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LF Low-impact Real-time Security


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#1 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 08:44 AM

Good tidings to you all, Bleepers great and small!
Humble supplicant towards almighty root, I come in search of knowledge and advice.

The Windmill : I manage the computers of our community center, where we also offer computer assistance, coaching, instruction, and service. I would like to reevaluate the software I use to clean and protect systems both inhouse and on client computers, as I recently found out (feedback goes to management, not to us) there are clients reporting "too many programs", "too complicated", or "I don't know what to do with popup/dialogbox X from your program". 

The Past : For several years now (afaicr) I always implemented the same steps after cleaning computers : remove IE, install Chrome, add AdBlock Plus (recently switched to uBlock Origin) & TrafficLight extensions, install Panda free for AV, and Spybot for malware. When a computer turned up something stronger than MBAM and Spybot could handle, I worked through HJT logs with Geeks2Go. 
I picked those programs from best reviewed lists, choosing Panda purely for the cloud scanning, ABP based on user count, Ublock Origin because ABP cited UBO's superior product as their reason to shut down, and TrafficLight because the green=good, red=bad icon struck me as idiot-proof. 

The Quest : After spending all of this morning googling comprehensive real-time low-impact virus and malware scanners, it dawned on me somewhere around lunch that I was tilting at windmills, having turned up nothing but outdated information, fake reviews/testimonials, scamware, conflicting reviews, and just generally nothing that was concrete, comprehensive, and up to date. 

More than a few of our clients describe their computer as "the grey box", running anything from WinXP without servicepacks or updates --jokingly describing their startup procedure as "loading lighting and manually cranking a coal-fired steam engine into life"-- right up to brand new machines still sealed in the box. TWICE I discovered the reason a client couldn't get Office to work, was that they were in fact using WordPerfect. Not. Even. Kidding.
Your Aid : can anyone recommend a lightweight real-time virus & malware scanner and cleaner? The software needs to be able to run on everything from 32-bit WinXP to 64-bit Win10, or on as much of that range as possible. Mac & Linux compatibility are unnecessary. Preference goes to :

  • Comprehensive single install&update packages
  • Real-time protection with low resource use when not running full system scans (assume computers infested with toolbars, PUPs, and the occasional rootkit, dragging available processing power to the level of modelling clay)
  • Simplicity of use (even for the digitally illiterate).
Naturally, freeware would be amazing, but I understand that might be asking too much. If possible, a freeware alternative would be nice, so I can give clients the choice between paying for top protection, or settling for freeware.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 30 June 2015 - 09:01 AM.
moved from Windows 8 to the appropriate forum


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#2 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:53 AM

Hi InservioLetum :)

It seems like you're giving the customers the choice of having a free Antivirus, or a paid one. So in that case, shouldn't you want recommendations for both? Also, a lot of free Antivirus (if not all of them) will have prompts that promote the paid version of it so if the users you assist get annoyed by it, then they should consider a paid product. Also, pretty much every Antivirus runs on Windows XP to Windows 10, however a lot of them will discontinue their support for Windows XP soon (a bunch of them in 2016). Also when it comes to Windows XP, free Antivirus just won't cut it anymore, the best protection will come from paid Antivirus programs. Are they ready to pay for that? There's a lot of questions that needs to be answered here since you'll be dealing with a lot of users, a lot of different systems, a lot of demands, etc.

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#3 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:57 AM

Indeed it would be ideal to have both paid and freeware options, but in instances where as you put it, freeware won't cut it, I understand and want to leave room for the eventuality that no sufficiently safe freeware alternative exists. 



#4 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:59 AM

Well my free Antivirus recommendations are:
  • avast! Free;
  • Avira Free;
  • Panda Free Antivirus;
My paid Antivirus recommendations would be:
  • Kaspersky products - For systems that have at least 4GB of RAM and a CPU at 2GHz+;
  • Emsisoft products - For any system;
  • ESET products - For any system;
Also, here's a list of Antivirus that supports Windows XP, and the date they'll stop supporting it.

http://www.av-test.org/en/news/news-single-view/the-end-is-nigh-for-windows-xp-these-anti-virus-software-products-will-continue-to-protect-xp-after/

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#5 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:03 AM

Thank you! As for the malware protection... what would you recommend?



#6 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:06 AM

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (free or paid) and Emsisoft Anti-Malware (free) are my to go programs when it comes to secondary opinion scanner.

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#7 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:11 AM

So in essence I'm fine keeping Panda, and swapping Spybot with Emsisoft? That's a relief, tbh :)
As for protected browsing, would you recommend I stick with UBO and TrafficLight, or do you have further wisdom to impart on that count?



#8 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:30 AM

Google Chrome with uBlock Origin, Ghostery, TrafficLight (or Web of Trust, your call), HTTPS Everywhere. Your users can also consider starting to use a password manager, like LastPass since saving passwords locally on a system or in a browser is dangerous.

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#9 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 10:40 AM

I generally insist people not write passwords down, NEVER save ANY passwords, and choose passphrases rather than random characters, the longer the better within the character limit of the service. 

With regards to the extensions, will that many extensions not conflict or slow the browser down? I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible, specifically because of the abovementioned feedback.



#10 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:17 AM

It shouldn't slow down the browsing experience, no. It takes only few resources. Yet again, Google Chrome on Windows XP with 1-1.5GB of RAM might not be the best thing too.

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#11 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:18 AM

What alternative would you recommend I install on older systems? IE has in my experience been nothing short of a nightmare, even for relatively well informed users. Firefox is in many ways better, but a LOT heavier in my experience.



#12 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:21 AM

Internet Explorer is out of question, since the version on Windows XP is outdated and vulnerable, using it would put the users at risk. Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome works just fine, but your users shouldn't be surprised if they take a lot of resources.

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#13 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:22 AM

Is there a lighter alternative out there that isn't quite as swiss cheesy security wise?



#14 Aura

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:24 AM

There's Midori.

http://www.midori-browser.org/

Heard of it, never used it.

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#15 InservioLetum

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 11:38 AM

Hm... iiiiiinteresting. THANK YOU! Me like.
Now to work out how extensions work in there so ppl dont open silly blinks links telling them their system is infected. 






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