Privacy Focused Anti-Virus

Is there an anti-virus that’s privacy focused for Windows 10/11? I’ve seen some say that Windows Defender is sufficient but I’ve seen and heard of github repositories that can just disable Windows Defender without notification. Compared to an actual anti-virus, it just doesn’t do nearly as much since its so targeted. Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated, thank you so much :slight_smile:

The general recommendation is to not use any 3rd party AV apps as most of them are, in fact, malware or at least very privacy invasive.

Defender is “good enough” and you’re not giving your data to yet another company (and opening up your system to more vulnerabilities - AV apps are very much a prime target now).


@Valynor does this go for mobile platforms, and the “security apps” that go with it also?

I understood most were privacy invasive, I was just hoping to see if anyone had a suggestion instead of Defender because my trust in it, is very low. In my opinion, I would just replace the invasive nature of Defender to another AV

Even more so since AV apps on iOS/Android are basically completely useless because the OS permission model.


Not replacing but adding a 3rd party company product that will now get your data, too.

Maybe think about it this way … no AV app will protect you from a new virus that you just happen to run into at a very early stage. The thing that protects you the best are the usual suggestions:

  • never click attachments
  • don’t follow download links, surf to the website yourself
  • be very mindful where you download software from and whether or not you want to trust the dev

For all other things I just use VirusTotal


Yeah, I think I was more looking for an AV that would follow closely to what Cloudflare does with their DNS Privacy Policy as in:

  • Not logging personal data
  • Deleting the query data after 25 hours.

Why is your trust in it very low? I don’t use Windows (because my trust in it is very low :slight_smile: ) but the last time I looked into it, empirical data / testing showed Windows Defender was about as capable as any of the 3rd party options, and you are already using WIndows, by using Windows you are already implicitly trusting Microsoft, so using Windows Defender does not require trusting any additional 3rd parties you aren’t already placing trust in. My takeaway when I looked into it, was that for people who prefer Windows or are stuck with it, Windows Defender is the least worst option


Note that PG does recommend the Hypatia malware scanner for android for some use cases. It is trusted and made by the developer of DOS

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Yeah, common sense is a good way to protect yourself and your computer, but sometimes it is not good enough.

Malicious factors are hiding behind web scripts, like when you watch an online video they can silently run in the background, or when you receive an email they can infest the computer simply by opening the email. There are also viruses spreading from other network sources.

There are many test scripts available in Github. Just install one VM, isolate it from your network and execute them after updating Windows and WD definitions. It will miss many of these scripts and malicious actions.

What I can suggest is, go for a trusted vendor, like Bitdefender instead of Windows Defender. Yes, Windows Defender might be good for daily usage but you can never know what might hit you.

Security in the OS (and the applications that run on it) that’s just part of the software design (e.g., effective sandboxing, hardened memory allocation) will be better than badness enumerators (aka antivirus software). There is no reason to use something other than Defender on Windows unless you’re a business that wants endpoint management alongside just general antivirus functionality.


Based on what?
Track records are not thrilling


Their protection rate is still better than others. There is not a single company who didn’t have incidents. Enterprise versions are no different.

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Hence the recommendation to stick with Windows Defender.


Stay away from third-party AVs and use only functionality of Windows Defender which doesn’t violate your privacy (e.g. no MAPS or Sample Submission). Also use MS security baselines (with a few adjustments) and go for a whitelisting solution (e.g. WDAC) instead of blacklisting.


There are many AV solutions which have similarly good detection rates and MS Defender is usually among them. So there is no reason to choose something different. See Test antivirus software for Windows 11 - October 2023 | AV-TEST

Also it’s quite easy to check your downloads below 500MB on virustotal.


The era of antivirus software that you are looking for no longer exist.


Is not ClamAV decent? Free, decent enough for none super security, resource light.

It also downloads the database as you want with no communicating back or ads.

Yes it is, but it isnt for windows iirc

Edit: actually it is i guess

Yes, it is.

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