false positive, Fehlalarme, falsi allarmi,fausses alarmes

Stay calm and don’t worry about false alarms

The alarm has sounded and there goes your day: You’ve got to drop everything and wait for the mess to get sorted out. The result is always the same whether it is firemen hunting for burnt pancakes or your computer stopping in the middle of downloading a completely legit file:

It’s a completely unwanted interruption in your life.

False alarms, called false positives in the security sector, are a major problem for people. In fact, studies have shown people are more worried about their security software causing a false positive alarm than they are about its ability to detect real threats.

AV-TEST Institute, an independent testing organization based in Magdeburg, Germany, just spent 14 months in hot pursuit of false positives. They visited over 7,000 websites, ran through 7.7 million files, and did multiple launches of 280 applications in hopes of sparking a false positive alarm or getting an app blocked for their select list of 19 security solutions.

Avira was a real disappointment when it came to provoking a false positive alarm.

No false positives while surfing, no false positives of software as malware during system scans, no false positives during software use or installation, and no false positives or blockages during the installation or use of legitimate software.

Simply nothing. Avira worked just like it was supposed to: security without hassles.

Avira was one of only two security solutions out of the entire test field of 19 that managed to completely avoid any false positives. The test result confirmed that Avira won’t stop you – unless there really is something bad there.

Making a list, checking it a couple million times

AV-TEST pointed that the tested security solutions sort out the good from the unknown by keeping a fingerprint of clean files in a whitelist database. The unknown ones are run through the cloud and subsequently categorized as good or bad. To look at the effectiveness of each company’s cloud-based whitelist, they ran a huge list of files and sites against them.

Not all clouds are created equal – as the Avira Protection Cloud (APC) shows. In addition to the whitelist, APC includes an AI with machine learning for malware analysis. By looking at each suspect file from several thousand angles, this gives APC a huge push in sorting out the good from the bad.

For effective computer security, knowing the good guys is as important as stopping the bad ones.

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As a PR Consultant and journalist, Frink has covered IT security issues for a number of security software firms, as well as provided reviews and insight on the beer and automotive industries (but usually not at the same time). Otherwise, he’s known for making a great bowl of popcorn and extraordinary messes in a kitchen.