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