Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Anti-virus protection

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...... 

1 comment:

  1. I am a Kaspersky (Internet security ) user because of its Safe Money systems. ( Secure protected browser for bank sites and shopping, and virtual keyboard encryption). My only beef is that when Firefox updates ( feels like every other week) safe money is incompatible. I waited about 2 months for K to bring out its Firefox 21 version and about 3 days later Firefox 22 was released and is still incompatible.
    I' m keeping v 21 until the K update in spite of nightly pleas to instal v22