Running one antivirus program at a time is important, as running them all simultaneously can cause problems. However, you should have more than one program at your disposal. Some programs can catch stuff that others will not. So how can you use more than one?
Using multiple programs is easy. Just have one antivirus as your main protection and scan with another program on occasion to see if they spot anything. A suspicious file can be scanned with multiple programs via a website, so that’s a plus.
With that said, how come you can’t run multiple programs at once?
Why You Shouldn’t Run Multiple Antiviruses
The design of an antivirus tends to be for an all-in-one security measure for your computer. They’ll run in the background an always be on the lookout for anything suspicious to make sure a threat doesn’t enter your computer.
But multiple programs aren’t meant to be running together. They go deep into your OS, and could cause slowdown at best, crashing at worst. So never run multiple programs at the same time, as that will cause some damage to your performance to say the least.
So How Do You Scan it?
As we said before, no antivirus is infallible. One program may miss something, while another can catch it. To get the best protection on your computer, you need to scan your computer every now and then with another antivirus while leaving your main one running in the background.
The secondary program won’t run in the background, but instead scan your PC once and give you another opinion. Scanning your computer with secondary programs weekly is a good idea, and when you scan them, disable real-time protection to avoid slowdown.
Also, don’t leave it running in the background. An antivirus will call this feature by many names, such as background protection, resident shield, on-access scanning, and more.
So what secondary programs should you choose?
A Few Good Secondary Antiviruses
ESET Online Scanner: This is an online scanner that’s fast and one-time. Most online scanners don’t give you the option to remove malware, but this one does, making it perfect.
Malwarebytes (Free): The paid version allows it to run in the background, but the free version is a manual scan, which is what you need the program for. MWB is a great malware detector, so check it out.
Also, your secondary program shouldn’t be that minimalistic. Bitdefender QuickScan gives you a scan that’s a bit too fast, and won’t find all the malware. These programs also don’t remove the malware. They’re usually cash grabs, telling you that you must pay to delete the malware.
Just remember that these programs are not foolproof – other threats can still harm you. The rise of cell phone and computer monitoring software is a classic example – they are not usually picked up by virus software and can lead to data breaches. Know your enemy and learn about these programs.
Scanning a Suspicious File
So you have a file that your main antivirus says is suspicious, but the person who gave you the file says it’s safe. False positives do happen with antiviruses, so you should scan the file with multiple programs in order to get more opinions.
Of course, downloading a bunch of programs takes a lot of time and processing power. When you do need to scan multiple files, go to VirusTotal, a site that’s owned by Google itself. They’ll allow you to upload files and websites up to 32MB, and a whopping 46 programs will all scan it. Finally, you’ll see a report and determine once and for all if the file is malicious.
VirusTotal is the best way to determine if a file is malicious or not, but it’s not perfect. Some files can be cleaned by multiple programs but still be malicious, and vice versa. However, these are rare cases, and VirusTotal is still necessary if you’re not sure if a file is clean or not.
Overall, it’s important to have more than one virus scanner at your disposal. By doing this, you’ll be ensuring that your computer is protected to the max.