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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> New computer - now I need antivirus advice
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07/09/2020 12:33:41 PM · #1
So, after a bit of procrastination I finally bought the laptop I'd decided on in this thread. It arrived this morning but I haven't dared to switch it on yet because I first need to install the right antivirus program.

I've been using Kaspersky Internet Security as long as I've owned my old computer, but I see they have 3 versions and I'm wondering whether I need one of their more powerful versions for a laptop (if I ever have the opportunity to use it away from home).
07/09/2020 12:39:35 PM · #2
I'm disinclined to install any software from Russia or China ...
07/09/2020 12:56:55 PM · #3
Originally posted by GeneralE:

I'm disinclined to install any software from Russia or China ...


Kaspersky was recommended by the shop that made my old computer and I've never had any problem with it, so I'm not sure I need to change. I'm just scared that using WiFi will make the new computer more vulnerable.
07/09/2020 01:23:13 PM · #4
If your WiFi source and computer are password-protected you should be OK -- AFAIK viruses (and other malware) are spread by clicking on links (e.g. in phishing emails) and not by being "pushed" over a wireless connection.

Personally I don't plan on getting any device lacking the ability to connect via a wired (Ethernet or USB) connection -- I've tried to limit my exposure to RF or microwave radiation as much as possible ever since I read "Waldo" by Robert Heinlein and an article in New West magazine about people living near high-power radar installations.
07/09/2020 01:33:13 PM · #5
My personal strategy is to use the built-in Windows Defender software. It has not failed me, across multiple machines and many years.
07/09/2020 01:36:27 PM · #6
In the past I tried to limit my exposure to things like microwaves too (we've never had a microwave oven) but with our reliance on things like cellphones, I've had to give in to WiFi use. Even my cameras use WiFi.

While we're in self-imposed lockdown I'll only be using the password-protected WiFi from my own router, but if life ever returns to normal, I MAY want to use my laptop away from home, and if I'm using free WiFi, it may not be protected.
07/09/2020 01:40:57 PM · #7
Originally posted by kirbic:

My personal strategy is to use the built-in Windows Defender software. It has not failed me, across multiple machines and many years.


It never even dawned on me that Windows Defender would be enough. My old computer actually came with Kaspersky installed, so I assumed it was necessary.

Using that on its own would make life a lot simpler.
07/09/2020 02:10:43 PM · #8
Frankly, malware is just as big a risk, maybe a bigger risk, than viruses today. That includes software that you knowingly install, but that does things you don't expect in the background, and also software that gets installed as part of a "package" with another install. The first is more common on mobile devices, but is not unknown on on laptops/desktops; the second applies mostly to laptops/desktops. Anti-virus does nothing for either of those types of risk. I do run an occasional scan with an anti-malware tool (malwarebytes), but since I am pretty careful about software installs, even that I do minimally.
07/09/2020 03:13:32 PM · #9
My main concern then is strangers getting access to my webcam, which Kaspersky prevents. And it comes with a password manager - something I badly need. And their password manager on its own costs almost half the price of their total security package. They have a free version which I've been using, but it doesn't store enough passwords to make it useful.

My gut feeling is that I should buy some form of security, even if not the most expensive of their options. I'm one of those people who always assumes the worst, so I tend to err on the side of caution.

I'm going to do a bit more reading about Windows Defender first though.
07/09/2020 03:36:28 PM · #10
Windows Defender is what I use for Virus protection, and I run Malwarebytes for protection against malware in general. I've done this for years and never have had a problem.
07/09/2020 03:47:11 PM · #11
I use the free version of AVG antivirus and also install a custom hosts file, which stops thousands of known malware and adware sites. The explanation of what it does is a bit techy, but they have made it easy to install it. And it actually makes web browsing faster because your computer isn't busy fetching stuff you don't want anyway.

For a password manager, I use Keepass, but it may be a more manual method than you want. I record all my paswords in it and keep the master copy on my keyring. Backups and convenience copies on my other PC's and devices.

Message edited by author 2020-07-09 15:49:20.
07/09/2020 03:51:10 PM · #12
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I use the free version of AVG antivirus and also install a custom hosts file, which stops thousands of known malware and adware sites. The explanation of what it does is a bit techy, but they have made it easy to install it. And it actually makes web browsing faster because your computer isn't busy fetching stuff you don't want anyway.

For a password manager, I use Keepass, but it may be a more manual method than you want. I record all my paswords in it and keep the master copy on my keyring. Backups and convenience copies on my other PC's and devices.


It's getting late. I'll have to look into some of those things tomorrow. I'm not sure the password manager will suit me though.
07/09/2020 05:33:42 PM · #13
Por Passwords Penny and I both use LastPass and it works well for us.
07/09/2020 06:11:09 PM · #14
I use BitWarden because it's open source, otherwise, yes, you should be using some kind of password manager.
07/09/2020 11:54:57 PM · #15
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

I use the free version of AVG antivirus and also install a custom hosts file, which stops thousands of known malware and adware sites. The explanation of what it does is a bit techy, but they have made it easy to install it. And it actually makes web browsing faster because your computer isn't busy fetching stuff you don't want anyway.

For a password manager, I use Keepass, but it may be a more manual method than you want. I record all my paswords in it and keep the master copy on my keyring. Backups and convenience copies on my other PC's and devices.

I use Avast free anti-virus. I used hosts file years ago, I might check it again. I thought that by now it might be difficult to keep it up-to-date. I also have Keepass, it came with free PortableApps I used for years to simplify moving between desktop and laptop while traveling. But I store only password reminders, not actual passwords. Call me paranoiac! :)
07/10/2020 12:30:05 AM · #16
Originally posted by marnet:

I used hosts file years ago, I might check it again. I thought that by now it might be difficult to keep it up-to-date.

The site I linked to above I have been using for years. They update their custom hosts file pretty regularly. I need to donate a few $ to them.

Originally posted by marnet:

I also have Keepass, it came with free PortableApps I used for years to simplify moving between desktop and laptop while traveling. But I store only password reminders, not actual passwords. Call me paranoiac! :)

Well it is open source, so it should stay free. The portable version is what I use as well. It is encrypted, so I think the file is pretty safe, especially since doing it the way I do it is not out there in the cloud at all.
07/10/2020 01:04:10 AM · #17
Originally posted by marnet:

But I store only password reminders, not actual passwords. Call me paranoiac! :)

That's the beauty of open source. Just read through the code yourself.
07/17/2020 03:45:01 PM · #18
I read on https://www.safetydetectives.com/ that Kaspersky is "Best for Online Shopping and Banking". That's convinced me that I should stick with Kaspersky.

Just one thing I don't understand. In the comparison of the different antivirus programs, one of the comparison categories is Included VPN - some are unlimited, others not. Kaspersky is 300 MB/day. I feel stupid but I really don't know what that means or whether it's important to me.

Can someone please explain.

Message edited by author 2020-07-17 15:45:34.
07/17/2020 05:39:22 PM · #19
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

one of the comparison categories is Included VPN - some are unlimited, others not. Kaspersky is 300 MB/day. I feel stupid but I really don't know what that means or whether it's important to me.

Can someone please explain.

VPN is a Virtual Private Network. Most corporations use these for remote workers. It creates an encrypted tunnel that effectively puts you within a company's network from a remote location, as if you were in the office. I assume this feature put you into Kaspersky's secure network, and you access the internet from within that secure network. So it is a service that may have a data limit.

I may be wrong about how a VPN would be used in this situation.
07/18/2020 01:38:36 AM · #20
I thought VPN could hide your IP address. There is some risk of your computer being used on some evil botnet but I think the risk is very small and not worth paying money for but I may be wrong and my computer is already on evil botnet! ;)

PS I think that the virus companies spread fear on purpose, to make more sales. You have to make your own balanced judgement on how much security you really need.

Message edited by author 2020-07-18 01:46:51.
07/18/2020 05:14:23 AM · #21
Even if it's not really necessary, I'd rather spend a little money to get some peace of mind, especially when online banking and shopping are concerned. As I live with my eIderly mother, don't know when I'll be able to go shopping again.
07/19/2020 10:33:24 AM · #22
Originally posted by GinaRothfels:

I read on https://www.safetydetectives.com/ that Kaspersky is "Best for Online Shopping and Banking". That's convinced me that I should stick with Kaspersky.


Or maybe not. My computer came with a trial version of McAfee ("developed specifically to work with your ASUS computer") which only expires in July 2021, so I guess I'll use that for now.
07/24/2020 07:13:31 AM · #23
Apparently the email that said a year was wrong. Now it says I've only got 25 days left. The misleading information is really annoying.

I'll have to do a bit more research, but perhaps I should stick to the software I know.
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