by: Anthony Garland
While developing Graderworks, I ran into an issue with Windows Smart Screen filter. When users would download and run the installer, it would pop up with this message.
Naturally, this discouraged customers from using the free 30 day trial of Graderworks. If I were a client, I would likely not install the software either.
Unfortunately, there is not a good solution. All you can do is have your installer signed with a digital code certificate. You can see in the image that my installer is signed, but it is still being flagged as dangerous. Even with this certificate, the smart screen filter did not go away for almost two weeks. Although Microsoft gives information on how to sign an application, I found their tutorial only moderately helpful.
These are the steps I followed to get my installer signed.
>> signtool.exe sign /f comodocodsigningkeycertificate.pfx /p secretpassword Graderworks2.0.exe
My critique of Microsoft is 1. The steps needed to sign my certificate were not clear. It was not clear at all that I needed to install the Windows SDK and add the kit\bin folder to the PATH variable. Also, it was not clear that signing my installer would not result in the smart screen filter being immediately removed. 2. The 'reputation' system used by the smart screen filter makes some sense, but more transparency would be helpful. In the end, it hurts small business who have just released a new application and have no 'reputation'.
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