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The rules of ”basic hygiene”

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Anti-viruses are selfish

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People often ask us whether it is possible to install two anti-viruses on one PC (and not just home users but security conference attendees, too). Here is an example of such a support request as well as our engineer's reply:

  • The Start button is inaccessible ever since we installed Dr.Web. File search in Windows Explorer doesn't work either. Removing the anti-virus resolves the issue automatically.
  • Avast Antivirus is installed in the system. Running two anti-viruses on the same computer disrupts the operation of system services and applications. Only one anti-virus must remain.

Sometimes two anti-viruses can be installed on one computer. Although during installation anti-viruses usually warn users about possible compatibility issues or even exit setup if another anti-virus solution is present in the system, users (my men!) manage to circumvent the restrictions.

And then it becomes a matter of luck. Perhaps, things will work out just fine (this issue's author once managed to install three anti-viruses on one computer) or end the same way as in the example above.

Why do anti-viruses act in this proprietary fashion and want to have all of the computer to themselves? The explanation is simple and quite logical.

An anti-virus must be the first to learn about each and every file-access operation (we wrote about that recently). No other process must be able to hook into an event ahead of this anti-virus and thus prevent it from taking a closer look at what's going on. Now imagine a situation when two anti-viruses are trying to become the "dominant male".

Not to mention how they will be using the CPU and the memory—since two anti-viruses will probably be gobbling up twice as much of it (refer to the issue The more anti-viruses, the better the protection?) for more information).

#anti-virus #security #support #technologies

Dr.Web recommends

Interestingly enough, in the end things worked out okay for the user whose support request we quoted earlier in this issue.

Two infected files were detected—neither 360 Total Security nor the free Kaspersky malware removal tool had been able to find them.

However, we strongly advise you against experiments involving multiple anti-viruses. To scan a protected system with another anti-virus, use Dr.Web CureIt! If you want to install one more anti-virus on your computer, consider Dr.Web KATANA. Or, perhaps, you will be better off switching immediately to Dr.Web Security Space. Guess why?

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