Don't Overload Your PC with Security Software

PC Security
Reader Steve uses a program called Vipre Premium to keep his PC secure. The suite offers anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, a firewall, e-mail protection--basically, the works.

But Steve also runs Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. And Microsoft Security Essentials (though with real-time protection turned off). Steve’s question: should he turn on MSE’s real-time protection and “run it concurrently with Vipre?”

Short answer: no. Definitely not. In fact, I’d say Steve is running too much security software as it is. And that's a common mistake.

For starters, the Vipre suite is more than sufficient. I can see keeping Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on hand just in case some infection sneaks through, but if you’re using the Pro version--which, unlike its freebie sibling, offers real-time scanning--then it’s competing with Vipre. In fact, when you overlap security products like that, they can seriously impact system performance and even falsely recognize each other as being a threat.

My advice: keep your security tools to a bare minimum. In fact, if you’re running Windows 7 (which Steve is), you’re already adequately equipped to handle the majority of security threats. Windows 7 offers a solid firewall, and its built-in Windows Defender should block most spyware and pop-ups.

Meanwhile, Internet Explorer 9 provides robust protection against phishing, malware, and other browser-related threats. (In fact, some tests have shown it to be the safest browser, period.) Cap that off with Microsoft Security Essentials and browser plug-in Web of Trust, and you’ve got yourself a nearly bulletproof PC. (I speak from experience: that’s my exact configuration, and I haven’t had an infection of any kind, well, ever.)

Bottom line: don’t overdo the security software. Too much is not a good thing.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

Related:
Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Security Watch Newsletter

Comments