Windows Defender – has it come of age?
Thread poster: Stuart Hoskins

Stuart Hoskins
Local time: 03:10
Czech to English
+ ...
Apr 14, 2017

I thought it was perceived wisdom that Windows Defender was inferior to paid-for AV, but The Guardian’s “Ask Jack”, a trustworthy source in my eyes, now suggests otherwise. With my AV subscription renewal looming, I am now in two minds about whether to shell out money on something that could actually compromise my security. Does anyone use Windows Defender and, if so, what is your experience?

(I would add that I think I’m careful about security and backup, and I don’t use my computer for banking.)

The Ask Jack piece in question can be found here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2017/apr/13/how-should-i-protect-my-windows-pc-from-malware-and-viruses


[Edited at 2017-04-14 23:45 GMT]


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
awareness, prevention & user habits Apr 15, 2017

You are to decide, yet I'd like to point out a couple of moments:
1) the WD is the default 'converted' supervision software == the default target;
2) initially the WD (as ex-GIANT's ex-AntiSpyware) is but a poorman's Security Essentials and still mostly about the 'anti-piracy' (user-tracking re-enabling);
3) most modern big threats are zero-day vulnerabilities ('unknown' system breaches), so it requires relevant group policies and a decent HIPS;
4) most modern malware comes from the Internet, so a robust isolation is a must.

For over three years I could run WinXP Pro x32 no prob with a free SuRun (UAC by Kay) and free (yet nagging) virtual space SandBoxIE, and a software firewall; no Anti-Virus at all: no infections, no compromising, no zero-day vulnerabilities. Then came upgrading the system--Vista, W7, and 8.1 (I had a bad luck with a 'best' W10, so never10 for now) and my ever favourite and free Comodo Internet Security (CIS) plus OpenVPN.

Cheers


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not sure Apr 15, 2017

I'm not sure. There are claims and counter-claims such as this:
https://blog.kaspersky.com/is-antivirus-really-dead/13959/

Kaspersky will obviously defend their products, but the article does have some valid points.

There are real-world antivirus and malware protection test reports on https://www.av-comparatives.org/ , but they still use Windows Defender on Windows 7, so the comparison doesn't say much about Windows 10. However, this test makes it clear that some security software is not very good.

In 2016 Webroot commissioned an independent comparison between their security solution, which I have used for many years, and Windows 10 Defender (https://www.mrg-effitas.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Webroot_vs_Microsoft_report.pdf ), according to which Webroot provides better protection in some areas such as malware, phishing, self-protection, simulators and botnets. According to that report, Windows Defender has no browser malware protection, except for some partial protection in Edge. However, Edge is easiest browser to hack according to http://www.tomshardware.com/news/pwn2own-2017-microsoft-edge-hacked,33940.html .

On balance, I will keep my security solution, at least until there is solid evidence that it is redundant. The cost is quite low compared to the potential damage inflicted in an attack.

As it is mentioned somewhere, having a good backup solution is just as important, and one should make sure that it is a solution that doesn’t simply synchronise files, but also keeps many versions of each file, so that in case of an encryption attack, one can restore the files as there were before they were encrypted. I use CrashPlan for that.


 


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