I hear from a lot of people that they are using free AV, and that Consumer Reports said “use two or three of them! after all they are free!!!” Now I don’t know if CR said that, but I know that the independent testing agencies in the AV field do not think much of CR’s AV ratings. I do not think this is pure selfishness.
Testing antivirus software is deep juju. The demands on testing (AV Test and AV Comparatives, NSS Labs, Dennis Labs and VB magazine spring to mind) or certification standards (like the ICSA) spring to mind. Is that they run a continuous research into new malware methodologies and sampling methods, that they participate with the entire world of antimalware researchers, that they honestly stay ahead of the curve. It’s not a job for a dilettante.
So many people just love FREE! Free must be all they need, because it’s all they are willing to spend. The world’s biggest software company makes a free solution, and even they admit it isn’t enough.
But to the second point. People think if one is good then two must be better. Well I know of what I speak here. If you install multiple AV/AM solutions (which are really the same thing-see the next post I make after this one for disambiguation) you are very likely to gum up your system like crazy. Really. No foolin. Don’t do it. Don’t install multiple AV/AM solutions. Don’t. Really.
In my experience (which includes DECADES in the trenches of AV tech support) the VAST MAJORITY of symptoms thought to be caused by malware are really caused by multiple AV software gumming up the works. How big a majority? Virtually 100%
More about AV testing in the weeks to come. For now I want to point out something I just learned from inside the AV industry. Some days the number of new unique malware samples (as of October, 2013) approach three quarter million per day.
There are other kinds of security to be had. Even at the retail desktop level. Keep writing back and keep quoting me on FB and Twitter. I’m vain and love to see my name in print. 😉