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Is it ok to have more than one anti-virus software in my computer?


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#1 HeliDmitry

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:09 AM

I always get different answers whenever I ask this question to IT people. One person says it's OK since there's not one antivirus software that can detect all existing viruses, so it's pretty reasonable to have a tag team of antivirus softwares running in your computer. But when I try to confirm that from another person, he gives me totally different answer. Tells me doing so could result to "failures in security", or whatever he means by that. And he said something about it just making the computer slower and nothing else.

Who should I believe?

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:37 AM

It is highly recommended that you have 1 ACTIVE aka REAL TIME Scanning Virus Scanner on all the time, and have a passive or on demand scan type application such as Malwarebytes or Super Anti-Spyware on only when you are performing scans. I recommend doing passive or on-demand scans once or twice every month.

#3 HeliDmitry

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 05:56 AM

Why is it not recommended that I have 2 ACTIVE virus scanners at the same time?

And what does a passive scanner do?

#4 Winterland

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 06:41 AM

Good morning HeliDmitry, please take a look here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic407147.html

quietman7 has posted several answers to several common security questions, including why you should not be running more than one anti-virus at a time. Some of his language is a bit on the technical side, but it explains very clearly why you should not be doing it.

As for the passive scanner that cryptodan mentioned, I believe he means having another application that is not running all the time except for when you want it to (weekly, once a month, twice a month, etc.)

As an example, I am running Avast! and also have Malwarebytes running all the time on my machine.

As for my passive scanner, I have Super Anti-Spyware - which is never running until I tell it to. And, just as cryptodan says, about twice a month I launch it, update the program and then perform a full scan. Afterwards, I shut it back down until I need it again.

Does that make sense?

Take a few moments to look over that quietman7 post, it is one heck of a resource and has changed the way that I surf and also changed the way that I have set up all the computers in my house.

Hope that helps.

Have a great day,

Winterland

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#5 Orange Blossom

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 11:13 AM

Please note that there are differences between an Anti-Virus program and Anti-malware. Some programs are called AntiSpyware, such as SuperAntiSpyware. AntiMalware and AntiSpyware programs are not so easily distinguished anymore and there is a lot of overlap.

MBAM is an antimalware program. Generally, there is no problem having it act as a real-time scanner along with an active AV scanner such as AVAST, BitDefender, etc. I would not, however, have it and SuperAntiSpyware both running as real-time scanners. One should be used as On Demand only. That means, it scans only when you manually tell it to. Same thing for Windows Defender which is AntiMalware/spyware.

It is true that no one AV program will catch everything, so every once in a while, it is a good idea to have a second opinion using an online AV scanner such as ESET: http://go.eset.com/us/online-scanner , CA Online Threat Scanner: http://cainternetsecurity.net/entscanner/ , F-Secure: http://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_us/protection/free-online-tools/free-online-tools , BitDefender: http://www.bitdefender.com/scanner/online/free.html and others. When you scan with one of those, you should temporarily disable your AntiVirus and NOT use the internet for anything but that scan. Re-enable the AV once the scanning is complete.

So, one AV installed and active

One or more AntiSpyware or AntiMalware installed, but only ONE set up as real-time scanner

One Firewall installed and active.

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#6 Union_Thug

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 02:11 AM

Why is it not recommended that I have 2 ACTIVE virus scanners at the same time?


I posed the same question some time ago. Take a look at it here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic373803.html/page__p__2096801__fromsearch__1#entry2096801
The replies by Didier Stevens, quietman7 & Blade Zephon deserve particular attention. :)

Edited by Union_Thug, 23 October 2011 - 02:12 AM.


#7 Winterland

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 06:59 AM

Union Thug, thanks for the link.

Sometimes there's so much to read here it's always helpful when you get directed to a missed but very valuable post.


Orange Blossom, thank you for your words as well.

It's a question that gets asked of me often - and I suspect of many other BC members, as well - so it's great to learn the language and try to explain to others that they really should not do it and also why they should not do it, as Union Thug presents in his linked post (snarky as that Thug might be!).

Enjoy the day,

Winterland

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#8 Union_Thug

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:02 AM

>>>snarky as that Thug might be!<<<

ROFL. I resemble that remark! :P (Hence, the "Thug" label. ha ha)

You're welcome! Didier Stevens knows his 0's & 1's, that's for sure.


Edited by Union_Thug, 23 October 2011 - 09:03 AM.


#9 HeliDmitry

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:17 AM

I posed the same question some time ago. Take a look at it here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic373803.html/page__p__2096801__fromsearch__1#entry2096801
The replies by Didier Stevens, quietman7 & Blade Zephon deserve particular attention. :)


hey thanks. it was pretty helpful.




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