IS THIS PRODUCT SAFE TO USE?
I certainly hope so and do my best to make it so but over the past few releases I have had an increasing number of messages from users and potential users to inform me that they are encountering malware/virus warnings either at download time, installation time or when running In My Diary. As far as I am aware, these turn out to be false positives but, quite understandably, such warnings create a concern and I have no idea how many former or potential users just give up at that point.
Most of these warnings will be generated because the anti-virus systems have never seen the new release before, and it also has no digital signature which can sometimes give a package a kick-start through security systems. Once the new release has started to be used widely, it seems to acquire a good reputation and the problem is reduced or stops.
While I thoroughly understand a user's desire to keep their computer protected at all costs, I am sure you can also imagine my frustration at the hours I spend keeping this application updated only to have it fall victim to false positive reports.
Sometimes the messages are not warnings of malware etc. but just inform you that the software is from an unknown publisher particularly in the case of Windows 10. You are still able to install In My Diary but need to select more info when the Smartscreen message is on screen. This will allow you to install anyway.
MacOS users on newer systems have a specific issue when running the self-contained version for the first time and the solution to that is covered here.
What I do to try to ensure the product is clean
In addition to running anti-virus and anti-malware software permanently on my development machine, before I upload a new release I scan the revised files and then the whole package through several systems:
On my own machine I use a Leading Internet Total security product and also Malwarebytes anti-malware.
Online I submit any revised files and the whole package to Virustotal.com where it is subjected to a scan through dozens of popular products See a live report for version 3.82 here. Three lesser-known products (which, according to forums, seem to be prone to false positive reports) didn't like it out of 70!
I submit the product to the Kaspersky Whitelist program where is has never been reported failed.
I also submit the installation package to Microsoft Windows Defender Security intelligence as a developer. With 3.80, each file in the package has reported as having no malware. According to a conversation I had with Microsoft, this should prevent one of the chief culprits - Windows Defender - from throwing up concerns. I cannot provide a link to the results since you would need to log in with my account but the public are able to send files anonymously without an account.
In addition, several third-party sites host a link to In My Diary such as Softpedia where they also perform their own anti-virus checks.
As you can see, I am very concerned about this and have tried to be as proactive as possible in reducing the risks and possibility of false positive reports and, while I am as sure as I can be that no nasties are lurking in the packages, ultimately it is a choice a user must make when faced with warnings and it would be foolish of me to offer any kind of guarantee. As a freeware developer, I cannot afford the extra reassurance of a digital signature.
Away from the warning messages, I would also like to make it clear that In My Diary does not harvest ANY personal data from your use of the diary and has no mechanisms in-built to do so. If you use the In My Diary server to send event email warnings, the number of emails sent and the number of bcc recipients is logged but the data is NOT seen. The logging is just to monitor use and therefore prevent possible spamming.
I hope some of that is reassuring.