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    Emsisoft

    I would appreciate it very much if you would give me your opinion of the Emsisoft Anti-Spware program. Cloud8 is touting it and a deal has been worked out with Emsisoft to get 25% off the price.... 25% off $40. I don't want to uninstall Microsoft's Security Essentials, Spybot or Spyware-Blaster until I'm sure Emsisoft is much better. My OS is Vista. Thanks.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    If you install a new antivirus program, you would need to have uninstalled the previous one. Two antivirus programs don't play nicely together.

    As for Spybot and SpywareBlaster, we are talking about products that were relevant and good in their day, but that day was about five years ago...

    Emsisoft seems to come out quite well in the recent AV-comparatives testing (PDF), which would be more informative than any subjective opinions anyone might have.
    BATcher

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You will get many assorted answers to open ended questions like this. I used Emisoft AV app for a while but did not like the insistence on upgrading to their suite when they dropped the stand alone AV app. I have switched to AVG AV 2013 and am very happy with it. But then again I was also happy with MSE, and switched simply because I got 3 licenses for AVG free (with a mail in rebate). AVG allows me to select how often I update the signatures.
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    Emsisoft Antimalware is a top notch AV and antimalware solution. Have been using it for more than a year, now. Emsisoft can be run at the same time with some other AVs, like Microsoft Security Essentials. IMO, EAM is much better than any one of rathose. It has two independent engines, it supports behavioral blocking, not just signature based detection and regularly tops comparative tests.

    I use both EAM and Emsisoft's firewall, Online Armor. You can rest assured EAM is a great solution, regarding malware protection. As I said, you can keep MSE, as long as you configure EAM to exclude MSE and configure MSE to exclude EAM. So, in a way, you can think of EAM as increasing your security, because you can keep your current AV app and are supplementing it with a light, very high detection rate solution.
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    Since late 2012, Microsoft Security Essentials has been failing multiple certification attempts from two independent malware labs, AV-Test in Germany and Dennis Technology Labs in England, so you should replace it with something else. But, before purchasing antivirus software, consider some of the other free products that are available. See http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...lware-software

    As per BATcher’s post above, once you have new antivirus software installed you can uninstall Spybot and Spyware-Blaster. Current antivirus software is designed to protect against all malware, including spyware, so separate antispyware is no longer necessary and just adds unnecessary complexity.

    Of equal importance to which antivirus software you use is that you access the internet through a limited account, not the administrator account. If you access the internet through the administrator account, then it doesn’t matter how good your antivirus software is, because your computer will ultimately be infected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudsandskye View Post
    Of equal importance to which antivirus software you use is that you access the internet through a limited account, not the administrator account. If you access the internet through the administrator account, then it doesn’t matter how good your antivirus software is, because your computer will ultimately be infected.
    So, most people here have systems that correspond to statistical anomalies, virus protection wise? I think your statement is a gross exaggeration. You certainly can recommend the use of a limited account as another security measure, but claiming a computer will be infected if the internet is accessed through a regular account, with such certainty, well that is simply wrong. Sorry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I think your statement is a gross exaggeration. You certainly can recommend the use of a limited account as another security measure, but claiming a computer will be infected if the internet is accessed through a regular account, with such certainty, well that is simply wrong.
    It's not wrong, it's accurate. Based on experience, logic, and testing, all antivirus software fails sooner or later, resulting in an infection. Please provide the name of an antivirus software product that will never fail and I will retract my statement.

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    I am sorry, it's not. You are stating that all you need to get infected is to go on the internet. According to you, all you need is to go online and you won't be infected once, but actually you will be infected so often, that you will eventually find a virus that your AV won't catch. I think most people can tell you this is wrong, and it's wrong in many ways.

    First, it's not certain at all that you will get a virus just by going online. Since you are relying on anecdotal evidence I will tell you I never got infected going online, let alone be infected multiple times. Secondly, for someone who regularly posts on AV posts, it's surprising that you seem to think that all that can be done is using an AV and a limited account. You can and I do, use multiple layers of defense, combining not only an AV, but also an HIPS, coupled with some of Windows own defense mechanisms, such as the UAC.

    I have defended here, many, many times, the use of a HIPS, coupled with a decent AV (and sorry, I don't go the free route when it comes to keeping your PC safe). With a HIPS, nothing runs on your system without being authorized by you. If the AV doesn't catch malware, the HIPS will. Some AV apps, such as Emsisoft's EAM, will allow you to run it at the same time as other real time AV apps (it can run at the same time as MSE, for example). This increases the change one of the AVs catching the malware and, if not, leave it to the HIPS. Other people use other apps that are quite effective, detection wise, such as MalwareBytes. So, yes, no AV will catch everything, but use multiple layers and the changes something will pass through all of them are smaller and smaller.

    Again, resorting to anecdotal evidence, I use Emsisoft EAM, an AV that uses two malware detection engines and a behavior blocker, coupled with a HIPS, Emsisoft's Online Armour. Since I started going online (back to 1990s), I have used other OS firewalls, also known as HIPS, coupled with AVs and, as I said, I haver never caught an infection, not one. Not because my protection software intervened, no, just because I haven't. Of course, I do not change accounts, I run under my own admin account and always will.

    Thirdly, you seem to forget that user behavior is an important component of staying safe while online. Behave wisely, do not incur in risk behavior and that will go a long way to ensure you won't get infected.

    Mine is not the only experience. Many of the regulars here use things such as the below average MSE and do not get infected. How do can explain that, considering your assured inevitabilities. My own family has never been infected either, of course, running the same security software I run.

    I would offer that running under a limited account is just another tool you can use. It's certainly not required to ensure you stay free from malware infections. Using a multiple layer defense, act defensively online regarding the places you visit, will go just as far ensuring you stay free of malware.
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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudsandskye View Post
    Based on experience, logic, and testing, all antivirus software fails sooner or later, resulting in an infection.
    So why are you dissing older products with passive blocking capabilities, like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot S&D? I still use them both for that purpose, as well as other 'old-fashioned' methods, like a modified hosts file and a script blocker (think Windows Scripting Host, etc.).

    Protection is best done in layers; begin at the extremities - DNS, router and work inwards. Passive protection doesn't bog down your browser/CPU if done correctly.

    Security software is there to sell you another licence for next year - even if the virus's from previous years are no longer detected by them.

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    You are stating that all you need to get infected is to go on the internet. According to you, all you need is to go online and you won't be infected once, but actually you will be infected so often, that you will eventually find a virus that your AV won't catch.

    That’s not what I said, but rather your interpretation.


    Since you are relying on anecdotal evidence…

    Again, that’s not what I said, but your interpretation. If all I had was anecdotal evidence I wouldn’t have bothered to post. My evidence is based on probability logic and statistical analysis, what the independent labs are finding in their testing, what the software publishers are experiencing, and what’s taking place in the wild.


    …it's surprising that you seem to think that all that can be done is using an AV and a limited account. … you seem to forget that user behavior is an important component of staying safe while online.

    Once again, that’s not what I said, but your interpretation. I’ve written more extensively on this forum about computer security or linked to articles on the subject. I was just offering a little suggestion to kate.


    Behave wisely, do not incur in risk behavior…

    Unfortunately, most people have a difficult time changing their behavior. That’s why my first suggestion is usually something simple, like using a limited account, which offers good protection from bad behavior for relatively little effort.


    I would offer that running under a limited account is just another tool you can use. It's certainly not required to ensure you stay free from malware infections.

    Yes, it is, because a limited account will protect you from certain vectors, such as a hosted ad server with rotating advertisements on an otherwise clean, uninfected website. An infected ad on that server can bypass all your layers, if designed to do so.


    Using a multiple layer defense, act defensively online regarding the places you visit, will go just as far ensuring you stay free of malware.

    I agree, but not if the administrator account is part of those layers, which is something I guess we will probably always disagree on.


    Last year in the U.S.A., 58 million home computers were infected with malware causing $4 billion worth of damage. Worldwide, one third of all personal computers were infected. There are currently 125 million pieces of active malware on the attack around the world. The antivirus software publishers are struggling to keep up with this and they are not always successful, as we’ve seen in the news.

    I’ve noticed over the last several months what seems to be an increasing number of new, inexperienced people coming onto the forum seeking help with what seem like terrible malware infections. If my stating that accessing the internet through an administrator account will ultimately lead to a malware infection seems over the top, well, I don’t care. I feel it’s not an exaggeration at all and hopefully it may actually scare inexperienced people into setting up their computers with proper security.

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    So why are you dissing older products with passive blocking capabilities, like SpywareBlaster and SpyBot S&D?

    I’ve criticized Spybot Search & Destroy before and I’m not the only person on this forum who has done so. That software is not worth bothering with. See http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2412372,00.asp Modern antivirus software includes antispyware, so those old antispyware products are obsolete.


    Security software is there to sell you another license for next year - even if the virus's from previous years are no longer detected by them.

    So, use a free product. See http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...lware-software


    I agree that layers of security are important, but it can get excessive. The typical computer user just wants it to work. They’re not interested in wasting their time running scans, downloading updates, etc. So, the layers they use should all count, and separate antispyware just doesn’t count for much anymore.

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    @cloudsandskye

    You said it was a certainty that someone would get infected if they used a regular account, even with an AV, according to you. When questioned by me about this, you stated "Please provide the name of an antivirus software product that will never fail and I will retract my statement.". This implies that people will not only get infected, but will get infected multiple times, until one of those infections will not be caught by the AV software, which in the most simple view of security presented here, by you, is the only barrier to not get infected, coupled with the limited account.

    You have provided zero facts to back this statement. You don't counter a single argument of those offered here. Your posts here seem to point to a very limited view of what can be done to achieve computer security.

    Do yourself a favor - if you want to be taken seriously, in a technical forum, when you talk about security, don't state there is only one way to achieve it. Also, don't simplify the message. Even a less experienced user has the right to be properly informed. Fear mongering and providing erroneous information, even to such users, is not the way to go.

    P.S.: Had I wanted to provide a simplistic answer like yours, I would simply state that I have 4 computers running here under administrator accounts, for at least 5 years (actually some for much longer) and I have a zero infection rate - yes, zero. Unfortunately, simple answers are not enough to help less knowledgeable users to secure their computer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudsandskye View Post
    I agree that layers of security are important, but it can get excessive. The typical computer user just wants it to work. They’re not interested in wasting their time running scans, downloading updates, etc. So, the layers they use should all count, and separate antispyware just doesn’t count for much anymore.
    Again, simplicity seems to be a key characteristic of your statements. I don't run scans (live protection is enough for me) and updates are a necessity when all antimalware products rely, at least in part, on signatures. I have two computers running all the time, downloading sig updates every hour, automatically, without interfering with normal computer operation.

    Users don't want this, but surely they will prefer having to switch accounts every time they need to change something on their computers?! Right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudsandskye View Post
    (...) and hopefully it may actually scare inexperienced people into setting up their computers with proper security.
    Sorry, this is the wrong place if you think scaring people is the way to go. It was clear to me that what you were doing was fear mongering and I wrote it in my last comment, but I had failed to realize that was an actual goal.

    Scaring people (and the associated patronizing attitude) is the wrong thing to do here and you will have my complete opposition if you try to do it. Informing and educating users is the way to go, not scaring them. You don't own other people's computers, so it's always up to the owners to choose what to do. In order for them to be able to do that, information is needed. Surely fear should have nothing to do with it and much less based on an incomplete view of the options they can take!
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    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Your reply (#11) is interesting, you seem to ignore the primary focus of my first question, that of passive blocking, yet you finish up saying:

    The typical computer user just wants it to work. They’re not interested in wasting their time running scans, downloading updates, etc. So, the layers they use should all count, and separate antispyware just doesn’t count for much anymore.
    Some of my passive blocks update automatically each day, others are manually updated weekly, still more are checked weekly but update less frequently; no scans needed, so what's wrong with downloading updates?

    SpyBot (ver. 2.x) is buggy, no denying that; most users are still on, or have reverted to, ver 1.62. After your post, I installed the latest free version for a test (3rd time since v.2 was launched); quick scan is still broken, folder scan is still bugged, interface is awful, too many clicks needed at each stage to accomplish what more modern software does with one click. But, on starting it, Resource Monitor indicated that a Beta software I've been testing was suspended and the autoruns section found 2x valid entries that were missed by both Autoruns and Winpatrol (both of which are probably 'too old' by your definitions, do you know anything more modern and better?).

    V 1.62's scanner works and is still useful for detecting malware and unusual changes in the Registry. Overall, Spybot does give some extra 'cover' that's difficult to find in other software - yes, it does require more effort and a measure of experience to get the best out of it (the same goes even for modern security software).

    In your reply to my second question you seemed to have missed a point I was trying to make. I do use free antivirus, have you used one that doesn't advertise the pay version?

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