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Revision History: 99-21
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Antivirus False Positives. In spite of the measures that I've taken to prevent problems downloading and installation problems, virus programs may be report an occasional false positive. Here's what you need to know:

First, Compass files are regularly scanned by antivirus programs to make sure they are safe. They are also digitally signed to make sure they haven't been modified or corrupted. In spite of this, you may occasionally find a false positive.

What Causes False Positives. False positives are caused by two main issues:

1. Reputation. Antivirus programs often rely on a "Reputation" system to determine if a program might be unsafe. If the program is new or isn't used by many people, the antivirus program may flag it as a risk. The problem for Compass is that it is frequently updated as new features are added or problems are fixed.

Every time there is  a new version, antivirus programs may decide it is a new, completely different  program and start the count of the number of users at zero. This means that new versions of Compass are more likely to be flagged as suspicious. The fact the Compass files are now digitally signed should reduce this problem. That is because the reputation shifts to the company rather than an individual file.

 2. Signatures. Most anti virus programs use Signatures to identify viruses and malware. A signature is a pattern of bytes that is typically found inside a virus. Sometimes a virus signature will accidentally match the data in a non-infected program and cause a "false positive. As the number of viruses has increased, so has the number of signatures. This makes it more and more likely that an innocent program will be identified as having a virus. Likewise, as programs get bigger, they are more likely to be flagged. This is because the bigger the program, the more bytes in the program and the more chances they match a signature.

Solving The Problem. If your Compass downloads are still being flagged there are several things you can do:

1. Authenticate The Installation Files. If an antivirus program is consistently flagging a Compass file as having problems, it is possible that you've gotten a file that has been tampered with or corrupted. You can authenticate Compass files using the steps described here.

2. Taking Files Out Of Quarantine. Most antivirus programs don't actually delete files when they flag a problem. They usually move the files to a "Quarantine" area. To help protect the user from accidentally restoring a dangerous program, they usually make the quarantine area hard to find and removing files difficult. Here are instructions for removing files from quarantine for various antivirus programs.


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