I’m often asked to remove viruses and other forms of malware from computers, and a common problem of late seems to be people running two or more anti-virus programs at once.
But when it comes to virus scanners, more is not a good thing. I know that probably sounds like it can’t be true, but it really is.
Before I discuss why that is, here’s a quick overview of the two primary types of anti-malware programs:
1 – Full-time / Always running – Antivirus programs such as Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avast and others run continuously in the background, protecting your PC from threats on an ongoing basis. It is essential to have ONE of these programs running at all times if you use your computer to connect to the Internet.
2 – On demand – These anti-malware programs should be run periodically as a “backup” scanner to catch any nefarious code that might have slipped through the cracks in your regular full-time anti-virus program (and they ALL have cracks). The most popular on demand anti-malware program (and the one I strongly recommend) is Malwarebytes.
Whenever two anti-virus programs run at the same time they tend to fight one another, reducing your overall protection against viruses and other malware by a large margin. In other words, ONE good antivirus program will do a better job at protecting your PC from malware than any two of them combined.
My recommendation is to pick ONE high quality full-time anti-virus program and go with it (personally, I use Avast), then run Malwarebytes about once a week to catch and remove anything that might have slipped in through the cracks.