Should I Disable My Anti-Virus?

You are probably here after following a link in one of my posts wherein I instruct you to disable or turn off your Anti-Virus program.

This post acts as a pre-emptive lesson in what this means and what dangers you are exposing yourself, your system and possibly your network to.

TLDR of TLDR: NO

TLDR: IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING OR FEEL UNCERTAIN, STOP. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBLITY FOR ANY DAMAGES CAUSED BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

Long discussion:

So you probably want to get item X of software running under an operating system that it’s not designed for, this might be your only device or a shared family computer, or heaven forbid your business device. You have have a genuine reason for this:

  • You need to open a particular file that is only supported by this product
  • Nostalgia
  • Curiosity

Regardless of your reason running unsupported, out of date software can be potentially dangerous to your Operating System and you could potentially suffer irrecoverable data loss or corruption by using such said software. Not trying to sound like the boogeyman but as someone who has in the past installed items of software from a 20 year old shareware CD-ROM on their PC and found it to never boot again I have some reason for this caution.

Most of the time software will install (assuming you follow one of my many guides) without issue or data loss or anything else scary. However there might be a 1-in-100 chance that things don’t go to plan.

For this reason I always suggest one or more of the following things to be considered:

  • If you are intending on following this process on a device you care about or a device that is imporant or critical to your day-to-day activities I highly suggest you take a backup of all data before proceeding with any kind of tinkering
  • If you can use an isolated device for testing – this could be a laptop or a computer not connected to your network, segmented from your LAN with limited or no access to things like network resources such as printers or file shares
  • If you can use a Virtual Machine with isolated networking

A lot of the time old software (and new software) can be identified as being malware. Malware can be anything from cryptolockers, trojans, worms or adware. In this situation you may need to disable your anti-virus product entirely, disable a particular component for setup or use or setup an exclusion.

If you are unsure about completeing any of those processes with your Anti-Virus program then please stop and locate someone who is more confident or familiar with completing any of the above tasks. Remember your Anti-Virus is one of your first lines of defense from malware, which can cause data loss or corruption!

If you are wanting to do this in a business or work environment, please (as an IT support tech) speak to your IT department or IT guy before proceeding, you may find their support contracts or terms do not cover for old software, or that they cannot amend your managed Anti-Virus without consent of a business owner or change advisory board.

If you have now read this lecture and feel no worry or concern then please feel free to proceed with my instruction, however remember the following statement:

I TAKE NO RESPONSIBLITY FOR ANY DAMAGES CAUSED BY FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.

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