Antivirus software

Many antivirus software solutions, particularly on Windows, may occasionally and incorrectly misidentify software as unsafe. This is referred to as a "false positive" and is essentially a malfunction of the antivirus software.

Additionally, these antivirus solutions occasionally attempt to provide added-value tools and utilites that are, arguably, of little benefit.

For instance, Norton Antivirus has a questionable "feature" where if not enough Norton users have installed a particular version of software, that software may not have a high enough "reputation" and therefore be flagged as potentially unsafe, despite the fact that no problems or vulnerabilities have otherwise been identified with the software: (Every Fade In update is treated as "new". Since relatively few users will have downloaded it — at least compared to something like Photoshop — its "reputation" will be, in the antivirus software's eyes, low. One thing users can do is complain to Norton or similar vendors about their ineffective algorithms.)

Every Fade In package for Windows is scanned with one or more of the major antivirus packages before release. Only use Fade In packages and installers downloaded from the Fade In website or from other authorized sources such as the Mac App Store.

Typically third-party antivirus software is the worst when it comes to false positives and unhelpfully helpful features, although Microsoft's own built-in protection software is not entirely without fault.

For instance, with Microsoft's SmartScreen, identifying a new update of Fade In as "unknown" (because, just possibly, it's new) will generate a warning like this in Windows 10:

SmartScreen warning (Windows 10)

After pressing More info, you'll be given the option to Run anyway if you trust the Fade In installer to be safe:

SmartScreen More info

It is worth reinforcing that in general you should not run any software/installer that you are not sure about. If you are uncertain about the reason for any alert you are receiving from your antivirus software, please contact your antivirus software vendor for clarification.

Tags: antivirus

You cannot comment on this entry