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Ninja_Sub
09-19-2012, 07:32 AM
So I know I'm probably asking for it, I've read other threads and everyone ha their own opinion on the topic. I have the latest version of Norton, it comes free with my Comcast subscription. Is this sufficient? Some people, it seems, run Norton and a different malware screener. Also I hear some folks find Norton to be insufficient and use different protection all together. I really don't have a lot of resources right now so anything other than Norton would have to be a free download, can barely afford to buy a case for my freaking laptop. What should I run? Is my PC safe? Thanks guys, I'm a nerd but i guess I'm a nerd with no knowledge.

Ibz
09-19-2012, 07:58 AM
it's good enough, no need to spend money

DFox
09-19-2012, 09:28 AM
Many people do prefer to run more than just 1 form of protection.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a very popular form of protection, and it's free. http://www.malwarebytes.org/

If you're on Windows, you can also use Microsoft Security Essentials which is also free http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials

mrwolf
09-19-2012, 10:15 AM
Delete Norton and download free.version of AVG !! It's the best.in my opinion.. has a small memory footprint and does a great job, very good UI aswel and is very flexible..

Zygomorphic
09-19-2012, 10:23 AM
Norton, McAffee, and Kaspersky are the best at malware detection, keep what you've got. MSE is getting better. If you don't do anything potentially iffy online, then it should be good enough as well.

john_from_ohio
09-19-2012, 12:26 PM
So I know I'm probably asking for it, I've read other threads and everyone ha their own opinion on the topic.

Yup ... everyone has opinions here. Norton is top rated and tested by all the various labs/etc.

I do run a combo though and do always use MBAM Pro ( Malware Bytes AntiMalware ) along with Norton.

I do not run either "just" Norton Antivirus but used Norton Internet Security ( NIS ) ... just recently finished updating to NIS 2013 which is free update for anyone with valid Norton account.

Ibz
09-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Norton, McAffee, and Kaspersky are the best at malware detection, keep what you've got. MSE is getting better. If you don't do anything potentially iffy online, then it should be good enough as well.

MSE is the WORST antivirus in the world! Don't come near that crap!

I have said it many times but noone believes, MSE is one of the worse antivirus programs out there! Yes it is light on resources but it sucks big time in protection!

I have had 2 viruses crawl twice on to my system even though I am a safe user. Furthermore, it sucks in deleting any threats

AV-TEST - The Independent IT-Security Institute: Jul/Aug 2012 (http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/julaug-2012/)

Avast! Free Antivirus FTW!


I didn't personally have MSE installed, I had it installed for my little sister who goes to Games sites for kids

when I visited home, I checked her PC and she had a popup from MSE saying that it detected 2 viruses, they were not viruses, but rather, false positives (I think one of them was a program that could extract your Office product keys / windows product keys so you can back them up incase you didn't have them), so I thought anyway,let me just delete them through MSE and get done with it since I never used those 2 apps anyway, MSE did its thing and I thought greaT! now we're done

then a few mins later, that same pop up from MSE comes up again saying that it dected them again, and it kept doing it! I restarted, went into safe mode, but MSE kept reporting them. and I am 100% sure they are safe as they were not detected by my previous Kaspersky Internet Security nor Eset Smart Security nor Bitdefender Internet Security

That's my simple story and it is just false positives, I can only imagine how one might be infected but never know since he has that piece of crap called MSE that many people believe in. But tests online show the opposite

Just go to Wilders Security Forums and see what people think of that junk

mrwolf
09-19-2012, 01:05 PM
Delete Norton and download free.version of AVG !! It's the best.in my opinion.. has a small memory footprint and does a great job, very good UI aswel and is very flexible..

Yea sorry i meant AVAST is the best not AVG :s was in class while posting so got confused lol.. but yea i would say Avast does an amazing job and its free :)

soulctcher
09-19-2012, 02:23 PM
There are definitely many opinions in this area...but here are some FACTS:

You need multi-faceted protection. Having a single anti-virus product protects you in many areas, but not all. The simple fact that each vendor has different windows for release of their definitions can be an issue. It is recommended that you have 2 products...one that is anti-virus focussed, and one that is anti-malware focussed.

If you need free, it doesn't get much better than Avast, AVG, or similar. (I personally use Avast.) As far as anti-malware, Malwarebytes is a great product, however the free version doesn't have a memory-resident scanner; you have to upgrade to pro for that. Otherwise, I'm sure you can find another alternative out there.

Either way, make sure you're protected.
But, MOST IMPORTANTLY,...and I can't stress this enough...don't click on stuff while surfing that you are not 100% sure of. Educate yourself and don't be click-happy...that will save you tons of headache.

(As a post-script, I also recommend using a browser OTHER than IE...I am partial to Chrome, but used to be an avid Firefox user prior to Chrome getting better. Once you make the switch, it's a MUST to download the Adblock Plus extension/add-on. This will save you from not only a ton of annoying ads, but they're pretty good at blocking undesirable site content from shady sites as well.)

john_from_ohio
09-19-2012, 03:23 PM
You need multi-faceted protection. Having a single anti-virus product protects you in many areas, but not all. The simple fact that each vendor has different windows for release of their definitions can be an issue. It is recommended that you have 2 products...one that is anti-virus focussed, and one that is anti-malware focussed.

In agreement 100 percent here ... PLUS you need a tested and proven backup and recovery plan!

finalhour
09-19-2012, 03:30 PM
In my experience working as an IT supervisor for 4 years during my undergrad (the past 4 years), the best anti-virus for balancing protection and memory/CPU usage is Microsoft Security Essentials. AVG is a hog at times, and avast! sucks.

In terms of additional protection, download the beta of Spybot Search & Destroy (beta version is really powerful and runs well on 64-bit sytems), it monitors for stuff and runs automatic scans and isn't THAT bad on hogging resources. It's also free...and you can toggle off the auto-scan and monitoring of the registry if you want to.

If you get infected, then you should use malware bytes (MBAM), but it's not an effective prevention tool. Another good program for removal is SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) which is great for rootkits and other nasty viruses. Like someone said above, if you're not participating in iffy things on the computer, an anti-virus like MSE should be enough, as long as you're NOT using Internet Explorer (I use Firefox because I personally think Chrome is garbage), and Spybot S&D 2.something (beta) will definitely boost your protection from malware, etc... and I find it better than MBAM at actually removing things!

Hope this helps!

finalhour
09-19-2012, 03:34 PM
MSE is the WORST antivirus in the world! Don't come near that crap!

I have said it many times but noone believes, MSE is one of the worse antivirus programs out there! Yes it is light on resources but it sucks big time in protection!

I have had 2 viruses crawl twice on to my system even though I am a safe user. Furthermore, it sucks in deleting any threats

AV-TEST - The Independent IT-Security Institute: Jul/Aug 2012 (http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/julaug-2012/)

Avast! Free Antivirus FTW!


I didn't personally have MSE installed, I had it installed for my little sister who goes to Games sites for kids

when I visited home, I checked her PC and she had a popup from MSE saying that it detected 2 viruses, they were not viruses, but rather, false positives (I think one of them was a program that could extract your Office product keys / windows product keys so you can back them up incase you didn't have them), so I thought anyway,let me just delete them through MSE and get done with it since I never used those 2 apps anyway, MSE did its thing and I thought greaT! now we're done

then a few mins later, that same pop up from MSE comes up again saying that it dected them again, and it kept doing it! I restarted, went into safe mode, but MSE kept reporting them. and I am 100% sure they are safe as they were not detected by my previous Kaspersky Internet Security nor Eset Smart Security nor Bitdefender Internet Security

That's my simple story and it is just false positives, I can only imagine how one might be infected but never know since he has that piece of crap called MSE that many people believe in. But tests online show the opposite

Just go to Wilders Security Forums and see what people think of that junk

When did you have trouble with MSE? I've NEVER had any issues with it. I've seen it let things through on XP and Vista but never on 7 unless the person was stupid enough to download and run a .exe that was infected. Never had a false positive and I've been using since a month or two after it was released!

cl-scott
09-19-2012, 04:56 PM
I personally stopped using Norton back in the early 2000s when they had a rash of false-positives. An issue that crops up far more often with Norton than any other vendor based on my completely unscientific study, which I can't really back up with anything concrete.

I was a big fan of AVG right up until version 8, when it seemed like feature creep took hold in a big way. Maybe that's improved since then, but I haven't really bothered looking back. It still seems like a solid choice, and I give them credit for giving out a free version (even if it was next to impossible to find last time I checked AVG's website), but where AVG 7.5 and before were rather spartan, offering what was needed and little else, AVG 8 went well off into the world of more dubious forms of protection like checking links on a web page. There's some merit to it, but there are better ways of addressing this issue, like Microsoft taking responsibility for the raging security hole that is ActiveX.

I do like Microsoft's program, since it's small and keeps out of the way. No popups that are worded to make it sound like the barbarians are literally at the gates, and this software is the only thing holding them back. The detection rate can be arguably poor, but more on that in a minute.

Avast is one I've taken a liking to of late, particularly since they went to the considerable effort to rewrite the scanning engine to be more multi-core friendly. I'm annoyed by the stupid popups the free version brings up sometimes, and I hate having to register even once a year, but those relatively minor gripes aside, I like it.

McAfee I've long had a grudge against for the way it seems to cut system performance by about a third. Now it's possible McAfee has improved that in the last better part of a decade since I used it last, but I'm dubious about that based on comments I have heard from others. What I can say about McAfee is that, performance issues aside, it's pretty stalwart. I just find those performance issues to be completely unacceptable.

In the end though, while I would not say that you should be without an AV program, you're going to get far more bang for your buck with some simple behavioral changes. YOU are ultimately the weakest link in the security chain. YOU are the one who will just mindlessly click "Allow" every time a firewall asks if you want to permit some program through. YOU will be the one to download that infected program claiming to be nude photos of a celebrity. YOU will be the one using high risk programs like Internet Explorer. These things don't just happen in a vacuum, YOU are responsible. So if YOU take it upon yourself not to do these things, then you will vastly improve your overall security.

john_from_ohio
09-19-2012, 08:17 PM
I personally stopped using Norton back in the early 2000s when they had a rash of false-positives. An issue that crops up far more often with Norton than any other vendor based on my completely unscientific study, which I can't really back up with anything concrete.


Glad I did not give up on girls way back ( aka in 7th grade ) I experienced false positives.

I was positive several of them liked me ... not so much apparently ...

Norton really is a top rated commercial product. Any and all vendors struggle to keep up with this area of technology. No solution is perfect or 100 percent.

That's why one always has to have a backup and recovery strategy.

cl-scott
09-19-2012, 09:07 PM
Glad I did not give up on girls way back ( aka in 7th grade ) I experienced false positives.

I was positive several of them liked me ... not so much apparently ...

Norton really is a top rated commercial product. Any and all vendors struggle to keep up with this area of technology. No solution is perfect or 100 percent.

That's why one always has to have a backup and recovery strategy.

I agree, but Norton is also kind of the poster child of feature creep. I am also very against security suites. If someone wants to use just Norton AV, that's one thing, but Norton Internet Security is a whole other. I tend to be against suites because they share code. In any other respect, sharing code like that would be a good thing, but when it comes to security suites, it means there's a common code base where you could topple the entire suite if you can find an exploit.

Backups and disaster recovery strategies are also important, but I again would stress that YOU (generic) are the single biggest security threat to your computer. So it's important to make sure that YOU are altering any insecure behaviors such as using Internet Explorer or opening suspect email attachments. Everything else is just kind of nibbling around the edges.

Zygomorphic
09-19-2012, 09:10 PM
@cl-scott, remember the proverb about idiot-proof programs producing better idiots? Alternately, read comp sci articles on OS security: "never underestimate the problems with personnel". I agree with you, the best protection is to use the grey matter between the ears. ;)

cl-scott
09-19-2012, 09:32 PM
@cl-scott, remember the proverb about idiot-proof programs producing better idiots? Alternately, read comp sci articles on OS security: "never underestimate the problems with personnel". I agree with you, the best protection is to use the grey matter between the ears. ;)

I have a friend who has crystalized it into a 3 word statement that tends to apply broadly in his opinion: People are stupid.

Now you have to take into account the fact that this is a guy who jokes about how there is a line of people, behind his wife, waiting to kill him. And while that may not be literally true, I'll just share that at one point an ex-girlfriend of mine wanted to know why it is I kept saying that, so I sent her a small snippet of an IM conversation between this friend and myself. She came back saying something to the effect of, "If he's like that all the time, his wife is a saint!" So, take his outlook on life for what it's worth. :p I will keep my opinion on it to myself, lest someone think it's some kind of official commentary. I will only say that I'm a big fan of the BOFH, and there's a shiny nickel in it for anyone who can get that lazy bum Simon pumping out stories on a more regular basis. "I have a job!" "I have a life!" I'm a reasonable guy... I don't care if he has a job and/or life, right up until they start impacting the steady flow of BOFH stories. :mad:

At the end of the day though, no security software is going to stop you from opening that email attachment claiming to be nude photos of a celebrity. Or if you just mindlessly click "Allow" every time the firewall prompts you -- incidentally, one of the reasons I like the Windows firewall; it shuts up and stays out of the way -- then you really only have yourself to blame when things go a bit pear shaped.

john_from_ohio
09-19-2012, 11:32 PM
I agree, but Norton is also kind of the poster child of feature creep.

As far as I can tell you stopped using it 10+ years ago. You may not have a very accurate idea of what is going on with the product.

Read some recent reviews of the top commercial products based over the last several years. Do the shampoo thing ... rinse and repeat ...

Been doing the IT thing for probably well before you were born.

Sorry backups and disaster recovery is much more than "also important" ... as much as various vendors like microsoft etc have been preaching code reviews and security for a really long time now ... zero days exploits of unknown holes without users clicking on anything are growing at an almost exponential rate. Being cautious does not help those situations but a tested and proven backup strategy does.

cl-scott
09-19-2012, 11:49 PM
As far as I can tell you stopped using it 10+ years ago. You may not have a very accurate idea of what is going on with the product.

Read some recent reviews of the top commercial products based over the last several years. Do the shampoo thing ... rinse and repeat ...

Been doing the IT thing for probably well before you were born.

Sorry backups and disaster recovery is much more than "also important" ... as much as various vendors like microsoft etc have been preaching code reviews and security for a really long time now ... zero days exploits of unknown holes without users clicking on anything are growing at an almost exponential rate. Being cautious does not help those situations but a tested and proven backup strategy does.

I think you are falling into the trap of thinking like an IT professional responsible for an organization and not an individual responsible only for themselves, maybe a significant other, and/or family member(s). The requirements for the former are quite a bit more stringent. If your girlfriend's computer crashes because of a daft move, for example, the worst that happens is likely that she pouts for a few days and you spend a couple hours rebuilding the software. Same with family members.

Not to discount backups, but the level of urgency for backups is significantly less when we're talking about someone's personal computer compared to that of a company computer. I presently have no backup system in place for my home computer, but I am fully prepared to live with the potential consequences of that, and have nothing irreplaceable on my home computer. So aside from being somewhat annoying having to restore the software, it's no big deal. If I were working on some big project for Asus, which could mean millions of dollars made or lost, then I would be thinking very differently about my work computer.

john_from_ohio
09-20-2012, 12:02 AM
I think you are falling into the trap of thinking like an IT professional responsible for an organization and not an individual responsible only for themselves, maybe a significant other, and/or family member(s).

Well we are really getting far afield now ... but in the area of pc backups ... I am responsible for my whole family.

I support my step mom and my oldest daughter ( Fordham in NYC ) remotely. Both of them have a proven backup strategy which gets updated by me periodically. We have 3 other machines in the house and 2 laptops of mine ( macbook air and my G75VW ).

All these systems get backed up and all of them are recoverable. Might lose stuff up to a week or maybe two at times.

Seriously man get in the game here. Get an external drive and use the free and proven Win 7 backup and recovery strategy!

Zygomorphic
09-20-2012, 01:11 AM
People are stupid.
Bingo, +1 rep for your friend if he is ever on the forums! :D

GottiBoi55
09-20-2012, 03:16 AM
I use Norton NIS, it's been working well for me.

soulctcher
09-20-2012, 11:44 AM
I think, from what we can see that has happened in this thread, that there are a number of different ways to go about it, and you have to find one that you're comfortable with. A multi-faceted approach seems agreed upon, nonetheless, and there are plenty of free or pay suites available that will do the trick for anti-virus and anti-malware, as well as having backup/recovery options. No matter what, the biggest factor in protecting your environment is between your ears.

rewben
09-20-2012, 05:13 PM
i think software-based protections are not sufficient in today's computing environments. all they do is make you feel 'safe'. they are just software, so they can get infected themselves. how safe can they be?

imho, it's better to practice the least of defense-in-depth approaches:
1. store your data elsewhere;
2. harden your system and keep it updated (particularly, do not disable UAC);
3. install only what you need and keep your system to run with minimal applications;
4. logged in as non-administrative user;
5. run safer web browsers;
6. practice system/data backup strategies; and
7. install whatever antivirus/malware/firewall combos that you think can help to minimize threats.

Zygomorphic
09-21-2012, 01:30 AM
@rewben, +1 for great work! I'm not so sure about #1, though backing up elsewhere helps in the event of natural disasters. The others are all great ideas to help.

Just be careful with multiple anti-malware suites at the same time, some of them can fight one another.

rewben
09-21-2012, 02:52 AM
@Zygomorphic, haha thanks for the +1!

i agree that these habits are about personal preferences also (i should have used unordered list). it's like what has been discussed here. i am used to doing these things so it's easy for me. i agree with john's and soulctcher's practices (i.e. preventive and corrective measures should be in place; using only one of them normally don't work very well). they will save you quite a lot of time, especially during system and data recovery.

#1 is important to me (it became #1 when my notebook got stolen; and that almost caused me a good deal; almost.. because i ended up letting go everything, and used pen and papers for the presentation lol; but if i just spent another 5 seconds to copy the slides that i worked overnight in a USB thumb drive, things would be perfect :D )

GottiBoi55
09-21-2012, 02:59 AM
I agree with Zygomorphic
T (http://rog.asus.com/forum/member.php?42525-Zygomorphic)he dual layer, or multi layer approach to Virus protection can hurt more then help.
The two can conflict with each other and create more problems, but I hear that " Malwarebytes" plays well with others.

rewben
09-21-2012, 05:38 AM
@GottiBoi55, it's true, wrong combos running in background can create unnecessary troubles, when they don't play nicely. that's the price you should pay with such conveniences as real-time protections. when i read the threads in this forum about performance issues, i found out that many of them were actually due to stuff like real-time protections. of course, you always have the choice to follow advice from good people here for the right combos, to minimize such issues.

i let MSE runs in background. will disable it when i think it gets in my way, and turn it back when i think i need it (sounds tiring but it's really easy to do). all my downloads go to one single folder in a ram disk, so that i can scan them all when i feel uneasy.

again, it's about personal preferences and computing habits.

john_from_ohio
09-21-2012, 10:28 AM
I agree with Zygomorphi
The dual layer, or multi layer approach to Virus protection can hurt more then help.
The two can conflict with each other and create more problems, but I hear that " Malwarebytes" plays well with others.

Well maybe some combo's "can hurt more then help" UNTIL you ( or more likely your kids ) have hit something that is undetected by primary but would have been stopped by a secondary.

Yes the Malware Bytes ( MBAM Pro I use ) specifically plays well with the Norton Internet Security suites ( first hand knowledge of how it works with both 2012 and now 2013 ).

No slowing or any apparent impact on any of my ( all relatively new or not ancient anyhow ) machines in my home and ( family remote ) environment.

Again everyone has preferences and brand loyalties here but I for one highly recommend the combo of NIS and MBAM Pro.

madnj
09-22-2012, 04:20 PM
ESET NOD32 or ESET Smart Security are good choices as well and tend to be very highly rated in the enthusiast community. I personally am a convert after running into DPC Latency caused by Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and the detection on ESET products has always been top notch.

GottiBoi55
09-22-2012, 05:29 PM
Here is a great post @ PCMAG

The Best Security Suites of 2013

click here (http://pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369749,00.asp)