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(poll) Six free security tools from Microsoft

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Hmm. I believe MSE does block the worst of the "drive by" attacks, which is for me what the real reason of an AV is - it's not about clicking popups, it's stuff that just magically jumps onto your machine for zero reason. So that part is okay by me. I have seen it block a couple random "file viruses" here and there when I strayed a bit too far.

See elsewhere for my mixed reactions on EMET.

However I do think something like either Hijack This (haven't tried the other ones like M.B. etc.) are important because AV's don't warn you of the "grey ware" that gets in there with the bundled installs of "legit" programs. To me that's the biggest creeping threat because it takes real skill by the user to play a game of "opt-out minefield" to avoid all of it!

As above for MSE on 7

Windefender replaces MSE on Windows 8 and is on it by default (not sure what Windows Defender does on 7). It seems to be okay in my limited use of my Win 8 laptop. (I mainly just use it as a rather big and expensive mp3 player at this stage, but that's another topic.)

Er... I don't actually know. I think Widows Defender at the very least is installed, but I've never consciously used any of them.

I have always had a slightly ambivalent relationship with AV tools.

My main desktop machine is more used by my wife (who routinely hits the "temporarily allow everything on this webpage" option in NoScript, sadly) so I have a paid AV package on there (eSet NOD32).

This year, they offered me an almost free update to the full Internet Security offering. I resisted: I have yet to see one of those that doesn't cause more problems than it solves.

My netbook has had MSE for the last two years but, amidst odd reports of it being less secure than it was (because it's become a big enough target, I guess) I've just replaced it with NOD32 too (the second license was reasonably cheap).

Interestingly, dcupdate works a heck of a lot faster now MSE's gone. :)

So I still use the Malicious Software Removal Tool, even though it's never found anything and makes Patch Tuesday more of a chore than I'd like :) and Defender's on both systems -- NOD32 replicates quite a lot of its functionality, I think, but they seem to coexist happily.

MSE did find something, once, on my netbook: an infected JPG on some webpage or other, if memory serves. NOD32 seems a decent-enough product, the support is at least reasonably responsive, the program's very configurable, not very obtrusive and seems effective.

I hadn't even heard of the offline version of Defender before reading Fred Langa's article yesterday. Nice to know it exists, I guess. Ditto the Safety Scanner.

MSE has saved my bacon on a few occasions ... AND ... wait for it ... it's endorsed by EliTheComputerGuy.


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