My new computer came with Kaspersky security software. It was a "free" trial, which meant it kept giving me pop-up menus encouraging me to pay for an on-going subscription. Time was running out and although I know that the commercial anti-virus programs do a good job, and have sometimes been ranked slightly ahead of the Microsoft and AVG offerings (for example, in Computer Choice magazine), my experience (on another of our computers) has been that Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is quite adequate. Naively or not, I place some store in one of the comments to a PC World article: "User behaviour is probably more important in preventing infection than which security package you use. If a user frequents sketchy sites and clicks on every link offered, the chance of infection skyrockets no matter what security package is installed".
MSE has been replaced in Windows 8 by an enhanced version of Windows Defender. So, I thought that before I uninstalled
Kaspersky, I'd turn Windows Defender on. This proved harder than I expected. In fact, it wasn't possible. After some time delving into
every possible setting, I resorted to googling the issue. It appears
that Kaspersky (like all major security programs, it seems) disables Windows Defender. That is, it not only turns it off, it makes it impossible to
turn it on. According to US-based PC World, "Microsoft tossed its
partners a bone by allowing OEMs to deactivate Windows Defender in order
to ship boxed PCs with alternative security solutions installed".
Yes, I'm aware
that it's not a good idea to run two security programs at
the one time. Just the same, to remove Windows Defender almost completely from view seems a little extreme. But I digress..... .
It was, therefore, with some apprehension that I proceeded to uninstall Kaspersky (even though I read (here) that it ought not to be a problem). Holding my breath, I then sought out Windows Defender on the computer, and was gratified not only to find it but to see that, perhaps as part of the uninstall of Kaspersky (or perhaps it's a feature of Windows 8?), it had in fact been activated. This seemed to be contrary to the article in PC World, but on re-reading it, I realised the article was referring to the situation where the Kaspersky product was allowed to lapse, rather than where it is actively uninstalled 9 (as I had done). The virus definitions were not up-to-date, but rather than wait for the automatic update to kick in, I manually up-dated these. Since then, so far, so good......