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Running multiple malware programs


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#1 kenmtb

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:09 AM

Hi-
Great forum!
I have spybot right now but I hear you should have more than one type of malware program. Is there another free
program that is compatible?
Thanks!

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#2 boopme

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 10:37 PM

What is your Antivirus and which firewall is running? Also what Operating System is running?
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#3 quietman7

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 11:07 PM

Choosing a security toolkit with anti-virus, firewall and anti-malware programs is a matter of personal preference, your technical ability and experience, features offered, the amount of resources utilized, how it may affect system performance and what will work best for your system. A particular combination that works well for one person may not work as well for another. There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone. You may need to experiment and find what is most suitable for your needs. Another factor to consider is whether you want to use paid for products or free alternatives.

No single product is 100% foolproof and can detect and remove all threats at any given time. The security community is in a constant state of change as new infections appear. Each vendor has its own definition of what constitutes malware and scanning your computer using different criteria will yield different results. The fact that each program has its own definition files means that some malware may be picked up by one that could be missed by another. Thus, a multi-layered defense using several anti-spyware products (including an effective firewall) to supplement your anti-virus combined with common sense and safe surfing habits provides the most complete protection.

As a general rule, using more than one anti-spyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, SuperAntispyware, Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, etc will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using them as stand-alone scanners. In fact, doing so increases your protection coverage without causing the same kind of conflicts or affecting the stability of your system that can occur when using more than one anti-virus. The overlap of protection from using different signature databases will aid in detection and removal of more threats when scanning your system for malware. However, if using any of their real-time resident shields (TeaTimer, Ad-Watch, MBAM Protection Module, Spyware Terminator Shields, etc) together at the same time, there can be conflicts when each application tries to compete for resources and exclusive rights to perform an action. Additionally, competing tools may even provide redundant alerts which can be annoying and/or confusing.

mvps.org is no longer recommending Spybot S&D or Ad-Aware due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products).

Further, most people don't understand Spybot's TeaTimer or how to use it and that feature can cause more problems than it's worth. TeaTimer monitors changes to certain critical keys in Windows registry but does not indicate if the change is normal or a modification made by a malware infection. The user must have an understanding of the registry and how TeaTimer works in order to make informed decisions to allow or deny the detected changes. Additionally, TeaTimer may conflict with other security tools which do a much better job of protecting your computer and even prevent disinfection of malware by those tools.

More effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware Free.
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