JB007

Level 18
Verified
Hello,
I started using PC 25 years ago and I think that I have never been infected.
I always had about 10 PC around me (work, personal, family).
I have used many AV on my different machines, McAfee, Norton, ESET, Emsisoft, Avira, Kaspersky, G Data, Avast, F-Secure, Panda, MBAM and I had only very few warnings during all this time and most often for false positives.
So I'm wondering if the use of these anti-virus was really necessary ?
 
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Evjl's Rain

Level 44
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
better safe than sorry
in your case, I suggest you to use a free and the lightest AV possible, because you said you haven't seen your AVs working much

It's the same as mine situation. My AVs haven't been blocking much but it's mentally safer for me to use 1. I feel uncomfortable and unsure without an AV
anti-exe, HIPS or default-deny products make me even more unsure because they block too many safe files => lower my productivity
 

Evjl's Rain

Level 44
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
1 more thing I want to add. You can use whatever you want for your home/family PCs
for work PC, I suggest you to use a great AV with some exploit protection = Kaspersky free (should tweak for maximum performance)

It can prevent users from ransomware exploits in the future similarly to wannacry outbreak (kaspersky and ESET blocked the exploit before it can deliver the payload. The rest added the exploit blocker after)
 
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Dave Russo

Level 9
Verified
Its almost seems {opinion}that any Av, firewall,including windows ,is fine for a home user,now a days for me my backup seems to be even more important than anything else.Though I have truly enjoyed a variety of Internet security programs ,fascinated by the incredible fine tuning found on this site
 

Raiden

Level 13
Verified
Content Creator
Hello,
I started using PC 25 years ago and I think that I have never been infected.
I always had about 10 PC around me (work, personal, family).
I have used many AV on my different machines, McAfee, Norton, ESET, Emsisoft, Avira, Kaspersky, G Data, Avast, F-Secure, Panda, MBAM and I had only very few warnings during all this time and most often for false positives.
So I'm wondering if the use of these anti-virus was really necessary ?
It's a very fair question!

I agree with @Evjl's Rain , better safe than sorry.

I think there's a few reasons for this.

1. Windows security as whole, especially with the advent of Windows 10 has improved quite a bit. That doesn't mean it's perfect, but it's far better than what it use to be.

2. Browsers and such have also improved their overall security and are helping alot with the overall security of our systems. Especially with extensions like adblocker and stuff.

3. Hackers in general have changed their approach. Home users really aren't the target anymore. Hackers IMO are being more selective and their primary focus is to attack and infect businesses and governments. While home users can still get infected, its largely due more to poor habits than anything.


Overall my experience is pretty much the same as yours. I havent been infected in lord knows how long. I very uses many different AV/suites over the years and like you they really havent done much other than try to scare me into renewing, false positives and general annoyances. It's the reason why I have moved to WD maxed out on W10 and use companion apps like VS ,OSA, etc instead, as it has not only improved both on protection/performance, but also usability and less annoyances.

Now I'm not saying that one shouldn't use 3rd party products, even to this day I still tinker around with them and I still have a few of my favorite 3rd party programs that I would be happy to use/recommend.

For you and others in your situation I would personally just use what's built into Windows 10, like WD, etc... and maybe add something like VS, OSA, syshardener, etc along side it.

Keep in mind your habits are what has kept you safe more than anything, along with the overall improvements to security in Windows, browsers and the fact hackers just don't care about home users anymore. If you aren't comfortable with WD, then use another free program just like @Evjl's Rain has said. For me personally, I've stopped worrying and stressing out about security. I don't follow the fear and paranoia anymore, nor should anyone IMO. Do what makes you more comfortable overall, but there's no need to stress out about it. In my experience since using more of what's built into W10, I can tell you that I've had far less issues than when I tried 3rd party AV/ suites. It's not entirely their fault, but due to the way they have to hook into Windows and browsers to do their job, its unfortunately causing more and more issues as time goes on. MS and the browser makers are doing their own improvements, but it is conflicting with what security vendors are doing.

Overall I think to have an AV is still handy to have, but as long as you keep things upto date, backup and practice safe habits, you probably don't need those big suites IMO.;)
 

Local Host

Level 19
Verified
Is as necessery as in Linux systems, if you know what I mean.

Avoid getting paranoid and bloating your PC with Security Software. Anything more than a single security suite is already being paranoid, default-deny setups in home environments is paranoid.

What's the point of having a security guard, if no one is entering your club without your supervision (even worst if that security guard is agressive towards everyone by default).

I stopped wasting my time running scans for malware it will never find, on my gaming desktop the only security I need is the firewall.
 

uduoix

Level 5
Just turn WD on and forget about it. I did the same after years of changing AV security packs. It also depends what kind of documents you have on your pc. I bought onedrive cloud service and i upload all important stuff daily. Better spend money on cloud service then AV software.
 

Spawn

Administrator
Verified
Staff member
Simple answer: Yes.

Any operating system that's connected to the Internet (or isolated) needs security upgrades, that's why you receive security patches to plug any exploits.

An Antivirus can provide certain protective measures that the OS simply cannot defend itself against.

Other examples: what do they have in common?
  1. Seat belt
  2. Helmet
  3. Goggles
  4. and recently in the news: Free-climber scales London's Shard - If he lost grip without a harness, what would happen?
 

Azure

Level 24
Verified
Content Creator
"I started using PC 25 years ago and I think that I have never been infected."

This here is where I believe the problem lies. Most people aren't expert, we don't know if we are infected. I think people need remember that not all infection are going to be in-your-face like ransomware. Some can be very stealthy.
 

Raiden

Level 13
Verified
Content Creator
@Raiden I'm curious so I simply have to ask, what source/s do you get that information from?
That's a fair question.

I don't really have any specific source per say, but I've simply drawn my conclusion based on what I see/read on whats happening around the world in this regard.

From what I can see/read, a lot of the major breaches, malware attacks really have been focused on business and governments as of late. It's far more lucrative for them and let's be honest hackers are trying to make money. If for example they attack Amazon and steal everyone's CC info, they just stole way more information in a shorter period than of time than waiting one, by one to get it from home users. It's really about efficiency IMO.

An example I can use is by simply asking the question, when was the last time anyone here got infected? Forget the, this is a security forum and I am a techie, when was the last time it actually happened? I can use my parents as an example, they aren't techies by any means and I have yet to come across any of their systems being infected. I constantly read comments from people around the internet discussing this exact topic and more often than not many cannot remember the last time they got infected, but I'm reading more and more about businesses and governments getting hacked. So to me I just see it as a trend.

Now for the record I'm in no way saying that people like us and your average computer user cannot get infected, it still happens, but with the improvements to Windows and browsers, it's getting better for the home user IMO. Again I am not saying everyone needs to throw out their AV/suites, they still have their place and like I've said better safe than sorry.

Now I know this isn't a specific source per say, but it's just a conclusion I have come to when looking/reading whats going on around the world. It's ok if you disagree, it's just my point of view.;)(y)
 

motox781

Level 9
Verified
That's a fair question.

I don't really have any specific source per say, but I've simply drawn my conclusion based on what I see/read on whats happening around the world in this regard.

From what I can see/read, a lot of the major breaches, malware attacks really have been focused on business and governments as of late. It's far more lucrative for them and let's be honest hackers are trying to make money. If for example they attack Amazon and steal everyone's CC info, they just stole way more information in a shorter period than of time than waiting one, by one to get it from home users. It's really about efficiency IMO.

An example I can use is by simply asking the question, when was the last time anyone here got infected? Forget the, this is a security forum and I am a techie, when was the last time it actually happened? I can use my parents as an example, they aren't techies by any means and I have yet to come across any of their systems being infected. I constantly read comments from people around the internet discussing this exact topic and more often than not many cannot remember the last time they got infected, but I'm reading more and more about businesses and governments getting hacked. So to me I just see it as a trend.

Now for the record I'm in no way saying that people like us and your average computer user cannot get infected, it still happens, but with the improvements to Windows and browsers, it's getting better for the home user IMO. Again I am not saying everyone needs to throw out their AV/suites, they still have their place and like I've said better safe than sorry.

Now I know this isn't a specific source per say, but it's just a conclusion I have come to when looking/reading whats going on around the world. It's ok if you disagree, it's just my point of view.;)(y)
Agreed. But be careful with the media. Reading news or articles can easily distort someones viewpoint and decisions (old stock investing advice about news being 'noise'). It does seem like malware authors are attacking commericial business more, than consumer (according to news). Another thing is, the news is more likely to run an article about a muti-million dollar hospital losing access to it's entire network, than grandma nanna losing her photos due to ransomware. This increase in news directed toward commercial (due to the shock factor), could give the reflection that malware is on the rise, but is it really? And even if it is, can 'said' malware 123 infect my system (minus AVs) with the security updates I have installed? No one knows for sure, unless you run it and then dissect what it was allowed to do (which could be nothing).

I think AV marketing is very similar to Insurance companies, they have to invoke fear for someone to see a purpose to justify buying, otherwise you wouldn't see a reason to buy meteor insurance, haha.

AVs: Make malware the boogieman and make the boogieman feel like he's living in your closet, and people will buy.
Insurance: Make Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tornados, Car Wrecks, Floods etc. the boogieman (which they can be) no matter the statistics and people will buy.

With both of the above, you should use proper judgement to decide what you need, and what you don't. Like...where I live, I don't need earthquake insurance, but I know some poeple who buy it out of fear. Same with Flood Insurance. I don't need it because the probablity of my house flooding is next to none, but others pay large amounts to have it even though they are not in a flood zone.

About the parents part, I agree 100%. But where I live, I see that reduction of malware due to their incresing use of mobiles such as Iphone. Things they do on a mobile now (browsing, email, etc) that they use to do on a PC. And their fear of breaking the PC, haha...I see that a lot.

Haha, I started wondering off topic like always. I guess I'm just trying to say it is all about probabilities based on your situation, and the risk you are willing to take. The problem is, we don't know how 'said' antivirus will reduce that risk, until it happens (which may be never). Good post.

Sorry Raiden, my mumbling wasn't directed entirely towards your post.
 
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roger_m

Level 25
Verified
Content Creator
better safe than sorry
in your case, I suggest you to use a free and the lightest AV possible, because you said you haven't seen your AVs working much

It's the same as mine situation. My AVs haven't been blocking much but it's mentally safer for me to use 1. I feel uncomfortable and unsure without an AV
anti-exe, HIPS or default-deny products make me even more unsure because they block too many safe files => lower my productivity
I agree with all of that. These days I never get infected. I use antivirus software, but it only ever detects harmless PUPs and occasional false positives, but never anything that is actually harmful. So like you, I opt for a very light antivirus, as I don't feel the need to have the absolute best protection. I think that the only time I would encounter actual malware, is if a download server gets hacked and a legitimate installer gets replaced with malware or is modified to include malware. For this reason, I find it reassuring to be running antivirus software, even if I feel that for the most part it is not needed, just in case I end up with a malicious download from a trusted site. From time to time, I'm emailed malware. But I never open email attachments, from emails I was not expecting, so I'm will never actually open the infected attachments.

I've never had much time for HIPS or similar software, due to either excessive alerts, or blocking legitimate software until I manually whitelist it. I do sometimes get some alerts from the behaviour blocker in my antivirus, when installing software. But it's not enough to be an annoyance and at least, it never blocks anything unless I allow it to.

It's been a very long time since I've been infected. To which people will say, you can't be sure of that. Maybe you were infected and just didn't know. I'm sure of not being infected, because, at times I've run various malware scans and nothing has been detected other than PUPs that I've installed myself and false positives.
 

motox781

Level 9
Verified
It's been a very long time since I've been infected. To which people will say, you can't be sure of that. Maybe you were infected and just didn't know. I'm sure of not being infected, because, at times I've run various malware scans and nothing has been detected other than PUPs that I've installed myself and false positives.
How do you know 2nd opinion scanners had the definitions to detect such malware? Haha, I'm just pulling your leg and being too unrealistic...or is IT?. ;) :D
 
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