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Mathijs Kok

Disable Your Antivirus Software (Except Microsoft's)

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In January I read this article: http://robert.ocallahan.org/2017/01/disable-your-antivirus-software-except.html and it seriously got me thinking, yet I never took the step to actually try it. But ever since Avast or Malware bytes decided that visiting this forum was not good for my health I removed all protection software and went back to basic Microsoft stuff. More info via: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/01/antivirus-is-bad/

 

Should have done that in January. A lot of smallish issues are gone. Stuff starts markedly faster. I'm a believer. 

 

Now if your protection software saved you from infections I would not do this but I can't remember the time when Avast popped up with anything else then an attempt to sell me more crap (and yes, I did disable that option). So as far as I know it never actually had to do any work.

 

 

 

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I followed all those security alerts of all major anti virus software vendors on Google Zero and they really left a bad taste in my mouth. 

 

In thy end everything is just software written by humans. And that already is the answer why software is not error proof. But the security gaps I read about on Google Zero somehow destroyed my trust in those security vendors. I always thought they really know what they are doing and know how to close doors. Turned out, many of them are a welcome and easy target for malware. 

 

At least for the moment I am still convinced they keep more harm away from my machines as they do harm to them. 

 

But who knows what might come up next that changes my opinion on that. 

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It's not about errors Tom, it's about the way these programs are set-up. To compete they have added the craziest features and as everything is very deeply embedded in the OS it can all cause problems that are very hard to debug.

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So far I haven't experienced any kind of problems caused by my antivirus suite (Eset Smart Security). No doubt it isn't perfect, no software can ever be, but still more perfect than no protection at all. Eset did actually save my ass a couple of times.

 

A friend of mine once had a computer with only Microsoft Security Essentials as protection and he thought he was well protected. Still there were some strange issues with his computer he couldn't explain. I had it scanned with Eset and it turned out to be infected by several virusses and a load of malware that Security Essentials didn't detect. Therefor I have to disagree, you always need some kind of professional antivirus kit as the Microsoft shit is no good at all. I don't feel safe without good antivirus software. Eset Smart Security is very light and so far never caused any issues here, only good protection. It's the one antivirus suite that I can recommend.

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But looking at all logs, Avast did not have to do any work the last 3 years on my system. Your friend must be terribly unlucky because the amount of in the wild viruses that is not detected by the MS software is very very limited (currently zero in fact). In fact I doubt it was running correctly if he had so much viruses and malware. If it was all running he should have sold his system to Microsoft because they would be very interested. I consider the chance I run into something that is not detected by MS Essentials as negligible. 

 

In the end, it all depends a lot on how you use your computer. The movement against complex anti virus software is not started by me, but by people who understand computers a lot better than I do. Many of these people I trust. 

 

I did have ESET on my Surface btw, and for sure it did cause problems there. It blocked several installers because it considered them dangerous and it did not allow me to use use any tool to change my network settings. When I switch between my production and test network I had to disable it. The company never reacted to any questions about it. Something typical of these companies because every time we have problems with an scanner considering one of our installers a danger they never react or even want to pick up the phone. We just send them invoices now for the additional work they costs us. Surprisingly some of them even pay it.

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Use Windows Defender under Win10 or Microsoft Security essentials under Win7 and you're golden. The A/V software put out today by the major vendors is garbage that exists to sell you a/v software and usually does more harm than good - which is why you should turn it off to install FS software. I was a developer on Windows and Unix for over 40 years and saw two actual viruses - one un-named on an installation disk from Intel (go figure!) and the other the famous "Blaster worm" (took less than 15 minutes for an unprotected system to be infected). Both would have been stopped by the basic MS software.

 

DJ

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I am a bit late in this discussion.
But this is the second time I read this. Microsoft Defender is more safe then any of the Antivirus producers.
I think that those with a bad taste about MS Defender is from the XP period. Where it worked but was even below any of the free AV's.
Just been looking into some statistics, and I saw that indeed it was bad, back then. But every year they became a bit better.
Where I thnk that Defender in Win10 is better then the Win7 version.

The question now is, would I want to change from Windows 7 to Windows 10? Getting more security, but at the same time, handing over the content of all my mails and documents (Privacy issue).

This is a bit in contrast with Online Virtual Pilots Association - OVPA, where they demand a specific AV in case you would like to do Shared cockpit. They said it was because of several virtusses etc living in the wild, that would enter your pc via the connected port.

 

Greetings,

 

RobB

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42 minutes ago, emisary said:

this is a bit in contrast with Online Virtual Pilots Association - OVPA, where they demand a specific AV in case you would like to do Shared cockpit. They said it was because of several virtusses etc living in the wild, that would enter your pc via the connected port.

 

One of the reasons we moved to a server based system for Connected Flight Deck, it is just like any other website you connect to. As safe and as dangerous.

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4 hours ago, emisary said:

I am a bit late in this discussion.
But this is the second time I read this. Microsoft Defender is more safe then any of the Antivirus producers.
I think that those with a bad taste about MS Defender is from the XP period. Where it worked but was even below any of the free AV's.
Just been looking into some statistics, and I saw that indeed it was bad, back then. But every year they became a bit better.
Where I thnk that Defender in Win10 is better then the Win7 version.

The question now is, would I want to change from Windows 7 to Windows 10? Getting more security, but at the same time, handing over the content of all my mails and documents (Privacy issue).

This is a bit in contrast with Online Virtual Pilots Association - OVPA, where they demand a specific AV in case you would like to do Shared cockpit. They said it was because of several virtusses etc living in the wild, that would enter your pc via the connected port.

 

Greetings,

 

RobB

 

Computer security is in constant flux and evolution, so there is a lot to know and always a lot more to learn AND a lot to keep up on.

 

The simplest way I know to explain this (it's also explained in the OVPA Shared Cockpit Guide.pdf) Windows Defender is not a complete Security Suite, thus it will not detect things that a complete security suite will.  This is why those OVPA guys require a complete Computer Security Suite.  Not only that, but OVPA members are prohibited from connecting their computers to anyone outside the group of known known computers, they perform detailed scans weekly (in addition to real time and down time scans), etc.  See, a computer security policy is about more than just software... behavior is the first and biggest checkpoint.

 

Everyone is welcome to take whatever risks they believe are acceptable, but given that most flight simmers have personal information on their computers then computer security ESPECIALLY when connecting to any server or especially another computer is far too great a risk for me to do - especially doing so casually.

 

Note that the Guide below has not yet been updated for Aerosoft's Server based CFD.

 

 

 

 

 

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@DaveCT2003

If a antivirus on onehand detect things, and opens something else in another spot, then that does not really make a difference.

 

Of course it is hard to believe that Windows is now better then any of the other paid solution, where it was the badest about 2 years ago.
I was always under the impression that bitdefender, KArspersky, Eset and I think bullguard, at the top the antivirusses.
And it really depends on what comparing site you visit, to find the top 10.
I for instance check Virus Bulletin or https://www.av-comparatives.org/comparison/

 

Rob

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2 hours ago, emisary said:

@DaveCT2003

If a antivirus on onehand detect things, and opens something else in another spot, then that does not really make a difference.

 

Of course it is hard to believe that Windows is now better then any of the other paid solution, where it was the badest about 2 years ago.
I was always under the impression that bitdefender, KArspersky, Eset and I think bullguard, at the top the antivirusses.
And it really depends on what comparing site you visit, to find the top 10.
I for instance check Virus Bulletin or https://www.av-comparatives.org/comparison/

 

Rob

 

There is a whole world of things that you're not considering.  The first is the the difference between an Anti-Virus and a comptuer security suite.

 

I use AV-TEST Labs for computer security ratings, and other sources for other computer security related matters.

 

I can't write a dissertation or provide training on computer security beyond what I wrote in the OVPA Guide, I simply do not have the time.  If you truly believe you're on the best path then as I said before you are the one who determines that for you. 

 

Best wishes.

 

 

 

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Because we believe this topic has been answered we have closed it. If you have any more questions feel free to open a new topic.

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