Thoughts on Antivirus software

Actual defense is common sense. It really isn’t that hard not to get a virus on Windows.

But then again, Windows itself is a virus.


What should i recommend to family and friends who arn’t super tech savvy. Are any of the main ones worth recommending (bitdefender/Kapersky/emsisoft)? Or should i just go with the windows defender+Malware bytes premium?

If you’re paying for antivirus MalwareBytes Premium is great. Otherwise just stick with Windows Defender probably. I’d also install an adblocker in whatever browser they use as well, saves them from a lot of random download links they’d otherwise see and blindly install…

1 Like


Windows 7/8/8.1: Microsoft Security Essentials
Windows 10: Windows Defender
MacOS: Don’t use one. If you must: Sophos
Linux/BSD: Don’t use one. If you must: ClamAV. Run periodic scans however you feel comfortable. More likely to detect Windows viruses than Mac/Linux/BSD viruses.

If you must: clarify. As a home user, good OPSEC will prevent the need for an antivirus. If you are well-disciplined, verify the GPG keys and checksums for your downloads. If this is for enterprise, you should consider an antivirus (get pick another in addition to Windows Defender, don’t turn it off).

Pair this Malwarebytes as antimalware on Windows/Mac. Be sure to block these domains in your hosts file.

Sadly, thats something most end users lack.
“What, a free Iphone if I install this shady .EXE from Give me some of that!”


The odds of Linux getting malware is so low that you don’t even have to worry about it because it most likely will never happen to you. At least with Linux you own your operating system. With windows, you rent it. Microsoft owns it, and they will not hesitate to break it if you do one thing. I’ve had so many problems trying to update the system after it kept failing and the troubleshooters did not work, so I just gave up, got out my old laptop, and installed Linux. Ever since then things have been easy for me.

1 Like

The excuse being “but it was free!”

What do you guys think about the current state of Bitdefender? I’ve been using it for my home devices for a couple of years now, and right now I’m faced with a license that’s about to end soon, and a choice. 40$ for 5 devices with Bitdefender, or ~55$ for 4 devices (that’s the actual amount I need) with Malwarebytes Premium. I’ve only used the free version so far, but seeing how highly regarded it is here in privacytools community, I am seriously considering giving it a try. But as you can see, Bitdefender wins in terms of price greatly; another thing I love about Bitdefender is its built-in VPN with free daily 200mb. I rarely needed more than that, and the tool is incredibly useful in Russia, considering how many websites are blocked here.

So basically my question could also be read as: is Bitdefender that much worse in terms of privacy concerns (since I’m sure its actual efficiency as an antivirus/firewall is top-notch) to justify paying a higher price for Malwarebytes?

P.S. I’m sorry for somewhat necroing this, fresh account can’t post a new topic yet.

ClamAV may be better than nothing:

Most other anti-virus software will only widen you attack surface.

If you are already infected, you could try to use a recovery service.
Otherwise, it is best to fully remove and reinstall the OS.

I would be curious for any recommendations for users who may have already infected their device.

For instance, if you plugged something into an affected computer.

Linux, *BSD, and even alt OSes like Solaris do not have very may tools for cleaning files possibly infected files. Although these OSes are less likely as Windows, they are still at risk.


Edit: I forgot to point out that malware/viruses may be able to take over the machine and alter the output of the antivirus.

After reading many of these, I wondered at my own opinion.

Clearly, most AVs are anti-virus plus a stalker. Why are so many replies suggesting those with Windows, use Defender. The WIN 10 Terms and policy including Defender and firewall offers no privacy. And, this privacy paradise here isPrivacy Tools IO”. IMO - privacy should be a strong consideration.

:open_umbrella:So, who is defending the user from Defender?:open_umbrella:

I am not using AVs any more because their Terms and Policy clearly state that if I don’t renew, and don’t agree to the terms of use (SMRC), then I will be at risk. Only one other organization uses those tactics - think God Father.

In short, I agree with all suggestions here about Windows and Defender or no AV, except to add ‘for the general user’. But, if we include this web sites moniker “Privacy Tools IO” then where does any privacy come in using Defender, and/or no AV, and generic cut & paste firewall? I believe that Windows 10 and apps as PTIO describes nicely, are what I would call Uber-stalkers

Bottom line iMO, that no matter what, we have no right to privacy on the Internet - not any more and any crumbs of rights left are fading every day. So I give them my privacy but only the privacy I want them to have. And that is so convoluted, so discombobulated (love that word), and confusing that I hope it drives all the A.I. cookie psychoanalysts to drink - or politics.:crazy_face:


I use Malwarebytes Browser Guard with Waterfox Classic 56.2.14 (and occasionally, Firefox 69.0.2_1,1) on FreeBSD-CURRENT.

Two points:

  1. strict_min_version – compatibility with Waterfox Classic …
  2. Compatibility with e.g. Reddit Enhancement Suite …


  1. I find no incompatibility
  2. seems to be a design flaw – whilst you can trust (allow) a site, the trust is not effective when the content is viewed in the context of a different site.