnerability. And even if the UAC prompt is triggered, many people get into the habit of clicking it automatically.

  8. #28
    Go for AVG http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage and also install Immunet (it comes FREE - http://www.immunet.com/free/index.html). The dual protection will give you the maximum benefit.

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    First post, suggesting which product to use...

  10. #30
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    Yeah... hmm.
    AVG was really annoying with misleading warnings last time I tried it. I put it on my parents PC about six months ago because it seemed lighter weight than Avast.. big mistake. Within a week it had tricked them into installing a time-limited trial of the paid version, and then when that time limit expired it actually left them with NO PROTECTION, rather than reverting to the free version. Grrr.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterdavidson56 View Post
    The dual protection will give you the maximum benefit.
    Aside from the increasing irrelevance of anti-virus, installing two is just a recipe for trouble.

  12. #32
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    ESET Nod32 Antivirus I Love This Antivirus, it is amazing

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedosbox View Post
    Aside from the increasing irrelevance of anti-virus, installing two is just a recipe for trouble.
    Word. Installing two anti-virus programs is bound to make you run into all kinds of trouble.
    Want to add me on Steam? Steam name: Mr. Gert

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedosbox View Post
    Aside from the increasing irrelevance of anti-virus, installing two is just a recipe for trouble.
    And a recipe for twice the profit for a spambot or manual astroturfer.

  15. #35
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    I run without AV and on a standard user account - UAC makes sure that whenever some application needs Admin privileges, a very obvious pop up occurs asking for my Admin password. The majority of malware comes through your browser, so securing that one application (and not downloading random dodgy crap) can more or less completely take over the duties of a dedicated and useless AV.

    If you need to surf for porn or anything else that is usually on a dodgy site, install a Virtual Machine (like: Oracle VirtualBox) and a linux distribution or Windows if you have a spare key. The beautiful thing about using a VM is that you can create an image you like to use, for instance a Ubuntu installation with Firefox as a browser and whatever else you need, and then take a snap shot. Whenever you're done using the VM, you can roll it back to that snap shot, deleting any malware you might have gotten in the mean time.

  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mft-dev View Post
    I run without AV and on a standard user account - UAC makes sure that whenever some application needs Admin privileges, a very obvious pop up occurs asking for my Admin password. The majority of malware comes through your browser, so securing that one application (and not downloading random dodgy crap) can more or less completely take over the duties of a dedicated and useless AV.

    If you need to surf for porn or anything else that is usually on a dodgy site, install a Virtual Machine (like: Oracle VirtualBox) and a linux distribution or Windows if you have a spare key. The beautiful thing about using a VM is that you can create an image you like to use, for instance a Ubuntu installation with Firefox as a browser and whatever else you need, and then take a snap shot. Whenever you're done using the VM, you can roll it back to that snap shot, deleting any malware you might have gotten in the mean time.
    In VirtualBox you can even rollback automatically each time you exit the program. Seems a bit overkill IMHO.
    A different Firefox profile is enough.
    Steam(shots), Imgur, Flickr, Bak'laag, why do you forsake me?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    In VirtualBox you can even rollback automatically each time you exit the program. Seems a bit overkill IMHO.
    A different Firefox profile is enough.
    Yep, along with keeping plugins (flash, java, adobe reader) up to date. Also install the EMET toolkit and add firefox to the list of monitored programs.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    In VirtualBox you can even rollback automatically each time you exit the program. Seems a bit overkill IMHO.
    A different Firefox profile is enough.
    I agree, it is overkill. I suggested it because nobody else seems to have thought of it, and it is how I deal with the AV is useless problem. I use my VM setup for other stuff as well, so the "cost" or "overkillness" is reduced, compared to just using it for browsing dodgy sites.

  19. #39
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    I tried the virtualbox thing once, but I found it too much hassle. Rollbacks don't work well with things like browser/plugin/extension updates or changes, or even simple things like bookmarks.
    I imagine there are ways around the problems, but at some point the complexity outweighs the benefits.

    I haven't used it, but I know Comodo has a virtualized browser (at least for things like banking). Any thoughts/experience on that?

  20. #40
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    I've got no experience with Comodo. I use the VM approach because by the time I realized that AV is useless, I had been using VirtualBox for other stuff for a while. It seemed reasonable to just create another image for online banking, or general web spelunking.

    The only thought I have about the Comodo browser (in virtual mode) is that you have to have their Internet Suite installed too, kinda undermining the entire "no AV installed" model. But as I've said, no actual experience with it.

    Most AV suites are giant flashing bulls-eyes to malware authors, so I would suspect their browser to also be.

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