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Looking for advice about my security set-up


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14 replies to this topic

#1 aaandy

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:28 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I'd like to know your thoughts about my security set-up for my computer. I'm not a tech expert, but I'm reasonably comfortable with using computers. I use a number of security programs rather than just one - hoping for a kind of crossfire effect, i.e. if one program misses something then hopefully another one won't. 

 

I use, and prefer, free products. 

 

Currently I'm using: 

 

AVG Free

MalwareBytes Free

MalwareBytes Anti-rootkit

Kapersky TDSS Killer

 

One of my concerns is that in MalwareBytes Free under 'Detection and Protection' it says 'Malware Protection Disabled' - does this then mean it is essentially not working? I'm confused on that one. 

 

I'm considering using Avast instead of MalwareBytes. Any thoughts? I heard it could interfere with AVG...

 

Essentially, I don't mind using multiple programs, but I'd prefer they be 1) free and 2) reasonably comprehensive overall - i.e that amongst the multiple security programs I use, they cover malware, adware, rootkits, etc etc to as wide an extent as possible. In short, I want to be as secure as I can be.

 

Any input greatly welcomed - thanks!

 

Andrew 


Edited by aaandy, 20 January 2016 - 04:29 AM.


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#2 Sintharius

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:34 AM

Hi there,

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free does not offer real time protection, and thus "Malware Protection Disabled" is correct. To enable it you will need to buy the Premium version.

Avast cannot replace Malwarebytes (Avast is an antivirus, MBAM is an antimalware), and will conflict with AVG as any two antivirus software will do. If you wish to use Avast, uninstall AVG first.

If you wish to get extra protection, considering adding an antiexploit software such as Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit.

#3 aaandy

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:11 AM

I see. Can you clarify something, please?:

 

Even if MalwareBytes Free doesn't offer real time protection, I'm not too worried as AVG Free does that already (right?)...

 

But let's say that a MalwareBytes Free scan (at a later time, not in real time) did find something nasty, could it remove it then? Or is the protection completely disabled unless you buy Premium?

 

I'm happy enough to let AVG do the real time stuff, as long as MalwareBytes could do some removal if it was needed post-scan. 

 

Thanks!


Edited by aaandy, 20 January 2016 - 05:20 AM.


#4 aaandy

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:33 AM

PS I also downloaded MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit - thanks!



#5 Sintharius

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:46 AM

You can still scan and remove things with MBAM Free - however I'd say that MBAM Premium is a worthy investment since Malwarebytes catch different things than AVG.

#6 MoxieMomma

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:47 AM

I see. Can you clarify something, please?:

 

Even if MalwareBytes Free doesn't offer real time protection, I'm not too worried as AVG Free does that already (right?)...

 

But let's say that a MalwareBytes Free scan (at a later time, not in real time) did find something nasty, could it remove it then? Or is the protection completely disabled unless you buy Premium?

 

I'm happy enough to let AVG do the real time stuff, as long as MalwareBytes could do some removal if it was needed post-scan. 

 

Thanks!

 

It's always better to try to PREVENT infection than it is to try to cleanup and repair damage from infection that has already occurred.

MBAM Premium provides complementary, layered protection against certain types of non-viral, zero-day and zero-hour malware missed by the AVs.

MBAM Free can only cleanup after the fact.

(MBAE Free shields only browsers and plug-ins; to shield other internet-facing applications, you need MBAE Premium.)

 

Given that you are already having to wipe your hard drive because of malware here, the idea of relying only on "free" software and after-the-fact cleanup seems "expensive", in terms of time/energy/effort lost.

@quietman7 has posted many times about the illusion/downside of "free" AV and security applications.

 

It's certainly up to you.

But the cost of robust, paid security software works out to pennies per day (or less) per computer.

And it's much cheaper than the hidden cost of time and effort to recover from malware damage, identity theft, data breach, etc.

 

Having said that, no one security application or combination of applications, free or paid, can protect 100% of computers 100% of the time from 100% of malware.  As others have aptly pointed out, the most critical security component is the one between the chair and the keyboard.

 

Cheers,

 

MM


Edited by MoxieMomma, 20 January 2016 - 05:48 AM.


#7 quietman7

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 06:18 AM

Kapersky TDSS Killer is a specialized tool...it was never meant to be used as a general purpose malware scanner like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, Zemana AntiMalware, SuperAntispyware, AdwCleaner, etc which scan individual drives, different folders, the registry, etc on a computer for malware.

An anti-virus program alone does not provide comprehensive protection and cannot prevent, detect and remove all threats at any given time. Anti-virus software is inherently reactive...meaning it usually finds malware after a computer has been infected. Further, if you're dealing with zero-day malware it's unlikely the anti-virus is going to detect anything. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs each perform different tasks as it relates to computer security and threat detection. Essentially, they look for and remove different types of malicious threats.

In simplistic terms, Anti-virus programs use massive databases with different scanning engines and detection methods to scan for infectious malware which includes viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkis and bots.

Anti-malware programs use smaller databases and generally tend to focus more on adware, spyware, unwanted toolbars, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted programs and potentially unsafe applications.

Anti-virus and Anti-malware solutions with anti-exploitation features protect against zero-day malware, drive-by downloads, exploits and Exploit Kits.

Therefore, you need both an anti-virus and an anti-malware solution with real-time protection for maximum protection.

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#8 Agouti

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 07:43 AM

No matter what kind of security software you use, your best ever defence is to learn and practise safe computing habits.  In this respect, Quietman has put together one of the most comprehensive guides I've ever seen on this topic.  It is a sticky on this forum and reading it is probably the single best thing you can ever do for your own safety...

 

Answers to common security questions - Best Practices



#9 ulqschiffer09

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 02:33 AM

I see that you are favoured towards free security programs. That is ok though. 

If you are not comfortable to over-relying on only one scanner, they're plenty of option for you to add in (On-Demand Scanner)

Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Norton Power Eraser, Zemana Anti-Malware Free etc etc.. 

Those are quite reliable as an On-demand Scanner as well as Malware Remover. 

 

However, it is best to ensure that prior installing any security program, make sure your computer is pure clean (which is why clean install OS is ideal way to remove malware though it is very time consuming and wasting resources).

 

Having a malware inside your system and attempting to scan and clean it doesn't ensure that your PC is malware-free after the clean-up.


Edited by ulqschiffer09, 21 January 2016 - 02:34 AM.


#10 quietman7

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 06:36 AM

...Having a malware inside your system and attempting to scan and clean it doesn't ensure that your PC is malware-free after the clean-up.

That depends on what you are dealing with.
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#11 aaandy

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 10:58 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for your advice and candid comments - they are appreciated.

 

I read quietman's advice carefully, and I'm pleased to say I follow all of those steps already.

 

I think the advice about getting a premium Malwarebytes program is useful and I will consider doing that.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed - this has been truly helpful.



#12 quietman7

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 11:35 PM

You're welcome on behalf of the Bleeping Computer community.
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#13 Didier Stevens

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Posted 24 January 2016 - 12:28 PM

One recommendation: make regular backups of your machine, especially your data.

 

This protects your files from several disasters, not only malware infection.


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#14 aaandy

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 02:18 AM

After a lot of thought, I've decided to upgrade my security. May I ask the community what they think of this as a security set-up?

 

- AVG Free (Real Time protection)

- MalwareBytes Premium (Real Time protection)

- MalwareBytes anti-exploit

- Panda USB Vaccine

- Windows Firewall

 

I know it might not be the fullest security available, but... I am a fairly careful (and boring) internet user.

 

Quick question, I'm interested in the concept of 'conflicts' between security software. Would AVG real-time protection and MalwareBytes real-time protection 'conflict' with each other?

 

Thank you again to all!



#15 quietman7

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 06:07 AM

Conflicts typically occur when installing two anti-virus products but Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is not an anti-virus program.

...It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts. In some rare instances, exclusions may need to be set for your specific antivirus product to achieve the best possible system performance.

Does Malwarebytes Anti-Malware replace antivirus software?
Malwarebytes AV Compatibility Report

As a general rule, using more than one anti-malware program will not conflict with each other or your anti-virus if using only one of them for real-time protection and the others as stand-alone on demand scanners.

Please read the Note about Using Multiple Anti-Malware products in Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools.
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