Do You Really Need to Pay for Antivirus Software on Windows?

Quick Answer: No. Windows Defender offers decent protection while being free, conveniently updates via Windows Update, and is not a huge resource hog.

Long Answer:

Anti-virus software has been available for a long time. For years, people paid for virus protection via a subscription service.

Over the last 10 or so years, free anti-virus software such as Avast, Avira, Windows Defender, AVG, Malwarebytes (the free, non-premium version), etc. have taken a hold of the market. Now I have used all of the above mentioned anti-viruses. They are all pretty good (AVG, for me, ran on the slow side), but my favorite of the bunch is Windows Defender.

Now I do not have fancy charts, data sheets, graphs, etc. to show the “awesomeness” of Windows Defender. What I can tell you is I am running it on several Windows boxes without any trouble or noticeable slowdown.

None of the boxes have had a successful virus intrusion – while running Windows Defender – for the past 3+ years. False positives for me are pretty much non-existent, and I do not have to think about updating Defender, since Windows Update takes care of that automatically.

Q: What advantage would a paid anti-virus software give me that a free one won’t?

A: Pretty much just support. No guarantee of getting support with free software, but with paid software they kind of have to give support, at least if they want to stay in business.

Everything else – including anti-virus definitions (updates) – are good with both paid and free software.

Q: Are there any open source anti-virus software out there for me to use?

A: The only one I would recommend is ClamAV. However this is not a proper anti-virus solution for most people.

It has no real-time scanner, has a minimal amount of definitions (from my experience, will catch almost nothing out-of-the-box), and has no graphical user interface for you to use (yes, you will be manually editing a configuration file with a text editor), and it will catch several false positives if you are not careful.

This is not a user-friendly software solution. It is geared towards servers and server administrators to set it up properly.

Q: Do any of the mentioned anti-virus software have any back-doors, spyware code, etc. in them?

A: I really do not know, but I would never discount the possibility. The only solution that should not have any “spy” code in it would be ClamAV, but as mentioned before, ClamAV is very non user-friendly and will cause headaches to people who do not know what they are doing.

Unfortunately all the good free anti-virus software is closed-source. I can understand this, because no company wants their trade-secrets exposed to the entire world. This would not be good for business!

Also – just a quick note – I personally would avoid the Kaspersky anti-virus software. They are based in Russia, and I would not trust any Russian software on my computer. I have nothing against the Russian people themselves, I just don’t trust their government not to spy on me. Just a thought.

Posted in Computers, Internet and Servers, Operating Systems, Security, Software

Coronavirus Guidelines for America (COVID-19)

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Posted in General, Society

5 Reasons Why Baptism Is Not Essential For Salvation

Baptism does not save you. That is a lie from Satan.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” – Romans 10:9 (KJV)

Here are several problems with the idea that salvation requires someone to be baptized.

1) Requiring baptism to be saved is faith+works. Salvation is by faith only…not works.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

The Bible is very clear. No works are involved to be saved.

2) The Bible says that our works are like filthy rags. Since this is the case, how can baptism be a part of salvation, since being baptized to be saved would be performing a work?

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” — Isaiah 64:6 (KJV)

3) “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” — 1 Corinthians 1:17 (KJV)

Since Paul’s primary mission was to preach the gospel (not to baptize), the logical conclusion is that baptism is not necessary for salvation.

Thoughtful Question: If baptism is necessary for salvation, why would Paul not worry about it and instead focus on preaching the gospel?

4) The thief on the cross was never baptized, but Jesus said that he would be with Him in paradise.

Luke 23:40-43 (KJV) “But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

If baptism was necessary for salvation, 1) the thief on the cross would have really gone to Hell, and 2) Jesus would have been lying. The only sane conclusion is that baptism is not necessary for Salvation.

One person online claimed that the thief “could have been baptized earlier on”. This is a very weak, baseless, nonsensical argument. He obviously was caught off guard and responded with a useless rebuttal.

5) The Book of 1st John says:

1 John 5:13 (KJV) “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

Everything in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John is to teach us how to know we are saved. Nowhere in those books is baptism mentioned. Obviously if baptism was necessary for salvation, the Lord would have made sure it was mentioned.

Baptism is to show others that we have been saved, not to get saved.

Posted in Christian

What is an Online Comment War?

First off, what exactly is an online “comment war”?

An online “comment war” is when a bunch of people are commenting to each other – usually several times a day – in an effort to “win” an argument. This usually is done by using bad arguments, insults, and faulty logic. “Comment wars” are pretty much useless and go nowhere fast.

I will give my latest experience of a “comment war” I ran across a couple of days ago. Please keep in mind that I was not involved in the “war”. I was just a watcher.

I have changed the names of the main people involved for privacy reasons. I am also just giving a brief explanation of what happened. Too much detail will remove anonymity as well as take too long to write (this post will already be long enough 🙂).

I also will try to keep the paraphrase in context. Sometimes paraphrasing causes the context to get warped.

The last two days I have been watching – off and on – an online “comment war” on a semi-popular news website.

To start, an online user named Betty posted a comment about a controversial video circulating around the web. In her comment, she attacked a whole group of people, which included an accusation that could not be proven just by watching the video. Basically she made a – more or less – useless comment.

Now another user named Greg responded to her and asked her if she was being genuine and why she was being prejudice. Two days later, she never responded to him. This is a sign that Greg was right in his assessment and Betty did not know what to say in reply.

Betty then proceeded to comment to another user making an even more ridiculous claim.

Someone else – named Reed – responded to Betty. He strongly disagreed with her short but inaccurate comment. While he did not do the best job in replying, he did ask her some questions that challenged her claims.

Here is where the “war” begins. Both Betty and Reed start commenting to each other. Now to be fair, Betty did say 2 or 3 things that were logical and most people would agree with. However the rest of her commenting was illogical, insulting, “smart-aleck”, and dishonest.

Basically Reed kept re-asking his (valid) questions to Betty while she continued to ignore them for basically no reason that I could tell.

Around 1 1/2 days later, Betty starts to agree with Reed and act like what he is saying is “exactly” what she was saying.

I suspect that Betty knew she lost the argument (Reed did make valid points), and did not want to admit she was wrong. So instead she decides to try and make it look like she and Reed are saying the same thing.

Another person – we will call her Lucy – responds to Betty and makes a very valid point. Betty, now being calmer and less emotional, responds to Lucy.

Betty’s response to Lucy sounded good, but there is a major problem with what she said. Betty is now claiming to have been arguing for something completely different than what she stated to begin with. In other words, Betty was contradicting herself.

There are two explanations that make sense in this situation. Either Betty did a real bad job in explaining what she originally meant, or Betty was losing the argument and started to lie to hide that fact.

My personal opinion is that she was lying. This is because:

  • Betty ignored Greg’s comment asking about her genuineness and her prejudice. Several people up-voted Greg’s comment, since he made good points.
  • Betty totally ignored Reed’s repeated questioning about the illogical stuff she previously said.
  • After multiple people called on her illogical posting, she suddenly has a totally different argument than what she originally posted.

As you can see, an online “comment war” does not really accomplish anything.

When Betty encountered arguments that made sense and even refuted some of what she said, she quickly “moved the goal posts” – changed her context / main point – to make it look like she did not lose the argument.

These “wars” would not happen if people would just be respectful and admit when they made incorrect assumptions, wrote in a disrespectful tone, etc.

Instead people’s pride gets hurt and they want to “fight it out” instead of being logical and acting like a mature adult. Worse these people end up being dishonest and changing their arguments to prevent embarrassment from losing an argument.

Posted in General, Internet and Servers, Society