Scammed by McAfee

felipegeek

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As a followup:

I view anti-virus/anti-malware tools as the "canary in the coal mine". If the tool flagged something you are likely infected. The reason to use them is to know to start remediation. The following is a reasonable list of steps you can take to improve your overall personal computer security posture.

1. The most important prevention step is to make a separate administrator-level account only for installing known software, updates, changing system level settings and making or changing another account for yourself that is a "standard" user. This reduces (but does not entirely eliminate) malware gaining elevated privileges and completely owning your computer. The reason for separate user accounts is to make it obvious that it's an elevation prompt and the critical thinking it requires. Humans tend to type the password they use most often without much thought. Being prompted for an alternate account with a password that is not used as often makes it more likely that you'll pay attention to it. This is true for Windows, Mac, Linux. Never do your daily work as an admin!

2. Be careful with what you install. Go to the well-known official maker's sites for software and drivers. Don't just click on the first search result that has the software you seek. This is especially true of device drivers which can be buried in manufacturer's websites leading to the need to search.

3. Use "System Restore" (Windows) for a quick stab at remediation of a suspected security problem. Make sure it's enabled before you need it! On a Mac the incremental Time Machine backups run multiple times a day to recover to.

4. BACKUPS - Have file-level backups of all the files you care about, local and offsite. Have a system image backup you can fall back on recover from a serious infection or drive failure. Time Machine on Mac works fine for files and image, just add an offsite service. On Windows 10, I suggest the built-in File History I suggest "Veeam Agent for Windows" or "Macrium Reflect Free", both are free to use and of course have paid versions with more features and support.
Backblaze for personal computers is cheap at $50 a year. You might also leverage cloud storage such as OneDrive for Business, Dropbox, etc. for offsite (copies) as well.

5. Run a well-known Ad-blocker in your web browser such as "Ublock Origin" or a device running Pi-hole to fake out all of the ad network's DNS host names to reduce exposure to malicious links and sites.

You probably noticed I don't mention anti-malware/anti-virus in the list. It's a perimeter defense measure that's too easily defeated.

Now back to our regularly scheduled photography converstations....
 

jdcope

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Maybe the factory reset will skip the 30 day trial. I classed myself as reasonably careful, obviously I have a few flaws to iron out in my head :) I'll just go with Windows Defender I think.
Good call. I have been using a Windows Defender plus Malwarebytes anti-malware combo for years. I got a lifetime license of Malwarebytes for like $12 several years back. It all works great, no issues.
 

jdcope

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Still think you should try free Avast. I don't trust anything by MS, especially when it comes to security.
I was an Avast advocate/user until I went to Windows 8. I was an early adopter, and Avast didnt have a version of their AV that worked with the new version of Windows. So I just used Defender and I have never looked back.
 

speedy

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Have been using solely the free and included MS windows defender (or whatever they call it) for years now and things have been fine. I am pretty careful but my kids are not so it must be doing a good job.
This is also me. I haven't run any sort of virus protection since about Windows 98.
For me, the golden rules are:
1. Pay for genuine software. This includes games, movies, operating system, everything.
2. Do NOT visit porn/dodgey web sites. If you HAVE to do that, be a little bit smart about it, and set up a Linux box expressly for it, if that's your thing.
3. Don't open any email from anyone you don't know.
That's all I do, never had an issue, touch wood
 

pellicle

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Something nobody has mentioned in backups is the need for a differential backup took in Windows. I can't speak for Mac as I wouldn't own one, but it's time machine is handy.

However one needs to keep a history of backups (as mentioned because virus alert is always just the canary) and so stuff like drive snapshot or ghost is important.

Sequential backups will fail to restore if any link of the chain (sequence) fails to restore. Differential backups get around that.
 

gwydionjhr

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Don't care. And I don't use the cloud, either.
Full Disclosure: I'm a Windows Insider MVP, but I'm not paid by Microsoft, and I'm free to speak my mind.

I just returned from the Microsoft MVP Summit. One of the sessions covered Windows Defender ATP, and one of the things that stuck out was that nowadays, a typical virus/malware campaign is run for about 5 hours. If you're not relying on the cloud for virus protection, but instead still do daily updates to your AV, you're way too far behind the curve. By the time you get the update, you're likely already infected.

I'm no fan of companies that hoover up our data either, but I don't put Microsoft in that category. With Google/Facebook et al, where you're not paying for the product, you ARE the product. I pay for Windows/Office etc, Microsoft makes their money from that purchase, and it behooves them to give their customers the best experience they can.

Have a look at the latest tests from SE Labs, and decide for yourself: https://www.selabs.uk/download/consumers/epp/2018/oct-dec-2018-consumer.pdf
 

Brownie

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Full Disclosure: I'm a Windows Insider MVP, but I'm not paid by Microsoft, and I'm free to speak my mind.

I just returned from the Microsoft MVP Summit. One of the sessions covered Windows Defender ATP, and one of the things that stuck out was that nowadays, a typical virus/malware campaign is run for about 5 hours. If you're not relying on the cloud for virus protection, but instead still do daily updates to your AV, you're way too far behind the curve. By the time you get the update, you're likely already infected.

I'm no fan of companies that hoover up our data either, but I don't put Microsoft in that category. With Google/Facebook et al, where you're not paying for the product, you ARE the product. I pay for Windows/Office etc, Microsoft makes their money from that purchase, and it behooves them to give their customers the best experience they can.

Have a look at the latest tests from SE Labs, and decide for yourself: https://www.selabs.uk/download/consumers/epp/2018/oct-dec-2018-consumer.pdf
I'm on a home computer. It's turned on when we're using it, off when we're not. Never had a problem.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Microsoft tried the same routine with me when I tried to have a problem solved. They took control & played around & then told me I needed to pay an annual fee for them to do more, regularly. I told them fat chance of that & that's when they stopped & said goodbye, thankfully. Further searching on google I found what I needed to do & was back in business.
 
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Picked up the lappy this morning and I've installed all my software again. McAfee free trial is still on there. I'm not sure whether to try and uninstall it, or wait for the free trial to end.

I'm certainly going with Windows Defender as my default - I don't game, or visit porn sites (with the exception of the m4/3 p*rn thread on here :)) I don't open dodgy emails especially if they have links, so I should be safe :)
 

pondball

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For awhile I ran MacKeeper on my macs... after reading about how wonderful it was and how warm and fuzzy cozy you’d feel knowing everything was being taken care of for you.

Dove deeper into a few issues and found out it wasn’t a bed of roses after all so dumped it. Cancelled the sub... after they charged my card without auth... got refund but it took awhile from what I recall.

Just try getting rid of all the MK imbedded files from that sucker. I’m still finding MK related files lurking around my drive. :frown:
 

Ross the fiddler

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For awhile I ran MacKeeper on my macs... after reading about how wonderful it was and how warm and fuzzy cozy you’d feel knowing everything was being taken care of for you.

Dove deeper into a few issues and found out it wasn’t a bed of roses after all so dumped it. Cancelled the sub... after they charged my card without auth... got refund but it took awhile from what I recall.

Just try getting rid of all the MK imbedded files from that sucker. I’m still finding MK related files lurking around my drive. :frown:
And the moral of that story, don't run the trial in the first place. Make sure it is fully uninstalled to start with. We had a Dell computer in the past that went through that same scenario too.
 

twigboy

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algold

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Picked up the lappy this morning and I've installed all my software again. McAfee free trial is still on there. I'm not sure whether to try and uninstall it, or wait for the free trial to end.

I'm certainly going with Windows Defender as my default - I don't game, or visit porn sites (with the exception of the m4/3 p*rn thread on here :)) I don't open dodgy emails especially if they have links, so I should be safe :)
Just uninstall it, it's mainly bloatware. Windows defender does a pretty good job, or you can install a free MS Security Essentials.
 
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Something nobody has mentioned in backups is the need for a differential backup took in Windows. I can't speak for Mac as I wouldn't own one, but it's time machine is handy.

However one needs to keep a history of backups (as mentioned because virus alert is always just the canary) and so stuff like drive snapshot or ghost is important.

Sequential backups will fail to restore if any link of the chain (sequence) fails to restore. Differential backups get around that.

Microsoft SyncToy can be installed. This is a little dated and you need to install specific Microsoft .NET framework to get it going but it works very well, is small, and does incremental backups once setup at the click of a button.
 

pdk42

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There's a reasonable informed view that all AV software is useless and potentially a gateway/vector for viri to exploit. This is an interesting article:

Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

Me, I just get by with the basic Microsoft stuff. None of the additional tools inspire any confidence in me and they all carry bloat of one form or another.
 

pondball

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And the moral of that story, don't run the trial in the first place. Make sure it is fully uninstalled to start with. We had a Dell computer in the past that went through that same scenario too.
It was actually a purchased, from the original site, app. Bought it based on an article in a reputable magazine... but a few years later read more about issues with the app.

The only things I have installed now are from Sophos and Malwarebytes. Base level protection at best.
 

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