MSE is definitely the nearest thing to a 'set and forget' security solution, with Avast a close second. MSE works right out of the box with no need for any configuration or further user participation - it's, dare I say it, set and forget!">

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Ultimate PC "set and forget" Freeware Protection

set and forget protection ultimate security novice best protection

38 replies to this topic

#11 James (Jim) Hillier

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    Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:42 AM

    Comodo? Really? What part of 'set and forget' and you guys not understanding? :unknown:

    Set and Forget would tend to preclude anything which requires ongoing user input/interaction. This would disqualify 3rd party firewalls entirely and also brings programs such as Threatfire and WinPatrol into question (even though their interruptions are far less frequent).

    Also, a complete "novice who does not know the first thing about protecting their computer" is also not going to know the first thing about configuring firewalls or answering queries put forward by security software. :crazy:

    Is there, in fact, any such animal as a complete 'set and forget' solution? Certainly the two which come closest are Microsoft Security Essentials and Avast. Unfortunately Avast still requires that annual license renewal annoyance - you have no idea how many homes I have to visit just to renew the Avast license.

    MSE is definitely the nearest thing to a 'set and forget' security solution, with Avast a close second. MSE works right out of the box with no need for any configuration or further user participation - it's, dare I say it, set and forget!

    Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer

    #12 BobJam


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      Posted 01 February 2012 - 12:44 AM

      View Postmizdoc, on 31 January 2012 - 06:28 PM, said:

      ...And still she calls me whenever anything different pops up on her screen... :)

      As the quote above shows, and at the risk of causing an uproar, I think the problem is enhanced when we give novices the notion that "set it and forget it" will work. Unavoidably, you're going to have these warning pop-ups that will confuse them, and likely they're going to think, "I thought he/she said I wouldn't have to do anything . . . now what's this?" Ring, ring . . .

      Granted, most software has a setting to supress warnings, but using that setting will then leave you in the dark (unless it's logged) if you need to know what the warning was in order to troubleshoot. Especially if the "set it and forget it" configuration that someone does for the novice causes problems.

      Plus, the "automated" settings frequently conflict with other software. (As an example, I had this very thing happen recently: )

      AND, automagic update servers can be overloaded and fail, so if the novice doesn't know how to at least check for updates and manually perform them if needed but instead relies on "set it and forget it", there's trouble down that road. I've seen novices happily surfing because they see the "shield" (or whatever icon) down in their systray with their virus defs out of date and TOTALLY oblivious to NOT being protected.

      And then when they get infected, they think the software was faulty. "I thought you said this thing was going to do this stuff automatically and I didn't have to worry about anything!!"

      So what's the alternative? Even novice users need to learn some basics (I know . . . difficult at best, since most novices just want to take it out of the box, plug it in, and go to Facebook because their friends said it was "kewl", and security best practices are not in that plan.)

      But if we tell them there's such a thing as "set it and forget it", then we're setting them up for trouble.

      The better question to ask is "what software requires a minimum of user knowledge to work?" rather than give novices the idea that "set it and forget it" is viable.

      "Set it and forget it" is nice in theory, but if we reinforce that notion by telling novices it is viable we're not preparing them for reality.

      You wouldn't let someone drive your car if they didn't know the basics: how the steering, accelerator, and brakes work. Granted, like all analogies, this one is flawed . . . I mean, you can't injure someone with a computer. But a computer can crash, and is more likely to when a novice doesn't know the basics of driving a computer.

      Easier said than done, though. But I just can't bring myself to tell a novice that there's such a thing as "set it and forget it." There should be some basic intervention skills established. However, as I just said, easier said than done.

      What's the answer? I haven't figured one out yet.

      #13 James (Jim) Hillier

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        Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:17 AM

        Nice post BobJam, and a lot of common sense.

        I agree, 'Set and forget' is actually a misnomer, what we are really talking about is the most user friendly solution which also provides adequate efficacy. Set and Forget should also not be confused with what is most effective but, in my experience anyway, set and forget (or whatever comes closest) is generally the best option for novice users.


        I've seen novices happily surfing because they see the "shield" (or whatever icon) down in their systray with their virus defs out of date and TOTALLY oblivious to NOT being protected.
        LOL. Yep, seen that plenty of times myself. MSE's system tray icon turns a vivid red whenever there is a problem, such as out-of-date definitions - it really is unmissable.


        automagic update servers can be overloaded and fail
        MSE's updates are frequent and reliable but, yes, I agree with you in principle. However, I would rather have my clients miss an update here and there than be attempting to answer questions which they know nothing about and possibly enabling unwanted/malicious processes.

        In the end, what I seek out for my 'wouldn't have a clue' clientele is a balance between efficacy and ease of use, with the emphasis well and truly on ease of use. In my experience MSE provides just that, more than adequate protection with a minimum of fuss.

        Crashes, infections, malware, etc. none of my novice clientele would know how to deal with anyway - that's what I'm for. :)
        Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer

        #14 Wolf


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          Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:33 AM

          I have taken the following measures to protect my privacy on the computer:
          • I use the freeware edition of ZoneAlarm firewall.
          • I have WinPatrol (free edition) installed to guard my windows and startup settings. I can really recommend this software and it really did indeed intervene a number of times in when programs or even the browser tried to change these settings.
          • I have the Emsisoft A-squared anti Virus-suite (I have paid for it) but there are a number of good freeware virusscanners out there.
          • I use freeware Keepass as my main password vault. But there are a number of alternatives that I could also recommend: i.e. Keyfolder, PIN's, Oubliete and nPassword. Very important is to have the ability to avoid typing of passwords. Using the clipboard or drag'n drop is a requirement to circumvent problems with key-loggers.
          • Use named passwords for your accounts and encrypted files. Example: I'm born on the island Curaçao in 1947, so my password could be: Curaçao1947 with a length of 11 chars containing Uppercase, lowercase, numeric and an extended char " ç ". Impossible to type on the keyboard but easily copied in the keyboard or moved by drag'n drop to your input fields. The password is named "Corsou" as the natives call this island. "Corsou" is the password hint (The password is named "Corsou"). This is just an example. Maybe I'll post an article on the creation and easy management of strong passwords.
          • Protect your notebook or computer against theft, your mother in law or the repairman. If I unplug my USB-drive, a number of data (medical history, tax-records, adresses, phonenumbers, applications, my Delphi source codes, e.t.c) are not longer accessible on my computer by third parties. Do not underestimate the curiosity of repairmen. When I received my computer back one one occasion I discovered that a number of ZIP-files had been extracted.
          • Finally, (this has nothing to do with privacy but is very important) use a good backup program for your registry. If you like to download and test a lot of (freeware) programs, as I do, you will sooner or later run into problems with your registry and settings. I really recomment ERUNT (or ERNT) to backup my registry and I make Windows restore points on a regular basis.

          Wolf van Heeswijk

          #15 Claw


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            Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:51 AM

            BobJams description of "set it and forget it" is right on the money,,a very acurate testimony. As for Jims description of MSE,,Bravo!! I put Avast on all my computers and all the ones I repair,, but ,,,on my "personal everyday" computer ,,it's MSE,,Mbam,,SAS.
            My original post though is ,everyone else gets ,Avast,,WD,and Comodo,,only because in thier heads it looks safer and it makes them happy. Also with Avast and Windows Defender (or Spyware Terminator),,it is a rather good set up.!!

            #16 jjj


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              Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:37 AM

              and dont forget the browser!
              I believe Chrome is the easiest to learn and with its seamless updates the best for SET and FORGET.
              GMail also has the best antispam system.

              Like others have said above it may be best to turn OFF Auto updates (except for antivirus) and just call around
              every so often to update for them - may be better than unexpected call outs due to update problems.

              Less is best -

              #17 google


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                Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:36 AM

                It's a reasonable enough question I guess, the answer of which isn't quite as open and shut as we may like.

                I can't really offer much more than has already been suggested here, other than to simply reiterate what has already been said by a few, and that is not to believe there is such a thing as 'set & forget'. As Jim says, it's not really about 'set & forget' but more about finding a combination that requires the least user input.

                However, a novice is only a novice until he or she decides to learn something about the situation - we all know those people who will just pick up the phone and expect us to jump, I've actually stopped doing this now because it was beginning to take up most of my free time between friends and family. It takes hardly no effort at all to google the subject of how to surf safely online or maintain a healthy computer yet when people consider themselves too stupid to do this, or simply can't be bothered, it's us poor buggers who are expected to run to their rescue. Personally, I consider anyone able to learn about PC security, and for me, it's something like 80% user habit and 20% internet thread. If you break the habit of visiting certain sites or trying to download certain material, then that leaves you with something like a 20% risk of infection through some other source you didn't see coming which could happen to any one of us. When users educate themselves, good things tend to happen and the bad things tend to go away

                #18 Claw


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                  Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:31 AM

                  Not trying to be rude Google, but I don't think the users are stupid,,I think they're just too"lazy" to give a damn. Also ,,a copy of your post should come mandatory with every computer purchased. Something like, when it first time boots up ,,your post is the first thing the user sees, "How to Use the Internet",,by Google !!!!

                  #19 tsproule


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                    Posted 01 February 2012 - 08:51 AM

                    I would recommend ESET Smart Security, Superantispyware and advanced system care

                    #20 marko


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                      Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:18 AM

                      I remember some time ago that I created a file which contained command lines to update SAS and then run a full scan or quick scan, it's been a while but I'll try and dig something out - the idea behind it was to pop the file into a scheduled task or make it run on shutdown meaning it would auto-update and scan without user intervention - give me a while and I'm sure I'll be able to sort something for those of you using the free version of SAS :)
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