What do the heuristics options in my Advanced Settings actually affect? And Webroot Infrared?

  • 19 April 2016
  • 5 replies

I want to know what the Heuristics settings on my Webroot Security Plus actually do, and what they affect. I want to understand what my Webroot security system actually does and hpow it works so that I can make the best decisions and keep my computer safe.
I have heard that Webroot has a specialty of trying to narrow down what is actually searched so that "idle," or "inactive," or "dormant" files are not scanned - since they aren't actually "doing anything" at the moment.
This causes me to be concerened. I see why this would be invented - to speed up efficient scanning - but I want to be absolutely sure.
My computer is sluggish, buggy, and acting up recently. I am running the most recent Windows update as of 4/18/2016, I think it is Windows Ten..jpgs and.pngs are disappearing apparently, saying they have zero bytes. I have sentimental photos and don't want them randomly assasinated one by one by some bug or virus.......but Webroot says there is no infection. Sometimes my Internet is stuck in the airplane mode position, and needs a restart to get it unstuck. Programs are "not responding" and freezing up. I run a lot of internet tabs at once, could be the problem, and I have a huge amount of.jpgs, could be the problem. Lots of other little running errors like that, makes me concerned, but nothing overt to say I have a security breach.
My University is a tech school and some people hack for fun, Just to mess with people. If I went away to the restroom and they plugged in a thumb drive quickly, how would I know? I am just concerned from a past of using norton and symantec and similar programs, that I can just repetively and futilely "scan" my computer again and again until the cows come home, and each and every time it will report: "12 threats detected, 12 threats removed..." and they will be there again next time too. This indicates to me that at that point the malware/spyware has got my number and has overcome the security program, so that the security program is simply running in circles like a security gaurd locked inside his own office and disconnected from calling for help, while he watches the bank he works at get robbed on the video feeds on his desk.
See what I mean?
At that point, the computer would slow down and not run pleasantly and smoothly, and it seems this is what is happening now too. My computer is also about three years old, an HP Sleekbook ENVY.
Also, Windows defender is "turned off" and I cannot turn it back on. In fact, Windows keeps giving me a popup message every day about how BOTH Webroot and Windows Defender are turned off. Webroot, when opened, says it is on and running fine......Hmmm. Concerning. I go into the Window control panels and hit the button to turn on Windows Defender, and it says this is not possible and that I don't have the authority to do this anyway. So I am concerned, but also chugging on because I have ti keep working on my laptop to finish my schoolwork.
I would definitely set Heuristics to maximum if it meant it would be tougher on worms and viruses and be more suspicious of everything, but if it actually increases its "intelligence" in and propensity for "overlooking" files which are "dormant," "inactive," and "harmless at the moment," then I would want to turn heuristics off.
See what I mean?
I would like an overview and an understanding of how the heuristics of Webroot work.
I would also like to know the same information about Webroot Infrared, what it does, how it works, why it is good, and if it would increase the likelihood of some files being "overlooked."
Webroot infrared can be turned off in the options panel, and heuristics can be adjusted, increased, decreased, and turned off as well. Clearly the designers concieved of reasons why doing this would be good or necessary, or else they would not have included these on/off features. So what reasons are those?
Thansk for your answers,

5 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Hello TylerFinn8
Welcome to the Webroot Community,
You should be fine with the all default settings. WSA is an application we can call as "install and forget". WSA's default settings are pre-configured in a way that you don't need to tweak them. Of course you're free to adjust the settings as per your needs or wish.
As for the heuristics settings,Some can have all heuristics set to max. without any issues. I personally have mine set to default for the last 3 1/2 yeras on 5 computers and haven't an any issues.
Please have a look here at the Webroot PC User Guide
Also can you tell me what version you have of Webroot by hoovering over the Webroot icon in the taskbar. You should have this version which was just released today to fix the Windows Action Center that saids Webroot and Windows Defender is turned off. Even though Webroot is indeed working.
If you would like to make sure that Webroot is not the cause of your slowdowns then I can give you exact instructions to uninstall/reinstall Webroot.
Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 will not let you run Windows Defender while running another AntiVirus. If you want to run both which IMO isn't neccesary you can look here at this KB article if you wish to tweak the riegistry at your own risk.
Now for your computer running slow..have you tried CCleaner by Piriform.com which alot of us use here along with System Optimizer.
Not sure why you are having disappearing.jpgs and.pngs.. Have you contacted the Support Team and issued a
Support Ticket which is free of charge with an active Webroot subscription and they can have a look for you?
Please have a look here about https://community.webroot.com/t5/Webroot-SecureAnywhere-Antivirus/Scanning-PC-suspiciously-fast/m-p/6632/highlight/true#M214
And How do I know Webroot is working?
I hope I have helped somewhat in answering most of your questions? If not I can ping ? and ? and they can assist here as well. Which they will be available tomorrow.
Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Hi again Tyler,
Please have a look at this Thread here where there are a couple of videos that might interest you.
In the past I have used system optimizers, and "defrag" software but when I did I found that things ran worse on my computer after that.
I use the Webroot delete feature, which is fantastic, to delete things instead of the trash bin, since I can know that it isn;t just buried somewhere but really deleted for good.
I believe I have periodic Webroot system optimizations turned on, which have seemed to be fine.
So is the Heuristics merely a function of the toll taken on my system? Is that why they can be tweaked, for more powerful and less powerful computers?
Or does the Heuristic program focus on what should be "passed over" in order to increase efficiency?
The Infrared's description says that it leverages statistics, but I am concerned it is just leveraging statistics to see what should be passed over.
Like I said, I wonder about passing over "inactive" programs, since a worm or soe other thing myght just be subtly working in the background.
I wonder if that is what is going through my.jpgs and.pngs.
My memory is only half full, so storage space is not the issue.
I don't know. I got rid of Skype and a bunch of indie software which I didn't need anymore, 3D printing software, etc.
I just wish I could really know what is happening.
Userlevel 7
Badge +62
Hi Tyler,
I have a Knowledge Base article here for you to read the difference of a deep scan and full scanning.
Like I mentioned before you can always Submit that Support ticket and ask them anything that you are concerned about.
Userlevel 7
Hi Tyler
Welcome to the Community Forums.
If I might just add here, on the subject of Webroot Infrared; please see this previous thread that will shed some light on what it is and how it works, plus this article from the Webroot Site; a little old but still very relevant.
Hope that helps further?
Regards, Baldrick