Are Antivirus/malware Programs Essential?

Discussion in 'Computers and The Internet' started by Terrapin2190, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    Just like the title says. Are antivirus programs really needed?

    Depending on what browser you use, the extensions it utilizes and basic know-how and safety when browsing websites.




    Here are some links to some information I found VERY USEFUL:

    Bleepingcomputer: Answers to common security questions
    Provides detailed information about Antivirus/malware programs and how to give your internet security the ultimate upgrade!
    Extremely informative.

    Lifehacker: List of the best browser extensions to protect your privacy
    Fantastic list of browser extensions that help keep you 'safe' while browsing the internet.
     
  2. Orison

    Orison my dog is full of stars Staff Member Super Moderator

    I use most the good free shit, seems to work well..
     
  3. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    A lot of people tell me they're crap, but I just use a bunch of IObit software. Sure, they may have 'stolen' a bunch of their tech and anti-malware know-how from other reputable companies, but hey...

    Free 6-month upgrade to Professional version every few months. Essentially, I'm just fillin' in the gaps. :)

    I haven't noticed any problems in 6 years or so.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Not with Linux or Android.

    It escapes me why anyone pays for this shit nowadays, pays for Windows. .


    Complaints about Linux being tech heavy are kind of irrelevant nowadays, you just need a dongle to patch your phone to a big screen, bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Run everything off your android phone. A decent net connection, do/ save everything online
     
  5. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    So, after someone telling me I was running my computer into the ground because of my lack of an antivirus program... I did some research ;)

    I found a lot of people recommending various antivirus programs, but I also found a lot of software developers (in search of the most lightweight, yet effective antivirus program that does well and provides reliable results in terms of scanning a multitude of small files) recommend not using an antivirus program at all! Which I've been doing for years now with very few issues.

    It seems malware is much more prevalent in today's 'technological society.' There is no money to be made by creating viruses that potentially break users' ability to use their computer. Instead, malware such as clickjackers, keystroke identifiers, etc etc... that's where the money is because it allows the user to continue using their computer without knowing it's infected and someone is potentially recording and relaying your actions as you log into websites and type in confidential information. Credit card info, social security, applying for jobs, insurance, amazon, the list goes on.

    I did however run Avira Rescue System, which is a fantastic (FREE) piece of software! It takes a long time to run, especially on an old clunker/potato like my computer, but I believe it is rather comprehensible since Avira ranks in the top of the list as far as infection detection goes. It's a boot disk that you burn to a CD, then pop it in your CD/DVD drive as your computer starts up. It runs on a Linux/Ubuntu based Operating System, and since it runs at system boot, there are no Windows files being used. Meaning it can scan virtually each and every file on your hard drive and search for infection in places that aren't quite accessible while running a scan while Windows is running.

    Avira Rescue System came up with one item, which was a false positive. (It was an installer of a 'PUP' [potentially unwanted program])

    So basically, an antivirus program these days really isn't as 'needed' as people are led to believe. Mostly, virus protection boils down to the security habits of the user him/herself. Keep your programs and software updated, run Windows Update once in a while (careful with those updates!) and avoid scammy, sketchy websites (p0rn/warez) and you're computer will be top notch for quite a while.


    Malware protection on the other hand seems like a must. The use of malware is how hackers make money (apparently). Malwarebytes is a great program to use. I ran a typical scan with Malwarebytes when I woke up (after letting Avira SR run overnight) and it found the same false positive (that Avira renamed and I moved to the recycle bin after rebooting) after it was placed in the recycle bin. So, while no antivirus program or antimalware program is 100% effective, I trust it's reliability to a certain extend seeing that it picked up on the same thing that Avira did.

    I use IObit Malware Fighter, which seems rather comprehensive itself. Not to mention it's very user friendly, they give away the professional version every few months (which typically includes a 6-month subscription to pro. Free of charge.), has many options in terms of performance and notification preferences... it has the ability to only run scans while the system is idle AND it makes use of IMF (IObit Malware Fighter) and BitDefender malware libraries. Which are pretty top notch as well as far as I know.

    I can provide a few links to very interesting information related to antivirus and antimalware habits along with internet security in general if anyone is interested.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. I'minmyunderwear

    I'minmyunderwear voice of sexy

    i don't use anything on my computer. i installed anti-malware on my mom's computer because she doesn't internet smartly and it was basically inoperable within a week of her buying it. that did the trick.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. skip

    skip Founder Staff Member

    I agree with this. I've had far less problems with my Windows machines once I got rid of other antivirus programs (I've tried quite a few).

    In case you didn't know, it seems some (if not all!) anti-virus software companies are in fact involved in creating some viruses themselves.
    Obviously it's in their best interest to have live viruses out there infecting ppl's computers (even if they don't do anything!).
    Just showing detections (of their own viruses) makes them look good.
    And once in awhile when sales are real slow, just release a real good piece of malware then issue press releases about how you found this dangerous malware, and have a cure for it.
    Then as fears rise, watch your sales rise!

    Makes perfect sense from the Capitalist perspective.
    Fear sells!

    I should add that I only visit and transact biz using windows on familiar websites.
    I use Android for all my entertainment needs on different devices.
    I would never put any real biz or use CCs on an android device, cause you never know which apps are watching (although this has improved greatly now).
     
    2 people like this.
  8. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    I wanted to reiterate that first line. Very important information.

    Look for 'https://' in your address bar and verify that the website is secure and the security is based on a well-known/reputable website security provider.

    While https isn't always assured to be secure, it's much more reliable to be so. It seems nothing is ever 100% secure, but with https and SSL encryption, there seems to be a much better chance at least.

    Also, web browser extensions that may also be useful (I use a variant of Firefox entitled Cyberfox, which is like the 'techie's' version of the Firefox web browser. It provides much more control over certain features unaccessible with Firefox)

    (May not be available on all web browsers)

    Ghostery - Tracking and advertisement protection
    AdBlock Plus + AdBlock Popup - Makes it so your browser won't even display ads on websites. Though this does cut into the way people make money to keep their websites going.
    OR
    uBlock Origin (for the more tech savvy) - Basically does the same thing, though you have the option in the uBlock dashboard to choose what Tracker and Ad blockers you wish to use.

    (You only need one or the other. These extensions also get rid of those annoying YouTube ads!)

    HTTPS Everywhere - Makes sure to enable https on websites that allow it
    NoScript - (For the very tech savvy) This extension makes it to where websites ONLY display what you want them to display. Disables Flash, Java and other objects/automated processes you didn't know were there in the first place

    I feel like I'm having deja vu again. I know I've posted this a few times before :p

    EDIT: Added links to original post.
     
  9. morrow

    morrow Free as a bird

    I have no anti virus software on my tablet or phone, they work fine with android ..
    On my computer I have commodo antivirus, its free, and I've no complaints, so I'm staying like that!
     
  10. lode

    lode One Man Orgy

    I'm a CSSLP, and work as a software developer.

    First some terminology. A virus is a type of malware. Anti-viruses are however, no longer concerned strictly with viruses as they are with malware in general.

    First, you should run an antivirus. There are free ones which are almost as good as the paid ones, because as soon as malware is discovered, the definitions will be spread to all anti-malware software who are even remotely on the ball. There are different levels of scanning you can perform with antiviruses. One strategy is to scan on a scheduled basis. The other which is more common now, is real-time-protection. That means that every file accessed is scanned.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/125650/htg-explains-how-antivirus-software-works/

    Now, professional software developers, myself included have complained about them. The reasons for these don't involve security but performance. There is overhead for this, and there's nothing developers hate more that looking at their code waiting for it compile. Sometimes, when you buy a PC, it can already be loaded with an antivirus, and people will download and install another. This is a real performance killer.

    I can make performance suggestions, but that's outside the scope of this.

    You do need antivirus. Malware is more pervasive than ever, and most malware is designed to be stealthy. That means if it's working right, you don't know you're infected. The reason it's more pervasive than ever is that it's become monetized much better than in the past.

    Now, there's another problem with antivirus-anti-malware that's outside the scope of this; it's relegated to being effective only by heuristic scanning now, because the cryptographic signatures on viruses are no longer consistent. That's also mostly out of scope of this thread.

    You should be running an antivirus, and only one.
     
    2 people like this.
  11. lode

    lode One Man Orgy

    A couple recommendations on your security addons.

    Ghostery is good at what it does, however, it's business model is somewhat concerning.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostery#Business_model

    As an alternative, I recommend the EFF's Privacy Badger.

    An alternative to NoScript I like is QuickJava. for example, it allows me to turn off Flash and Java, and at an easy click of the button on the side of my page, toggle JavaScript on and off.

    Interestingly, having any extensions installed can have some privacy concerns as well. With JavaScript enabled, it allows advertisers to enumerate your extensions along with your HTTP headers and many other pieces and create a unique fingerprint for your browser that can be recognized anywhere.

    https://panopticlick.eff.org

    For reference, with JavaScript disabled, I'm as unique as one in 500 browsers. Pretty useless statistically. With it enabled, I'm one in 676,000 browsers.

    It's pretty impossible not to have a unique advertising ID with JavaScript enabled due to the amounts of entropy, and the amounts of features provided by javascript to web developers. That said, it makes the web a much more interactive place, which is why I like being able to toggle it on and off.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    I've heard good things about Comodo Firewall. As long as it doesn't slow things down, I see no reason to go without it. That's (one of) my primary concern when using anti-virus programs or anti-malware that runs with 'real-time protection.'

    My other concern obviously is reliability and efficiency.
     
  13. Terrapin2190

    Terrapin2190 I am nature.

    Would you have any recommendations on the most efficient anti-virus software that doesn't substantially hinder performance?

    From what I've read so far, Avira or Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) are among the most popular programs people use for this reason.

    But, since Microsoft has been becoming more and more focused on sending telemetry information, it makes me wary of using any software that embeds itself in the system like MSE seems to do. Being integrated with Security Center and all, scanning all files on your system, etc, etc.I do feel there are security risks based on that information alone.
     
  14. morrow

    morrow Free as a bird

    2years now, commodo does what it says it will, blocks, scans, you name it, so yeah, it's great!
     
  15. lode

    lode One Man Orgy

    Here's a chart from AV-Compare. Lower is better.

    [​IMG]



    So in terms of a free antivirus, Avira is not only more performant than Windows Defender (or MSE on Windows 7), it's also a better antivirus.

    If you're willing to shell out $40 a year for 3 devices, Kapersky is really the pack leader in terms of effectiveness. If you don't want to spend the money, I'd use Avira.
     
  16. +1 for avast. No issues over 5-6 years, good detection, no speed issues and still free.
     
  17. AceK

    AceK Scientia Potentia Est

    Code:
    const char msg1[]="I just want to say LOVE YOU SAN!!";
    const char msg2[]="billy gates why do you make this possible ?"
                      " Stop making money and fix your software!!";
    
     
  18. shujaa

    shujaa Member

    I have been using AVG Free for a few years now. No issues so far.
     
  19. relaxxx

    relaxxx Senior Member

    For myself, I consider all antivirus programs to be a form of malware.

    Damn Microshaft Deepender flagging my hacking tools...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmjblGay3AM

    DISABLED!
     
  20. old tiger

    old tiger Senior Member

    i go with Kaspersky antivirus..it does its job well..
    in the past i tried so many antivirus AV software...
    but..I always end up with Kaspersky as the best..[​IMG]
    tiger
     

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