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April 17, 2024 - @241.11 (what is this?)
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Author Topic: Is antivirus necessary anymore?  (Read 552 times)
HalfOfBilly
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« on: February 29, 2024 @394.43 »

Lately I've come across several various, conflicting opinions from friends and online sources regarding antivirus programs. There's a bit of a consensus that antivirus is no longer necessary thanks to Windows Defender, and you can optionally just run MalwareBytes scans now and then for extra security.

I currently use BitDefender, but its constant resource hogging and inconsistent virus detection (suddenly flagging programs I've used for a long time as trojans) is making me reconsider its usefulness.
Admittedly, I do frequently download executables from various corners of the internet (fairly safe corners mind you, I'm not scouring the dark web or anything), and having BitDefender scan them for me gives some peace of mind. Although, considering that the only viruses it has flagged were detected several months after installing and initially scanning the programs make me question its effectiveness.

I was curious on what y'all think- do you still use antivirus? Do you have it always run or only use it to scan files? Or do you forgo it entirely? And if you do still use antivirus, do you have a more effective (and perhaps privacy focused) alternative?
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rhenn
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2024 @421.99 »

On old computers I used to run scans semi-regularly, but personally I just rely on windows defender for my main pc nowadays. I feel like the frequency of malware & miners has gone down though that's just my experience; chances are there's still stuff out there but with a bit of common sense I'd like to think I avoid most of it. I've heard good things about malwarebytes but I'd agree with the sentiment that you don't need much more than that.

That said, if I run into anything I'm unsure about I always run it through virustotal before executing anything. If I'm on an unfamiliar site I tend to look for info/reviews/etc from other people before downloading or running anything. A good adblocker (μBlock Origin for example!) is always useful for peace of mind too.

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grubbyfox
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2024 @440.61 »

I use Avast on my Win7 computer, because I dont trust the native windows defender on this OS. You'll come a long way with common sense, hehe but of course it's always best to be extra safe, because all sites can be compromised and such, so it's better to be distrustful, haha.

Windows Defender on win10/11 should usually be good enough, as it's in Windows/Microsofts interest to keep their customers safe.

I always drop files in the Virustotal site too for a check, if it's a file I am unsure of (like if I'm downloading something off somewhere that's not github or something and well-trusted.) Even if its like an .avi file or whatever, I always use the Virus total website just in case.

With adblockers, a solid dose of distrust/sceptisism, not being naive (click here for free money in gta etc), not snooping around shady or weird sites, and keeping browsers updated, your pretty safe most of the time. For that extra oomph, a native or any legit antivirus should be good enough.
And by good enough I dont mean 100% safe, because you can never be 100% safe imo.
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Yaya
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2024 @640.84 »

I've jumped around a few softwares but always end up back with Eset. It's simple, it runs in the background, and it has protected me a few times from downloading some weird viruses or opening up a dangerous link or attachment.
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2024 @442.01 »

Computer experience is superior to an antivirus. Running obsolete and niche OS that aren't a valuable target anymore should keep most problems out as well, though that not being 100% safe of course. All I can say is that script blocking on the web defuses most threats and improves web browsing as well. Antivirus on the other hand eat quite a bit of the computers ressources while running. I went better without an antivirus and rather learned more about firewalls / networks and that was the right decision.
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Nikodile
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2024 @753.73 »

It really depends on what you're doing on your computer I guess. If you're downloading a lot of things from perhaps risky websites, I think something other than Defender is probably worth it. I use MalwareBytes personally, I did research on them long ago and decided they were the best for me, not sure if that's the case anymore though as it's been so long. It doesn't take up too many resources and hasn't failed me yet.

Defender is very underrated I feel, lots of people feel like they need McAfee or Trend or AVG and I don't like any of them, they can really bog down your system and in general feels like there's lots of bloat.
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2024 @931.74 »

ive been considering getting rid of my subscription to bitdefender recently, and i think this thread is the final push to actually do it lmao! lots of good points in here- on a modern computer, windows defender and couple scans here and there are usually enough.
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2024 @242.78 »

For a long time I was told that the default windows defender program wasn't thorough enough to detect certain viruses, so I always had a "backup" antivirus installed, usually something free like AVG.

But recently I looked into it and read that a lot of the extra virus software out there had either shady privacy issues or just bogged down your computer, so I just stick with the default defender now. I figure it's probably decent enough and the least amount of third party software I have installed the better.



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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2024 @776.26 »

I've only used the default Windows Defender antivirus for many years now and it has been plenty good enough for me. Whenever I have to download something sketchy, I usually use a virtual machine just in case.
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2024 @965.69 »

I have ClamAV on my Arch Linux, but given how malware is rarer for Linux distributions in general, so far I've only used it to perform scans either on the entire system once in a while, or when I'm suspicious about any specific file I've downloaded. I have a slow machine, so anything other than that would be too much for it. Honestly, I tend to worry more about spreading malware to friends who still use Windows than about my own computer's security.
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starbreaker
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2024 @641.84 »

I would say antivirus is still necessary, but nowadays I think more in terms of anti-malware and regard uBlock Origin as a vital tool for avoiding one particilar kind of malware: online advertising.
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Loebas
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2024 @682.29 »

I too use Windows Defender to protect my pc. On my linux boxes i have no antivirus since it isnt needed (yet).

I also use an adblocker (uBlock Origin) to protect my devices against malicious websites
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ThunderPerfectWitchcraft
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2024 @441.40 »

Didn't use any AV since I changed to Linux over a decade ago; you don't need it there.

AV was a good thing to have on Windows, at least if you wanted to boot up dubious .exe files (like doing warez, or playing the small free games you could download for free back then). If you didn't, a adblocker within an up-to-date browser on an up-to-date system was probably enough (and maybe even deactivating Javascript/using NoScript).

Back then, the recognition rates of the built-in Windows-AV were bad, but Microsoft and the MS-Fanboys told everybody they would be good enough; they still say so, I don't know if it is true now, but doubt it.
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2024 @325.59 »

On Linux, no, I don't use an AV on it. Right now Linux is too... "niche" for malware developers to bother with it, I think. On Windows though, yes I still use ESET AV.
I agree with others here that computer experience definitely goes a long way in keeping you safe from harm. Heck, I haven't encountered any malware in anyway for several years. Maybe that's because the usual "infect files and spread" type of malware is not as common anymore. Even so, I think having an Antivirus as opposed to Windows Defender is a good idea, especially if you download a lot.
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2024 @402.72 »

IMO Windows Defender is enough. As long as you're careful and aren't clicking on anything super dodgy. This has been the general sentiment in IT / Security communities for a number of years now. Any of the paid for AVs are an absolute ripoff and are normally full of bloat.
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