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How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

You should only run a single antivirus application at a time, but none of them are perfect. Some antiviruses may catch malware that other antiviruses miss. Luckily, you don’t just have to rely on a single antivirus program.

The key to using multiple antivirus programs is running a single antivirus as your main background protection and running another scanner occasionally – say, once a week – for a second opinion.

If you have a suspicious file, you can also quickly scan it with in 46 different antivirus programs at once using a website.

Why You Shouldn’t Run Multiple Antivirus Programs At Once

Most antivirus programs are designed to be the single security solution for your computer. The antivirus has a background, always-on scanning feature that’s enabled by default. When you download a file, load a program, or access a website, the antivirus keeps an eye on everything and ensures it doesn’t match a known threat.

This works fine as long as you only have a single antivirus running at a time. These programs hook deep into your Windows operating system and are not designed to work together. In a best case scenario, running multiple antivirus programs at once could result in degraded performance. In a worst case scenario, the programs could interfere with each other and cause system crashes.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

How You Can Scan Your Computer With Multiple Antivirus Programs

However, no antivirus program is perfect. Some antivirus programs may miss problems other antivirus programs will detect. To get more complete detection coverage, you may want to scan your computer with additional antivirus programs while leaving a single antivirus program – such as Microsoft Security Essentials (known as Windows Defender in Windows 8) — running in the background.

The additional antivirus programs you’ll use won’t stay running in the background. They’ll scan your computer once and give you a second opinion. You can load up the additional programs and scan your computer once a week with them. While running the manual scanner, you should consider disabling real-time protection in your primary antivirus program – if only to speed things up.

When you select an additional antivirus program, look for one that doesn’t stay running in the background – this feature is referred to by many names, such as real-time protection, on-access scanning, background protection, or resident shield.

There are several options for second-opinion scanning, including:

  • Malwarebytes: The free version must be started for a manual scan and can’t run in the background, which is perfect for this use case.
  • ESET Online Scanner: A quick, one-time scanner from the creators of NOD32. Unlike many online-scanning products from antivirus companies, ESET Online Scanner includes the ability to remove malware it finds.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

When looking for a second-opinion antivirus, try to avoid the more lightweight options. Some products, such as Bitdefender QuickScan, may do a very quick scan that won’t necessarily find some malware. Bitdefender QuickScan and other products like it don’t remove malware they find, either – they exist to point you towards the company’s paid product.

Scanning a File With Many Antivirus Programs

If you have a suspicious file – perhaps you just downloaded it and are a bit worried or your antivirus says it’s malicious but the creator insists that your antivirus is offering up a false positive and the file is actually completely safe – you may want to scan that specific file with a variety of different antivirus programs.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult when you don’t have twenty different antivirus engines on your computer. Even if you did, updating each with the latest virus definitions would be way too much work.

When you need to scan a suspicious file in multiple antivirus programs, use the VirusTotal website – now owned by Google. You can upload files up to 32MB in size or even point VirusTotal at a URL online where it can download a file to analyze. The file will be scanned by 46 different antivirus programs on VirusTotal’s servers and you’ll see a report.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

As with all antivirus programs, there’s no guarantee that the results are perfect. A file could be considered clean by every antivirus program but still be malicious. It’s also theoretically possible (although very unlikely) that a false positive could be marked as such by many different antiviruses. However, in practice, VirusTotal will tell you what a wide variety of antivirus programs think of a file, which can help you make a more informed decision about it.

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

You should only run a single antivirus application at a time, but none of them are perfect. Some antiviruses may catch malware that other antiviruses miss. Luckily, you don’t just have to rely on a single antivirus program.

The key to using multiple antivirus programs is running a single antivirus as your main background protection and running another scanner occasionally – say, once a week – for a second opinion.

If you have a suspicious file, you can also quickly scan it with in 46 different antivirus programs at once using a website.

Why You Shouldn’t Run Multiple Antivirus Programs At Once

Most antivirus programs are designed to be the single security solution for your computer. The antivirus has a background, always-on scanning feature that’s enabled by default. When you download a file, load a program, or access a website, the antivirus keeps an eye on everything and ensures it doesn’t match a known threat.

This works fine as long as you only have a single antivirus running at a time. These programs hook deep into your Windows operating system and are not designed to work together. In a best case scenario, running multiple antivirus programs at once could result in degraded performance. In a worst case scenario, the programs could interfere with each other and cause system crashes.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

How You Can Scan Your Computer With Multiple Antivirus Programs

However, no antivirus program is perfect. Some antivirus programs may miss problems other antivirus programs will detect. To get more complete detection coverage, you may want to scan your computer with additional antivirus programs while leaving a single antivirus program – such as Microsoft Security Essentials (known as Windows Defender in Windows 8) — running in the background.

The additional antivirus programs you’ll use won’t stay running in the background. They’ll scan your computer once and give you a second opinion. You can load up the additional programs and scan your computer once a week with them. While running the manual scanner, you should consider disabling real-time protection in your primary antivirus program – if only to speed things up.

When you select an additional antivirus program, look for one that doesn’t stay running in the background – this feature is referred to by many names, such as real-time protection, on-access scanning, background protection, or resident shield.

There are several options for second-opinion scanning, including:

  • Malwarebytes: The free version must be started for a manual scan and can’t run in the background, which is perfect for this use case.
  • ESET Online Scanner: A quick, one-time scanner from the creators of NOD32. Unlike many online-scanning products from antivirus companies, ESET Online Scanner includes the ability to remove malware it finds.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

When looking for a second-opinion antivirus, try to avoid the more lightweight options. Some products, such as Bitdefender QuickScan, may do a very quick scan that won’t necessarily find some malware. Bitdefender QuickScan and other products like it don’t remove malware they find, either – they exist to point you towards the company’s paid product.

Scanning a File With Many Antivirus Programs

If you have a suspicious file – perhaps you just downloaded it and are a bit worried or your antivirus says it’s malicious but the creator insists that your antivirus is offering up a false positive and the file is actually completely safe – you may want to scan that specific file with a variety of different antivirus programs.

Unfortunately, this can be difficult when you don’t have twenty different antivirus engines on your computer. Even if you did, updating each with the latest virus definitions would be way too much work.

When you need to scan a suspicious file in multiple antivirus programs, use the VirusTotal website – now owned by Google. You can upload files up to 32MB in size or even point VirusTotal at a URL online where it can download a file to analyze. The file will be scanned by 46 different antivirus programs on VirusTotal’s servers and you’ll see a report.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

As with all antivirus programs, there’s no guarantee that the results are perfect. A file could be considered clean by every antivirus program but still be malicious. It’s also theoretically possible (although very unlikely) that a false positive could be marked as such by many different antiviruses. However, in practice, VirusTotal will tell you what a wide variety of antivirus programs think of a file, which can help you make a more informed decision about it.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Do you have an antivirus installed and running on your system? In this day and age when free antiviruses can top the leaderboards on virus detection tests, there’s always a solid and efficient security solution you can download without spending a penny. This may get people thinking about downloading multiple antiviruses. After all, the more you download, the safer your computer will be, right?

Unfortunately, the concept of “the more the merrier” doesn’t work so well with antivirus! In fact. the more antivirus you install on your system, the messier it can get. It may sound weird – after all, it sounds better on paper to have multiple layers of security – but there are reasons why you don’t want to install multiple antivirus software at the same time.

Performance Problems

When antiviruses work on protecting your computer, they need to use computer resources in order to perform their job. Not only that, they have to keep tabs on every potential entry point that a virus can use on your computer. This can range from plugging in a USB stick to downloading a file from the Internet. As such, it needs to perform what’s called “real-time scanning” which monitors any actions being performed on files and checks to see if it’s a virus performing said action.

This is fine when you’ve installed just the one antivirus, as it has enough “room” to settle in and do its job. The more antivirus programs you add, however, the more memory gets taken up by antiviruses scanning every potential intrusion point. What this leads to is a computer which won’t have enough memory available to perform other tasks, so you’ll find it running slower than before.

Fighting Over Files

Even worse, you’ll find that they’ll often clash with one another when protecting your system. The goal of an antivirus is to work as quick as possible to isolate a virus when it infects your PC. This means that you’re going to have two or more highly vigilant antiviruses that will be monitoring everything you do at exactly the same time. While it initially sounds good, the results will be anything but!

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Let’s say you download a file from the Internet. A good antivirus will pick up on this action and immediately perform a scan on said folder to make sure it’s not infected. Unfortunately, if you’ve downloaded several good antiviruses, it means they’ll all clamour over one another to scan the file all at once. You may find the file is deadlocked where every antivirus is trying to claim ownership of it, and you’ll probably notice a system performance decrease while this happens.

When a file does turn out to be a virus, multiple antiviruses can end up making things more trouble than need be. Both of them will want to remove and delete the virus under their own terms, which will cause both of them to ask you if you want to quarantine them. Unfortunately, they’ll only really accept a quarantine if they’re the ones doing the quarantining. If you allow one to quarantine the virus and deny the other one, that second antivirus may pick up on the file in the first antivirus’ quarantine and constantly alert you of a virus threat, despite the fact that it’s safely stored away!

Accusing One Another

The worst effect of multiple antiviruses working in tandem is that they won’t trust one another. When an antivirus does its job, it assumes it’s the only one installed. Therefore, if they detect a second antivirus scanning through files, they’ll assume it’s actually a virus. At best, you’ll be bombarded with false virus alerts when the antiviruses spot one another. At worst, they may begin trying to delete each other’s files which will lead to system instability and important files being corrupted.

What About Scanners?

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Throughout this article we’ve been focusing entirely on antivirus programs – the ones that work in the background on a deep level in an operating system. You may have downloaded anti-malware and anti-spyware scanners to help protect your PC. These are different, as they aren’t always scanning for threats but can be used to do a single sweeping scan on a PC when you ask it to. Will these scanners cause trouble with an active antivirus?

To answer this, it depends on what you’re using the scanner for. Some scanners have their own real-time scanning option which will probably conflict with an antivirus’ own. If you disable these real-time features and perform a simple scan with it, it probably won’t conflict. Ideally, you can tell your antivirus to exclude the scanner from its own scans, so it’ll leave your scanner alone. Even then, however, you may notice a performance drop as both of the software scan at the same time.

If you’re interested in using an antivirus and a scanner at the same time and want to learn the ramifications, look on the website of your favourite scanner software for help. For example, Malwarebytes has a list of compatible antiviruses (PDF) while Spybot discusses how to make it work hand-in-hand with an antivirus.

All for One

When researching antivirus software, you may feel tempted to download and run multiple programs to boost your security. The truth is, this is far from ideal! Pick one antivirus you gel with the most and use that one alone. If you want to secure your computer as much as possible, read antivirus reviews and pick the one that performs best.

What does your computer’s security look like? Do you make use of an active antivirus and scanners? Do you use your OS’s built-in antivirus solution? Or are you using an OS that doesn’t need one? Let us know below.

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A reader asks: ‘I think I have security software on my PC, but I still got a nasty computer virus. Is it a good idea to run more than one anti-virus program, and how can I tell which one I have? Also, which anti-virus has the best protection against viruses, spyware, and other online threats?’ Read on for my tips and recommendation.

Is It Okay to Have Multiple Antivirus Programs?

Often when you buy a new computer, it comes with a trial version of Norton, McAfee or some other commercial antivirus software. When that free trial is about to expire, the program starts to nag you about upgrading to a paid version, which can be expensive. That’s when some users start looking for an antivirus alternative. There are some excellent free and paid options, but a common mistake is to install a new one without removing the old one. Some users also think they’ll be more secure if they install a second antivirus program.

In most cases, having more than one antivirus program running on your computer is bad news. Antivirus programs consume memory and processing power, as they scan the streams of data, emails, web pages and downloads that attempt to enter your computer. So it makes sense that having more than one antivirus scanner will slow down your computer.

But there’s another potential problem. sometimes antivirus programs can fight with each other, since they both want to be the final arbiter of good and evil on your computer. One might even think the other *is* a virus, and attempt to quarantine it.

You may see slowdowns, lockups or experience random restarts. I actually tested this scenario, installing the free versions of Avast, Avira, and Bitdefender anti-virus on my computer all at once. The result was a computer that slowed to a crawl. You could watch paint dry between keystrokes, and the process of uninstalling them took hours. I refer to this as the “antivirus death spiral” wherein each contender is thinking that the other is trying to do something bad, and unsuccessfully try to prevent it.

My advice is to pick ONE antivirus tool and stick with it, at least until you decide to replace it with another. There are some good free options, as I mentioned above. But free software can come with strings and conditions. That can mean compromising your privacy, or dealing with endless nagging to upgrade to a paid subscription that includes all the features you need to be truly safe online.

Exceptions to the Rule

That said, let me introduce just a bit of tech talk, and explain the exceptions to my single anti-virus rule. There are three types of anti-virus protection: real-time, on-demand and offline. Here’s a quick description of each:

The real-time variety we’ve been discussing so far protects against viruses and other threats as they arise. Your real-time anti-virus software is constantly scanning everything that enters your computer, as well as every program that runs. Examples are Norton, McAfee, Avast, BitDefender, Kaspersky and many others.

On-demand virus scanners are only active when you specifically launch them, to perform a one-time scan of your hard drive for malware. One of the most popular is MalwareBytes Free. On demand scanners are designed to co-exist with your real-time anti-virus software, and can sometimes catch things that have slipped through your first line of defense.

Offline anti-virus tools run from a bootable CD or flash drive, and will do a deep scan of your computer. While the offline scanner is running, both Windows and your primary anti-virus program are inactive. See Extra Security: Offline Malware Scanners for more info on offline security tools.

So to be clear, YES, I recommend just one REAL-TIME security tool. Supplementing that with an on-demand scanner is fine. And for those situations where you can’t start up your computer due to a virus infection, an offline scanner is what you need.

Which Antivirus Programs Do I Have?

If you’re not terribly tech savvy, you might not even know which antivirus program is installed on your computer, if you have more than one, or none at all. To find out if you have antivirus protection, click Start, type Windows Security, and press Enter. The name of your anti-virus product will be listed under the Virus and Threat Protection heading. If you see anything other than green checkmarks on the Windows Security screen, you need to install, activate, or update your anti-virus software.

Next, go to the Control Panel and click Programs and Features. Look for names such as AVG, Avira, Avast, BitDefender, Eset, F-Secure, G Data, Kaspersky, McAfee, Norton, Panda, or Trend Micro. If you find more than one, go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, and uninstall the anti-virus program(s) you don’t want to keep. (Bear in mind what I mentioned about real-time and on-demand scanners above.) You’ll need to restart your computer to finish the removal process. When you’re done, make sure your remaining antivirus protection is up to date and run a complete scan to check for nasties.

Do you have something to say about anti-virus protection? Post your comment or question below.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

In most cases, it is not possible to run two antivirus programs simultaneously on a single computer. Even though users may be tempted to try to implement what they might regard as ‘dual protection’, there are good reasons why trying to operate two different antivirus products will normally cause difficulties.

Giving the antivirus scanner access to critical data

For effective antivirus detection – that protects against computer viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, and more – the antivirus software has to be allowed to penetrate to a suitable level within the computer… deep into the system kernel. This is because the antivirus product needs to intercept system events, deep within the computer. The intercepted data is then passed to the antivirus engine for analysis – so the antivirus scanner can scan intercepted files, network packets, and other critical data.

Computer crash

If there are two antivirus programs running on a single computer, they will each try to install interceptors into the same part of the system kernel. This is likely to result in conflicts between the antivirus monitors – probably with one of the following consequences:

  • One of the two antivirus programs will fail to intercept system events.
  • Each antivirus program’s attempts to install parallel interceptors will cause the entire computer system to crash.

Other articles and links related to antivirus solutions

  • Choosing an Antivirus Solution
  • Malware and Exploit Detection
  • Regular, Frequent Antivirus Updates
  • Removing Malicious Code
  • Computer Protection Versus Computer Performance
  • Who Creates Malware?
  • Malware Classifications

Running Multiple Antivirus Programs

In most cases, it is not possible to run two antivirus programs simultaneously on a single computer. Even though users may be tempted to try to implement what they might regard as ‘dual protection’, there are good reasons why trying to operate two different antivirus products will normally cause difficulties.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

In most cases, it is not possible to run two antivirus programs simultaneously on a single computer. Even though users may be tempted to try to implement what they might regard as ‘dual protection’, there are good reasons why trying to operate two different antivirus products will normally cause difficulties.

Giving the antivirus scanner access to critical data

For effective antivirus detection – that protects against computer viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, and more – the antivirus software has to be allowed to penetrate to a suitable level within the computer… deep into the system kernel. This is because the antivirus product needs to intercept system events, deep within the computer. The intercepted data is then passed to the antivirus engine for analysis – so the antivirus scanner can scan intercepted files, network packets, and other critical data.

Computer crash

If there are two antivirus programs running on a single computer, they will each try to install interceptors into the same part of the system kernel. This is likely to result in conflicts between the antivirus monitors – probably with one of the following consequences:

  • One of the two antivirus programs will fail to intercept system events.
  • Each antivirus program’s attempts to install parallel interceptors will cause the entire computer system to crash.

Other articles and links related to antivirus solutions

  • Choosing an Antivirus Solution
  • Malware and Exploit Detection
  • Regular, Frequent Antivirus Updates
  • Removing Malicious Code
  • Computer Protection Versus Computer Performance
  • Who Creates Malware?
  • Malware Classifications

Running Multiple Antivirus Programs

In most cases, it is not possible to run two antivirus programs simultaneously on a single computer. Even though users may be tempted to try to implement what they might regard as ‘dual protection’, there are good reasons why trying to operate two different antivirus products will normally cause difficulties.

In a pinch without antivirus software? Follow this guide to remove a computer virus without antivirus software.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Sometimes viruses can slip through your defense systems and compromise your operating system. If you’re in a pinch, you can attempt to remove common computer viruses without antivirus software with the help of command prompt.

Content

  • Things to Consider Before Using Command Prompt to Remove Viruses and Malware from Your PC
  • How Do Computers Get Infected with Viruses?
  • How to Tell If Your Computer Is Infected with Viruses
  • How to Scan Your PC for Malware Using Command Prompt
  • How to Identify Viruses
  • Search and Remove Viruses Using the Attribute Command
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Also read: Should You Disable “Antimalware Service Executable” Process in Windows?

Things to Consider Before Using Command Prompt to Remove Viruses and Malware from Your PC

Only use the command prompt to remove viruses if you have some technical understanding of how computers work. Running specific commands with administrator privileges may be risky, and you can lose your data or system files if you misuse them.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Apart from that, there’s a limit to what the command prompt can do to remove malware. You can use it to delete some common viruses, but you can’t do it with others. For instance, you can’t remove ransomware with the command prompt. For that, you’ll need software that can decrypt your files.

Ensure you have administrator access to your PC, as without it, some viruses won’t be removed successfully.

Also read: Useful Run Commands Every Windows User Should Know

How Do Computers Get Infected with Viruses?

One way to reduce the risk of a malware infection is to learn how computers catch viruses and avoid that. Your computer can catch a virus in several ways:

  • Downloading data from unsafe sites can infect your computer with malware. Most websites that support movie, audio, game, and software piracy are rife with viruses.
  • Spam emails also carry malware, and opening any attachments from them may infect your computer.
  • Ads and pop-up notifications can also download malware into your computer when you click on them.
  • Attaching an infected peripheral device (like USB drives or external hard drives) can also infect your system with viruses.
  • Connecting to unsafe networks can expose your computer to viruses already present within the network.

Also read: Find and Open Files Using Command Prompt in Windows

How to Tell If Your Computer Is Infected with Viruses

If you fall sick, you’ll experience symptoms that help doctors determine your illness. Computers are similar to us in that aspect. Once infected, your computer will behave in an unusual way to alert you of a possible compromise in its operating system.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Here are some examples:

  • Computer performance slows down, and your device takes too long to start up and run programs.
  • Some malware will cause your PC to overheat or your fans to run with a jet-like noise.
  • You may lose access to some or all of your files, or the malware may delete them altogether.
  • Although you didn’t download them, unusual applications may appear on your Desktop and Start menu.
  • Your browser may slow down.
  • You’ll begin to receive repeated warning notifications from your antivirus software
  • Unexpected system shutdowns and restarts.
  • Overworked CPU, RAM, and hard drive.
  • Some malware may hijack administrator privileges and deny you access to some or all your PC functionality.

Also read: How to Enable Ransomware Protection in Windows

How to Scan Your PC for Malware Using Command Prompt

Before removing any virus from your computer using the command prompt, first, scan your system. Most viruses will hide within your system files or drives, mostly changing their properties to stay invisible or undetected.

To scan for malware using command prompt:

  1. Open the command prompt with administrator rights. You can do so using your search bar or the Run function.

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader’s Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

If a Windows system is badly infected with malware, running an antivirus from inside Windows often won’t help. You can more easily find and purge malware by scanning from outside Windows.

Malware can hide itself on an infected system, avoiding detection. Other malware may attempt to battle the antivirus software, preventing it from properly installing or scanning. This is why it’s important to catch malware before it infects you.

Boot Into Safe Mode

Safe Mode isn’t completely outside of Windows, so it may not help you if a malware has deeply infected your system files. In Safe Mode, Windows won’t load third-party startup programs or hardware drivers. If malware is running when you boot into Windows normally, it shouldn’t automatically run when you boot into Safe Mode.

From this minimal environment, you can install an antivirus program, scan for malware, and remove it. If you already have an antivirus program installed and it’s failing to remove malware — or the malware is returning after it’s removed — you may have to boot into Safe Mode to remove the malware properly.

To enter Safe Mode on Windows 7 or earlier, restart your computer and repeatedly tap F8 at the start of the boot-up process. Select Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking in the menu that appears. Normal Safe Mode offers no Internet access so you’ll have to install an antivirus from a USB drive or other removable media, while Safe Mode with Networking offers Internet access so you can download and update an antivirus from within Safe Mode. Log into your computer, download and install the antivirus software, and run it.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

On Windows 8 or later, press Windows Key + I to open the Settings charm pane. Press and hold the Shift key as you click the Restart option under the power button. Your computer will restart into a special boot options menu. Click Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart. On the Startup Settings screen, press F4 or 4 to enter Safe Mode or press F5 or 5 to enter Safe Mode with Networking.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Restart your computer when you’re done to leave Safe Mode.

Use an Antivirus Boot Disc

Antivirus companies often create boot discs you can use to scan and repair your computer. These tools can be burned to a CD or DVD or installed onto a USB drive. You can then restart your computer and boot from the removable media. A special antivirus environment will load where your computer can be scanned and repaired.

This is all happening outside of Windows — some of these discs are even based on Linux — so the malware won’t be running while this happens. This allows the antivirus to detect rootkits and other normally hidden types of malware, as well as remove malware that would normally try to defend itself.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Scan With a Linux Live CD

You can also scan your Windows PC from a Linux live CD or USB drive. For example, if you have a Ubuntu Linux installer disc or USB drive lying around, you can restart your computer with the bootable media inserted and boot into Ubuntu. Click the Try Ubuntu link and you’ll get a full Linux desktop environment you can use.

From here, you can install antivirus software like the open-source ClamAV and its graphical interface ClamTk, or install the Linux version of a commercial antivirus like AVG for Linux or BitDefender for Unices. You can then scan your Windows drive for malware and clean it up from inside Linux. This option is a bit less convenient and will require some knowledge of Linux or Googling if you’re not familiar with using Linux as a troubleshooting toolkit, so most people will prefer a dedicated antivirus boot disc instead.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Remove the Hard Drive and Connect it to Another PC

If you’re dealing with a desktop PC or another computer that allows you to easily remove the hard drive, you don’t have to leave it inside your computer. Open the computer, remove the drive, and connect it to another PC. You’ll then have access to all the files on the hard drive — assuming it wasn’t encrypted, of course.

Whatever the operating system on your other computer — Windows, Linux, or even Mac OS X — you can install antivirus software and use it to scan the secondary drive for malware. This malware can be found and removed from the other operating system, so the malware won’t be running and can’t fight back as you remove it.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

All these methods allow you to gain the upper hand over malware running on your PC. Rather than fighting the malware on its own terms, this method allows you to freeze everything happening on your main operating system and carefully clean it up from the outside.

Of course, if your computer does become infected with malware, there’s no way to be completely sure the all malware is gone. For this reason, it’s often a good idea to reinstall Windows — or use the Refresh or Reset features on Windows 8 — after a computer becomes badly infected. You’ll get a clean system with no malware so you’ll know for sure your computer is safe. You also won’t have to waste any time attempting to find and remove malware. If you have backups of your important files, this process often won’t take too long.

Norton 360. Комплексная защита устройств, в которую входят антивирусные программы, Password Manager, резервное копирование в облаке для ПК ‡‡, 4 и многое другое. Все в одном решении.

Бренд Norton является составляющей NortonLifeLock Inc.

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How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programsSince consumers and businesses first started connecting their computers to the internet decades ago, antivirus software has been one of the most important segments of the tech industry. It’s become so ubiquitous in fact, that many people assume all antivirus software offers a similar level of protection and features, and they don’t actually pay much attention to the product they’re using.

The type of antivirus software you choose can have significant effects on your ability to successfully stave off malware and protect yourself from threats. There are several crucial features that you should look for in any antivirus solution before implementing it across your system.

Real-time Scanning

While all antivirus software is specifically designed to detect the presence of malware, not all of them detect in the same way. Ineffective products force you to run a manual scan to determine if any systems have been affected, while the best forms of software have dynamic scanning features that are repeatedly checking your computer for the presence of malicious entities. Without this feature, it’s much easier for something to infiltrate your computer and begin causing damage before you even realize it.

Automatic Updates

Updates are vital for all forms of software, but this is especially true when it comes to antivirus. Because new types of malware are constantly being developed, antivirus software needs frequent updates in order to track and contain new threats that didn’t even exist when it was first installed. If you have to install updates manually, you might miss important new protections and expose your system to infection, so always make sure your antivirus software is capable of installing updates automatically and frequently.

Protection for Multiple Apps

Threats exist across the entire spectrum of apps and services that you rely on for your everyday tasks. From email clients to instant messenger platforms and certainly internet browsers, harmful software can sneak into your system from a variety of different sources. Antivirus programs need to protect multiple vulnerable apps from potential dangers, otherwise you’re leaving your hardware dangerously exposed.

Auto-Clean

If the antivirus software immediately detects malicious software, why wouldn’t it delete the code on the spot? Unfortunately, some solutions simply place the malware in a quarantine zone upon detection, waiting for the user to log on and manually delete it. Since there’s no reason to leave potentially harmful software on your system, you should choose a program that utilizes an auto-clean feature to rid itself of viruses.

Fights Against All Types of Malware

Between trojans, bots, spyware, viruses, etc., there are many different types of malware that can harm your computer, and antivirus programs are sometimes designed only to target a specific type of software. It’s better to go with a program that can comprehensively detect all or almost all of the various forms that malware takes.

At Great Lakes Computer, we highly recommend Kaseya Antivirus Software. Kaseya includes these features and more, and it will help ensure that your hardware and network run clean for years to come.

It’s like getting a second opinion

Most computers, PC or Mac, come with some sort of antivirus software already installed. Maybe it’s Windows Defender or something else. But no antivirus can catch everything.

If you suspect there’s something strange happening with your computer, try one of these free online virus scan and removal sites.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

What Is An Online Virus Scan & Removal Site?

An online virus scan sounds like a website that will scan your computer. That used to be possible. Now, most web browsers run in their sandbox to prevent websites from accessing other parts of your computer.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

An online virus scanner and remover is a downloadable, small program that doesn’t install like a regular program. It’s an executable file that runs like a portable app. The app may communicate with the app maker’s site to get virus definitions or send the results to their servers for analysis. Once the scan is done, you can easily remove the program.

Why Use An Online Virus Scanner?

Think of it as getting a second opinion from a different doctor. Doctors are brilliant, but they make mistakes. Same thing with virus scanners. Plus they’re free. If you’re not paying for it, why not use it?

ESET’s Free Online Scanner

ESET’s free online scanner is a downloadable executable. The scanner does call back to ESET’s servers to get fresh virus definitions every time it’s run.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

  • Three levels of scanning: Full, Quick and Custom
  • Can be set to alert, quarantine or not quarantine suspected viruses
  • Can be set to do monthly virus scans if the executable is not deleted.

F-Secure Free Online Scanner

F-Secure is another well-established name in antivirus. Their free online scanner is as simple as 1-2-3. Click on the Run Now button on their site, run the executable that gets downloaded, and the app will scan for, and remove, any viruses it finds. That’s it.

At the end of the process, there’s a link to download their free installable antivirus app, but you don’t have to do that. Delete the executable if you want it off of your computer.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

  • Simple virus scan and removal
  • Quick scan

Panda Cloud Cleaner

Don’t let the cute name fool you. Panda is a serious online virus scan tool. The name may not be as well known outside of IT professional circles, but Panda Security has been around since 1998.

Cloud Cleaner sends the results of the scan back to Panda’s servers where it gets analyzed. That may be enough to turn you off of it, depending on your level of comfort with that sort of thing.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

  • Advanced tools: Kill all processes, Unlock files, Send files to Panda
  • Advanced option: Trusted boot scan to let it scan for boot sector viruses
  • Performs unknown file and system cleaning recommendations as part of the scan

Norton Power Eraser

You know Norton. They provide Norton Power Eraser, an aggressive virus scanner that you can download and remove easily when it’s done. It is aggressive and is likely to give some false positives. So make sure you go through their tutorial to ensure you don’t get rid of files or programs you need.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

  • Updates every time it runs
  • Unwanted application scan
  • Reputation scan for files and folders
  • Full system scan
  • Multi-boot scan for systems with multiple Windows operating systems
  • Scan logging
  • Rootkit scan

Online File and Vulnerability Scanners

There are other sites online that can do a variety of virus and vulnerability scans on files, websites, your computer, and home network. These sites can’t remove viruses or fix your vulnerabilities but they can make recommendations. Always go the extra step and research the problems for yourself.

VirusTotal File Scanner

You’ve downloaded a cool new app but you want to make sure it’s clean before you run it. You can check it with whatever antivirus you have installed, but a second opinion doesn’t hurt. Use VirusTotal.

Simply choose the file to be scanned and VirusTotal checks it with over 70 antivirus scanners and blacklisting services. Then they’ll give you the results. What you do next is up to you.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

GRC Shields Up Port Scanner

This is an oldie but a goodie. Shields Up will scan the first 1056 TCP ports on your computer and tell you whether they are open (bad), closed (good), or in stealth mode (could be better). Ports are ways into and out of your computer. If you’re not using a port, it should be closed.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Sucuri Website Scanner

Sucuri’s website malware and vulnerability scanner is great for website owners. Check your site for viruses, blacklisting, malware, and other vulnerabilities in seconds. Sucuri will only give recommendations on how to fix the problems it finds.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

TrendMicro HouseCall for Home Networks

TrendMicro’s HouseCall for Home Networks will scan your home network to alert you to any security vulnerabilities. It’ll let you know if there’s security issues with your WiFi router, any smart devices, phones, or computers anywhere on your home network. HouseCall for Home Networks is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Which Free Online Virus Scan and Removal Is Best?

It depends on your needs. If you need something that’s small and runs fast, F-Secure Free Online Scanner may be the best online virus scan tool for you. If you need something that’s more like a Swiss Army knife and does a lot of things, EmsiSoft Emergency Kit is a good choice.

If you’re concerned about things on your network beyond your device, TrendMicro HouseCall will do the trick. The point is these options are all good and one of them will suit your needs.

Guy has been published online and in print newspapers, nominated for writing awards, and cited in scholarly papers due to his ability to speak tech to anyone, but still prefers analog watches. Read Guy’s Full Bio

We tested the best antivirus programmes of 2022 – both free and paid for – to keep your laptops, tablets and smartphones safe from hackers

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

In the past decade or so, antivirus programmes have evolved rapidly, reflecting the fact that today’s households are no longer places where people wait to take turns on ‘the computer’.

There are often dozens of different digital devices in the home, used by everybody from children to grandparents – hence today’s antivirus packages tend to be built to protect multiple devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, and do more than simply find and neutralise nasty software.

You can still download ‘simple’ (and mostly free) antivirus packages for PC and smartphones which offer basic protection, but today’s flagship products offer protection across smartphones and laptops, and offer extra functions such as protecting you from identity theft.

As a tech writer and PC user, I’m aware that the single most important function of antivirus software is getting rid of PC malware (there are far more viruses and malware targeting PC than there are for other platforms). But protecting yourself against dodgy websites, phishing attacks and snoopers makes sense, especially if you have less experienced computer users in your household.

The downside of this is that you have to pay a subscription of around £20-£30 a year for software which protects multiple devices. These sometimes includes extras, such as a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, which prevents snoopers spying on your activity online. (Read my guide to the best VPNs for more detail.)

On the other end of the scale is completely free antivirus software, with vendors such as AVG offering free packages which scan your laptop or desktop for malicious software, and Microsoft Defender built into the operating system of every PC from Windows 8 onwards. If you’re worried that your machine is slowing down and suspect that there might be something nasty lurking somewhere, these are a great first stop.

In this review, I’ve tried to reflect the modern antivirus market, with three free PC packages, and three all-in-one software suites offering lots of functions for five devices or more. I’ve aimed to tailor these reviews to families which might include some inexperienced computer users, and rated antivirus software for simplicity as well as value and performance.

Which antivirus is best for me?

When looking for the best antivirus for PC or other platforms, you should check out statistics from independent virus-testing labs on how well it detects malware such as ransomware, spyware and Trojans, says British computer security expert Graham Cluley.

Cluley says, ‘First of all you want to know if it actually does a decent job on detecting malware. The best way to do that is to check out the reviews by the independent testing bodies. AV-Test.org and AV-Comparatives have a long history of conducting such tests.’

In the reviews below, we’ve highlighted comparable testing lab results from AV-Comparatives when comparing the best antivirus for Mac and other tech platforms such as laptops and smartphones.

Whether you’re looking for the best antivirus for Android or other platforms, virus-scanning is just the start, Cluley says – and customer service is highly important.

Cluley says, ‘This has become increasingly important. Because if you find yourself in a pickle you’ll want to have someone you can contact for help – and for them to respond in a timely, helpful fashion. Getting rid of malware on your computer is a different problem from knowing how to change the wallpaper on your desktop.’

Finally, Cluley says, you want to pick software which works quietly and efficiently in the background, and doesn’t disturb your computing life.

Cluley says, ‘How many system resources does it use? Is it compatible and does it work well on your set up? Fortunately many of the security vendors out there offer free trials that you can check out to see how well they work on your computer. A good antivirus should be invisible most of the time – and not be in your face. You should only know it’s there when it stops something bad happening. But when it does pop up you want to find it easy to use and (hopefully) clean-up any infection.’

How I tested the best antivirus software

I downloaded and tested every function of several packages (some free, some paid-for) on multiple platforms including PC, Android and iOS. I’ve used information from independent malware testing lab AV-Comparatives to assess the ‘real world’ performance of different software against threats (labs like AV-Comparatives run long-term tests where machines are exposed to real-world viruses, Trojans and ransomware) and in terms of the software’s impact on speed. I have ranked the software based on how easy it is to use, how valuable the ‘extras’ on offer are, and how intrusive (or not) the software is. Good antivirus software should be almost invisible in operation, only popping up when there’s a problem.

At a glance: the best antivirus programmes for 2022

  • Best antivirus overall — McAfee Total Protection
  • Best antivirus for features — BitDefender Total Security
  • Best antivirus for families — Norton 360 Deluxe
  • Best free antivirus — AVG Free
  • Best antivirus for simplicity — Microsoft Defender
  • Best antivirus for speed — Malwarebytes Free

Read on for the full reviews

Best antivirus software

1. Mcafee Total Protection

We liked: McAfee’s full-featured security suite was easy to set up and use, with great virus protection

A century old adage: The more the merrier.

In general, does this adage hold true in regards to the number of anti-virus software you should have on your PC?

Are there any limits before it actually has the opposite effect?

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

8 Answers 8

Most anti-virus vendors advise not to use their products together with those from others. That’s not (just) because they fear competition. Live virus-scanners scan files on access. When they notice that a process accesses a file, they try to access it before the process to scan it. They even try to do that when that process is another virus-scanner.

When you have two live-scanners on a system, both will try to be the first to open a file. When virus scanner A detects that scanner B opens a file, A will try to access it first to protect B from any viruses in it. B will register this attempt to read the file, and in turn will try to scan it before A does. The result is that both virus scanners are caught in an infinite loop.

This problem, however, only applies to live-scanners. When you use on-demand scanners which don’t monitor file access and only scan a filesystem when they are prompted to do so, you can use multiple of them one after another.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

I would advise against it.

In order to perform its job, an antivirus software has to root itself very deeply inside the system, hooking everything, installing drivers and you-name-it. In order to do so, it ends up using techniques similar to malware authors, which will be flagged as highly suspicious by other products. Even if it’s not the case, it is likely that the two programs will hinder each other and prevent at least one of them from functioning properly.

And as far as signatures go, I’m not sure that a second engine will make much of a difference.

If you’re really serious about protecting your computer, don’t expect magic bullets to do the job for you. You’ll probably be better off changing your browsing habits (how about trading those Flash/Java plugins for NoScript?).

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

In theory, two antiviruses are better than one, in that there may be viruses in the database of one that aren’t in the database of the other, or one may use scanning techniques that the other doesn’t. In practice, however, because of the way they work, antivirus programs tend to detect each other as viruses.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

To be honest this question is a bit like asking ‘Do two condoms give me better protection than one?’.

Ostensibly yes, but the practicality of there being two of each make it difficult to operate normally and there are issues which this sort of protection is not able to safeguard you from (e.g. social engineering, lack of encryption, shifty/outdated plugins etc.).

As pointed out, it’s more important to review browsing habits and use common safety precautions.

Personally, I’ve turned off all plugins and simply enable them if I feel comfortable with the site I’m visiting.

I also have a virtual machine installed for when I want to test something I’m not certain is perfectly safe to run/do.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

When talking about securing a network or a big organization that really needs security I usually advice on that. Using two firewalls from different vendors or two AV from different vendors is a good practice since a vendor may have some bugs/vulnerabilities that the other vendor doesn’t have, so when you detect a threat for one appliance you can disable it temporary meanwhile fixing it and you can go with the other one.

But, for a personal PC I can’t see any advantages, the threats a normal user faces (malware, phising, viruses. ) are usually spotted by most AVs.

In this case I would say one is enough.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Short answer: No.

Instead of more anti-virus software you should use more common sense 🙂

Besides that, the use of more than one anti-virus software is causing conflicts between the programs, in most cases. Also I doubt that anti-virus programs offer any benefit at all. In my experience I haven’t seen one case where they have saved a windows machine from getting infected.

No, two anti-viruses aren’t better, But it depends on what you mean by BETTER. more than one scanner will slow your system down, by the simple way that real-time scanners work.

First, the scanners are sitting in memory waiting for you to access a file, from downloading or double-clicking an icon, to simply opening the file viewer to look at folders on your computer, this triggers the real-time scanner of your anti-virus to start working.

When each real-time scanner detects that a file is to be accessed, (downloaded, listed or actually opened or read) the scanner that sees it first, LOCKS the file, and scans it, while the other scanner madly tries to hit it AT THE SAME TIME (slowing down your system). Once the first scanner has finished, the second leaps in to lock and scan it, and THEN, if neither detected problems, you get to see it/open it.

Possibly more secure. Slower, for sure. Now, what I recommend is a good Virus scanner, like AVG, and a spyware detector/preventer like Spybot. Good dual coverage, gained by looking at the problem from different perspectives, one from a file POV, and the other from a startup POV.

In the 9-plus years it’s been around, Google Chrome has become one of the best — and most popular — web browsers in the world. One reason for its rapid rise has been Google’s focus on security.

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome, speaks at Google I/O (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty . [+] Images)

Protecting Chrome users from malware remains a top priority today. What you may not have realized is that Chrome’s ability to protect you from ransomware, hijackers and other nastiness extends beyond the browser itself.

Believe it or not, Chrome can actually scan your entire computer for malware. just like a standalone antivirus program does. Here’s how you do it.

Open Chrome (or open a new tab if Chrome is already running) and type the following in to the address bar at the top: chrome://settings/cleanup. You can also click that link if you’re a Chrome user — it treats the special chrome:// address like any you’d normally type in, like http://www.forbes.com.

Here’s what you should see when you do that:

Chrome Cleanup, the browser’s integrated malware scanner.

Click the bottom button and Chrome will start scanning your computer. The behind-the-scenes malware detection is actually handled by ESET, a highly-regarded IT security company based in Slovakia.

It’s worth knowing that the scanner doesn’t just look for things like ransomware and other Trojans or viruses. Google’s policy is to look for all kinds of “unwanted software,” which can include apps that you might not realize you installed, apps that upload your data to remote servers without your knowledge or even apps that aren’t honest about what they’re doing.

Google lists its criteria on this web page if you’d like more information.

Chrome Cleanup is a handy additional layer of defense against malware. If you use Chrome to browse the web, it’s worth running a scan every now and then just to get a second opinion about the state of your computer’s security.

Just remember that Chrome Cleanup is an on-demand only scanner. It does not offer real-time protection like a traditional anti-malware app does.

Lee started writing about software, hardware, and geek culture around the time that the Red Wings last won the Stanley Cup. The two aren’t related in any way, however. When he’s not catching up on tech news or blogging about it, you can find him watching or playing baseball and doing his part to ensure the next generation of geeks is raised properly.

Thank you for the response.

I did indeed check my browser settings for extensions and add ons of the same name, found nothing. I also went through the uninstall process and it simply would NOT uninstall. I tried booting in safe mode and uninstalling it that way, no luck. I even checked the registry for several files that multiple sources claimed this virus installs and found nothing. I did a deep scan on the pc multiple times and AVG detected nothing. In the end I manually deleted ALL files in multiple areas on the C: drive. I also found a virus supposedly known as Chromium on the same pc and removed those files as well. I removed them from three different areas on the PC and after doing as thorough a search as I could and not finding anymore I restarted the pc and everything seems fine now.

As for the ads and pop ups I am positive that was not the source of the virus’. We know better than to click on those. I think they may have been attached to mods for her game. We are no longer using that website. And I did indeed have that option checked when the deep system scan was initiated and AVG didn’t detect either program. Not with multiple scans being ran over the course of 3 days. I was hoping I could somehow select the files through AVG to quarantine then remove the program since traditional uninstallation methods weren’t working. I did find the AVG shredder option, but only on specific files under file explorer. Nothing to target an entire program for removal. At least not without AVG detecting it first.

All well. Everything is fine now, but you guys may want to add those two programs to your lists as threats. Thank you!

Ambriel, I’m glad that you were able to uninstall Segurzo AntiVirus from your computer. AVG did not detect Segurazo as threat because this program was installed along with an update which was allowed by the user.

We always recommend customers to check the installation package when you downloaded from an unknown source because it included add-ons such as Chromium and Segurazo.

If will take your suggestions and make sure to improve our program.

The fact about having two or more security solutions installed on a single computer

Each security software is designed to work independently on a computer and multiple security solutions on a single computer are generally not optimized to work together resulting in the following performance issues.

Performance degradation of the computer

This is a result of two or more processes with similar functions competing with each other to gain system resources to perform the same function.

We found that installing multiple security software can reduce startup and shutdown processes as high as 300%.

Lowered efficiency in trapping threats

Since Antivirus components work real time to protect your computer from threats, multiple real time scanners try to eliminate a single threat eventually blocking each other’s function.

Running multiple antivirus components simultaneously can cause scans to take as much as 10 times longer than usual, and running two antispyware products can cause up to a 40% increase in scan time.

Our recommendation

All Norton products are engineered to optimize performance, taking into consideration all the different facets of a security solution. By choosing a high-performance suite like Norton Internet Security, Norton 360, Norton Security, or Norton Security with Backup, you get better protection for your computers.

Norton solutions incorporate different security components (firewall, antivirus, antispyware, application and browser defense, intrusion prevention, antiphishing, rootkit protection, etc..) to share information and work together to provide a more robust security solution.

Norton is also optimized to work more efficiently without reducing the performance of the computer.

The Windows Defender feature is automatically disabled once you install Norton on your computer.

Beware of fake removal sites that will make the problem worse

Viruses, spyware, malware, etc., all have one thing in common: they all suck. They slow down your computer, corrupt your files, illegally steal your info, and more.

You have probably seen those ads online advertising a service that will scan your computer for free and magically clean your computer as well as make it 20 times faster. Well, those websites will scan your computer, which is true, however, the majority of them will charge a large fee to get rid of all of the errors found in the scan. In addition, a lot of them are fake and will actually install more malware and spyware onto your computer.

Basically, though, the services use a simple antivirus scanner/remover. There is far better software out there that is available to you for free. By following the tips in this article, you should be able to remove most types of virus, spyware, or malware from your computer.

Obviously, not all malware is created equal and some items are far harder to remove than others. In those types of instances, you best option is to perform a clean install, which is the only sure-fire way to ensure that all remnants of the infection are gone.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Method 1 – Scanning

There are thousands of different programs out there in the spyware/virus removal category, many of which are free. The thing to remember is that different virus removal programs will bring different results and none of them are 100% completely accurate.

For example, you can scan your computer with one virus removal program, remove the viruses and then turn around a scan your computer with a different program, which will catch even more viruses that the first program didn’t pick up.

So the best thing to do when you have a nasty infection with multiple viruses, malware or spyware on your system is to run multiple programs. However, a lot of these newer viruses are smart and prevent you from running anti-virus or anti-malware tools inside Windows.

In order to get around this, you have to either scan the system before the operating system boots up or you have to get Windows into Safe Mode and start the scanning process there. To get started, read my post on how to reboot Windows 7/8/10 into Safe Mode.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Once you are in Safe Mode, you need to run several scanning programs one after the other until no more instances of infection are found. So which programs should you choose to run? Luckily, I’ve already written an article on the best free anti-spyware, anti-malware and anti-virus programs currently out there.

In my opinion, you should run SUPERAnti-Spyware first, then MalwareBytes Anti-Malware followed by Spybot and Ad-Adware. Of course, you’ll need an Internet connection for this, so make sure that you enable Safe Mode with Networking.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

If you have a really smart virus, it will even disable your Internet connection by changing settings in Windows. In that case, read my post on troubleshooting Internet connections and it should fix your problem.

With thorough scanning, most cases of infection can be cleaned completely. It’s a tedious process and requires a bit of technical work, but it usually gets the job done.

Method 2 – Rescue Disks

In addition to the Safe Mode method, you should also scan your computer before Windows even has a chance to boot up. You can do this by using an offline virus scanner or pre-boot scanner.

The way this works is that you will have to use another computer to download an ISO image file from an anti-virus company like Microsoft or Kaspersky and then burn it onto a disc. You will then boot to this disc instead of your normal Windows install and run the anti-virus software from there.

Since Windows is not running, the infection can’t interfere and you have a much better chance of being able to remove it. This method is really the only way to get rid of a really nasty virus or malware infection via scanning.

There are a couple of rescue disks that I recommend using. The first one is from Microsoft and is called Windows Defender Offline. Check out my previous article on using Windows Defender Offline to scan your computer.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Again, just like with the scanning software, you should try multiple rescue disks to ensure that the virus or malware has been removed. The other ones I suggest using are:

Note that some of these allow you to download an EXE file and install the files onto a USB stick, which you can then boot up from instead of a CD/DVD. As mentioned, this is a bit more technical, but all the sites have guides on how to create the disks and then use them.

Method 3 – Clean Install

A clean install is not the most fun thing to do, however, it is the one guaranteed way to get rid of viruses, spyware, and malware. It’s pretty straight-forward: when you do a clean install, you delete everything on your hard drive. Therefore, no more viruses.

Some of the time, viruses will not infect items like pictures, text documents, videos, or MP3 files. A good thing to do is to scan all your personal data and if there are no viruses found, copy that to an external drive. In this way, you can perform a clean install and not lose anything important. Obviously, you’ll have to reinstall all your programs, etc., but sometimes you have no other choice.

Performing a clean install is not at all as hard as it may seem, it’s just time consuming because you have to wait for Windows to install. Also, with Windows 8 and Windows 10, the process is even easier because you don’t even need to have your installation CD/DVD anymore.

Check out my previous post on how to restore Windows to factory settings (reinstall Windows). That article covers Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

If you have trouble using the built-in reset feature in Windows and you don’t have your original Windows disc with you, check out my post on how to legally download Windows and install it on a flash drive.

As long as you have your original product key or in the case of Windows 10, as long as it’s the same computer you had Windows 10 installed on before, you can just boot up from the USB stick and reinstall Windows.

Finally, once your computer is clean and running well again, check out my post on how to protect yourself from viruses and malware in the future. The safest way to keep your computer free of viruses, however, is to create a virtual machine and do everything shady inside of that. If you have any questions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

Antivirus software is a class of program designed to prevent, detect and remove malware infections on individual computing devices, networks and IT systems.

Antivirus software, originally designed to detect and remove viruses from computers, can also protect against a wide variety of threats, including other types of malicious software, such as keyloggers, browser hijackers, Trojan horses, worms, rootkits, spyware, adware, botnets and ransomware.

Antivirus software typically runs as a background process, scanning computers, servers or mobile devices to detect and restrict the spread of malware. Many antivirus software programs include real-time threat detection and protection to guard against potential vulnerabilities as they happen, as well as system scans that monitor device and system files looking for possible risks.

Antivirus software usually performs these basic functions:

  • Scanning directories or specific files for known malicious patterns indicating the presence of malicious software;
  • Allowing users to schedule scans so they run automatically;
  • Allowing users to initiate new scans at any time; and
  • Removing any malicious software it detects. Some antivirus software programs do this automatically in the background, while others notify users of infections and ask them if they want to clean the files.

In order to scan systems comprehensively, antivirus software must generally be given privileged access to the entire system. This makes antivirus software itself a common target for attackers, and researchers have discovered remote code execution and other serious vulnerabilities in antivirus software products in recent years.

Antivirus software is distributed in a number of forms, including stand-alone antivirus scanners and internet security suites that offer antivirus protection, along with firewalls, privacy controls and other security protections.

Some antivirus software vendors offer basic versions of their products at no charge. These free versions generally offer basic antivirus and spyware protection, but more advanced features and protections are usually available only to paying customers.

While some operating systems are targeted more frequently by virus developers, antivirus software is available for most OSes:

  • Windows antivirus software. Most antivirus software vendors offer several levels of Windows products at different price points, starting with free versions offering only basic protection. Users must start scans and updates manually and typically free versions of antivirus software won’t protect against links to malicious websites or malicious attachments in emails. Premium versions of antivirus software often include suites of endpoint security tools that may provide secure online storage, ad blockers and file encryption. Since 2004, Microsoft has been offering some kind of free antivirus software as part of the Windows operating system itself, generally under the name Windows Defender, though the software was mostly limited to detecting spyware prior to 2006.
  • macOS antivirus software. Although macOS viruses exist, they’re less common than Windows viruses, so antivirus products for macOS are less standardized than those for Windows. There are a number of free and paid products available, providing on-demand tools to protect against potential malware threats through full-system malware scans and the ability to sift through specific email threads, attachments and various web activities.
  • Android antivirus software. Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system and is installed on more mobile devices than any other OS. Because most mobile malware targets Android, experts recommend all Android device users install antivirus software on their devices. Vendors offer a variety of basic free and paid premium versions of their Android antivirus software including anti-theft and remote-locating features. Some run automatic scans and actively try to stop malicious web pages and files from being opened or downloaded.

Antivirus software uses a variety of virus detection techniques.

Originally, antivirus software depended on signature-based detection to flag malicious software. Antivirus programs depend on stored virus signatures — unique strings of data that are characteristic of known malware. The antivirus software uses these signatures to identify when it encounters viruses that have already been identified and analyzed by security experts.

Signature-based malware cannot detect new malware, including variants of existing malware. Signature-based detection can only detect new viruses when the definition file is updated with information about the new virus. With the number of new malware signatures increasing at around 10 million per year as long ago as 2011, modern signature databases may contain hundreds of millions, or even billions, of entries, making antivirus software based solely on signatures impractical. However, signature-based detection does not usually produce false positive matches.

Heuristic-based detection uses an algorithm to compare the signatures of known viruses against potential threats. With heuristic-based detection, antivirus software can detect viruses that haven’t been discovered yet, as well as already existing viruses that have been disguised or modified and released as new viruses. However, this method can also generate false-positive matches when antivirus software detects a program behaving similarly to a malicious program and incorrectly identifies it as a virus.

Antivirus software may also use behavior-based detection to analyze an object’s behavior or potential behavior for suspicious activities and infers malicious intent based on those observations. For example, code that attempts to perform unauthorized or abnormal actions would indicate the object is malicious, or at least suspicious. Some examples of behaviors that potentially signal danger include modifying or deleting large numbers of files, monitoring keystrokes, changing settings of other programs and remotely connecting to computers.

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Why it’s important to use a virus scanner

A potent virus can steal sensitive information like your credentials or passwords, encrypt and lock you out of your data, make individual transactions within apps, monitor your computer, and even attack other devices on connected networks. A virus has the potential to access nearly everything that is locked away on your hardware.

Once a virus has propagated onto your laptop or desktop, it can infect all your programs and applications without prejudice. Its destructive code can and likely will spread everywhere. That is why it is crucial to utilize a virus scanner.

A free online virus scanner you can trust

Internxt has and will always put users’ privacy and security first. We are committed to creating a more fair, more free, and more transparent internet for all. That’s why we created our free online virus scanner, to shine a light on stealthy viruses and expose malicious malware. Scan files for viruses in complete confidence.

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Scanning software can be confusing and time-consuming to set up and operate.

Fortunately, Windows 10 has an app called Windows Scan that simplifies the process for everyone, saving you time and frustration.

How to find the Windows Scan app

Before you start scanning documents, you’ll need to make sure that you have Windows Scan installed on your computer.

1. To check if you have Windows Scan installed, click on the Start menu, and then click “All apps” (represented by an icon that looks like a bulleted list).

2. Scroll through the list until you find the Scan app, and click on it.

How to download the Windows Scan app

If you can’t find the Scan app on your computer, you will need to download it from the Microsoft Store.

1. From the Start menu, click on “Microsoft Store.”

2. From there, click on the bar that says “Search” and type in “Scan.”

3. “Windows Scan” should be the first result that pops up in the dropdown menu — click on it.

4. On the next page, click on the button labeled “Get” and Windows Scan will begin downloading automatically.

5. Once it has downloaded completely, click “Launch” to open the app.

How to scan a document in Windows 10 using the Windows Scan app

Once you have confirmed that Windows Scan is installed and open on your computer, you can begin scanning documents.

1. Check to make sure that your scanner is connected.

  • If it is plugged in, turned on, and has been set up correctly, the scanner’s name should appear on the left side of the Scan app’s screen, as the first item in the list.
  • If there is an error message or nothing appears in that first item box, you will need to connect your scanner to your computer using either a USB connection cable or Wi-Fi connection, and double check that it is plugged in and turned on.

2. Once your scanner has been connected properly, select the file type you want from the Scan app’s menu.

3. If you click “Show More” in the Scan app’s menu, you can adjust additional settings for your scan, including color, resolution, and the folder in which you want to save your scan. If you skip this step, your scan will use the default settings.

4. Position the document you want to scan inside your scanner. This can be done either face-down on the scanner glass or face-up in the scanner document feeder, depending on the type of scanner you have.

5. When you’re ready to begin scanning, click the “Scan” button on the Windows Scan app.

6. When your scan has finished, you can view it by clicking “View” on the Scan app. The scan will be saved in your computer’s “Pictures” folder unless you selected another location in the Scan app’s settings.

Please note that some older scanners are not compatible with Windows Scan, and thus cannot be used in conjunction with the Scan app.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

It should be noted that the instructions in this page are for temporarily disabling an antivirus program, not uninstalling an antivirus. Additionally, the answer to this question varies from one antivirus program to another, so you may have to use some intuition. However, nearly all antivirus protection programs can be temporarily disabled by following the steps below.

Disable in Windows

  1. Locate the antivirus protection program icon in the Windows notification area. Below are examples of how the antivirus program icon may look.

McAfee, Norton, AVG, Kaspersky, and Webroot examples.

  1. Once the antivirus icon is located, right-click the icon and select Disable, Stop, Shut down, or something similar. In some cases, you may need to open the program and disable it using the program’s menus.

How to disable Microsoft Security Essentials

In the previous section, we mentioned how to disable many third-party antivirus programs and that some of them require more than a few clicks in the Windows notification area. Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the special cases we get asked about frequently.

  1. Click the Microsoft Security Essentials icon in the Windows Notification area, and then click Open.
  2. Click the Settingstab, then click Real-time protection.
  3. Uncheck the box next to Turn on real-time protection (recommended).
  4. Save your changes.

To turn protection back on, follow these steps again and check the box next to Turn on real-time protection.

Disable by starting in Safe Mode

If the recommendations above did not help you disable your antivirus scanner, you can boot into Safe Mode, which doesn’t load any third-party programs, including your antivirus program. Booting into Safe Mode is helpful when you’re concerned about the antivirus program interrupting another program during an installation.

Malware strikes are on the rise. Here’s how to protect your PC

by Doug Shadel, AARP The Magazine, July 27, 2017

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

There are simple steps you can take to protect your computer from malware and viruses.

For several days this past spring, the news story was so big it beat out coverage of President Trump: A vicious virus had wrested control of some 200,000 computers across 150 countries in one of the worst international cyberattacks ever. It blocked all access to files unless the computer’s owner paid a ransom using bitcoins, the online currency that is largely untraceable. As often happens, victims who did pony up did not get the key to unlock their files and lost both their money and their data.

The episode should have caused some 200,000 faces to blush. Two months earlier, Microsoft had issued a routine update to the Windows operating system that included code that would have blocked the so-called WannaCry virus. If computer owners had downloaded the upgrade, they would have been spared.

Talk about learning a lesson the hard way! For the rest of us, the WannaCry episode is a terrific reminder to follow the seven tried-and-true rules of protecting a computer from outside attacks.

1. Buy legitimate software, and register it.

Only versions of Windows that were bought from a licensed retailer and registered with Microsoft could receive the software upgrade that blocked WannaCry. One reason so many computers outside the United States were hit, experts believe, is that they were running bootleg or borrowed versions of Windows.

2. Make sure your software is up to date.

Set your system to automatically download and install updates from trusted software providers.

3. Don’t click on links or open attachments from email addresses you don’t know.

One of the biggest sources of malware is fraudulent emails, called spam; seeking info from you via spam is called phishing. Delete unsolicited emails from unfamiliar people or companies no matter how friendly they appear.

4. Instantly leave websites you’ve been routed to without your consent.

And when on the site, don’t click on anything; doing so could trigger a malware download to your PC.

5. Have a pop-up blocker running on your web browser.

That keeps potentially dangerous ads from appearing on your screen. Google Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge include pop-up blockers.

6. Use a reputable antivirus program, and always keep it updated.

Almost immediately after WannaCry appeared, major antivirus vendors released updates to protect their users.

7. Regularly back up your important files to an external drive or a remote storage service.

The easiest way to recover from any malware attack is to restore a recent backup of your data.

Just like any usual day, you’re on your computer downloading some programs. All you want is a program that can help you with the small tasks you have, but then the program you ran on your computer is a Trojan horse virus. It started to change your settings and affect your computer system.

What can a Trojan Virus Do to You?

The Trojan horse virus can resemble any file or program that many users, like you, want or needs it on their computer’s hard drive or folders. It can be as cheesy as a heartbreak song or an all-time favorite gaming software. So the best way to determine a Trojan horse virus on a computer is to look for the signs. The following are the dangerous abilities of a Trojan horse virus on an infected computer:

# 1: Spying

Trojans can work as a Spyware. It’ll wait until you use your online accounts or enter your credit card details. Then, it’ll send your passwords and other information back to the cybercriminal.

# 2: Creating backdoors

Trojans also have the ability to change your codes or your security system. With that, even more malware can get through your security tools without getting noticed.

# 3: Turns your endpoint into a zombie!

Cyber criminals don’t just steal accounts or information, they also pester other people using DDoS attacks. In order to do that, they’ll implant Trojans into an endpoint and use it for their own interest. That will put you in great trouble as cyber crimes are detected through IP addresses of the endpoint.

# 4: Language Settings Changed

Your computer language suddenly changed without you changing it. It’s a one of the symptoms of a Trojan. Your screen can also show back-to-front and other strange activities can tell you that you have an infected computer system.

# 5: Send expensive SMS messages

Computers aren’t the only targets of Trojan horse viruses. It can also exploit smartphones to send expensive SMS messages to premium numbers. A cyber criminal can make money through this modus operandi.

# 6: Extremely Slow Computer

If you think that having too many files and running multiple applications all the same time can slow down the computer, it’s not the only cause. A computer Trojan can also decrease the speed of your computer because it must be using many resources.

What to do if You Get a Trojan Virus Tips

So now you’re asking yourself, “What to do if you get a Trojan virus?” Is it possible? Can you do it by yourself? Of course, there are two ways to do it. First, you can try to do it using manual methods. Secondly, you can try using a software to do the job for you.

Even if the Trojan can be hard to remove because they turn into hidden files on your computer, the following manual steps can help you manually remove the Trojan from your computer:

Step 1: Identify the Trojan

After recognizing a file infected with Trojan horse, it becomes easy to remove. Most of the time, your system will give you a DLL error, which is associated with the Trojan attack. You can copy the error and find out about the affected exe file online.

Step 2: Disable the function of System restore

If you forget this step, then it will restore the files you delete.

Step 3: Restart the Computer

When you restart, press F8 and then select safe mode to start your computer.

Step 4: Go to Add or Remove Programs

You will find this in the control panel. Then, you can remove the programs affected with Trojan horse.

Step 5: Remove extensions

To delete all files of a program, you should remove them from Windows System folder.

When you have successfully done the provided procedures, you should restart your system in normal mode already. You can now use a Trojan virus free computer and just be extra careful next time not to be infected again.

What to do if You Get a Trojan: Other ways of removing the Trojan

  • You need to display the hidden folders from the folder options.
    • Then, you got to restart the system in safe mode.
    • After that, you need to disable the processes that are associated with Trojan virus.

However, to complete these steps, you will have to edit your system’s registry.

Can’t stand doing manual Trojan removal?

Even if the manual removal can help you save your computer, technical computer settings might not be your best skill. So now, what can help you is the specific Trojan horse virus protection that can eradicate such pesky Trojan horse virus in the computer.

All you need is to use the Advanced Endpoint Protection to fight the Trojan horse virus symptoms. It is the next-generation cyber security solution that blocks bad files and automatically contains unknown files in a virtual container using Default Deny Platform™ and containerization technology. The unknown “contained” file is analyzed and an accelerated verdict is obtained through the Valkyrie cloud-based advanced malware analysis platform. It gives you the Trojan horse virus protection.

Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection gives a lightweight, scalable Default Deny Platform with a unique endpoint security approach. This results in complete protection and enterprise visibility. The app-based platform removes the difficulty in using and solving the issues. Provisioned in minutes, Advanced Endpoint Protection also contains unified IT and security management console, that through an app-enabled platform reduces the effort of managing your Android, iOS, OSX, Linux, and Windows devices, on every segment of your physical and virtual networks.

Follow the steps below to open MSRT and change the default settings.

1) Click on Start, Run
2) Type MRT and Press Enter
3) You’ll be presented with the following screen, click on the Next button

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs


5) Now the Malicious Software Removal Tool will scan your entire hard drive for infections and problems.

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

How to scan your computer with multiple antivirus programs

8) Click Finish on the Scan Results page to exit the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool

Log File Results

Whether you manually run the removal tool or it runs automatically when downloaded from Windows Updates, you may want to view the scan results log to see what it scanned for and what it found. The log file (mrt.log) will be found in the Windows\Debug folder. If you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, this file is probably located at

c:\windows\debug\mrt.log

Follow the instructions below to open it.

1) Click on Start, Run
2) Type the following and Press Enter

notepad c:\windows\debug\mrt.log

3) The log file will open in Windows Notepad. Each scan will log its results in the file. If you had an infected file, you will see something like the following in the log file.

Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool v1.33, September 2007
Started On Sat Sep 15 21:41:52 2007

Extended Scan Results
—————-
->Scan ERROR: resource file://C:\pagefile.sys (code 0x00000020 (32))
Found virus: Backdoor:Win32/Nuwar.B!ini in file://C:\Documents and Settings\Mark\spooldr.ini
Found virus: Backdoor:Win32/Nuwar.B!ini in file://C:\Documents and Settings\Mark\Desktop\Virus Info\spooldr.ini
Found virus: Trojan:Win32/Tibs.DC in file://C:\System Volume Information\_restore<3C8729AD-DC07-4E82-8FC5-363FFE9EB86D>\RP14\A0020913.exe

4) Click on the X in the upper right corner to close Notepad

For more information on the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool visit their help page or click on the following link to go to the home page for the removal tool

Links to Other Important Information

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Antivirus software is likely the best-known type of security software, installed on approximately 76 percent of computers globally. It protects businesses and consumers alike from malware, ransomware, and similar threats. Thanks to this wide usage, there are hundreds of antivirus software options available, which can make choosing one difficult. This guide covers everything you need to know about antivirus software and how to choose the right one for your business.

Jump to:

What is Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software, sometimes called anti-malware, is a type of security tool that both businesses and consumers use to protect their devices from malware. It regularly scans devices, looking for anything that seems out of place or that matches a known threat signature. Once it discovers malware, the system automatically removes it from the device. Advanced virus protection can also block malicious websites and provide firewall protection.

Free vs. Paid Antivirus Software

Most consumers use free antivirus software to protect their devices, but businesses need to pay for their antivirus protection. For one, free antivirus software typically isn’t updated as often as the paid versions, meaning that businesses, which are more at risk for attack, don’t get the level of protection they need. Additionally, many antivirus software vendors don’t license their free versions for business use.

How Does Antivirus Software Work?

Antivirus software works in the background of a device, scanning files and applications for known malware signatures and suspicious file structures. Once it identifies something that it recognizes as malware, the platform will quarantine it until it can delete it from the system.

Some antivirus software scans files as they enter your device, but others will scan programs already on your device. Both options work well, but if you’ve had a device for a while, you should look for software that scans files that you already have on your device since malware could already be present.

Best Antivirus Software

Businesses that need antivirus protection should look at the following platforms, picked for their high user reviews, solid security ratings, and included features.

Avast Business Endpoint Protection

Avast Business Endpoint Protection combines next-generation antivirus (NGAV) software with patch management to identify and remove malware while also fortifying vulnerabilities. The Business Hub gives IT real-time visibility into all of the devices on the network, showing them potential threats and giving them access to comprehensive reports. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning use behavioral clues to identify both known and unknown threats. Additionally, with basic remote control, IT can remotely access a user’s device to troubleshoot technical issues quickly.

There are three pricing tiers for small businesses that include between 11 and 100 users, but there are also solutions for smaller and larger businesses, as well as managed services providers (MSPs).

A bug in the ubiquitous Log4j library can allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on any system that uses Log4j to write logs. Does yours?

Yesterday the Apache Foundation released an emergency update for a critical zero-day vulnerability in Log4j, a ubiquitous logging tool included in almost every Java application. The issue has been named Log4Shell and received the identifier CVE-2021-44228.

The problem revolves around a bug in the Log4j library that can allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on a system that is using Log4j to write out log messages. This security vulnerability has a broad impact and is something anyone with an application containing Log4j needs to immediately pay attention to.

Why addressing Log4Shell is a major challenge

Log4j is a library that is used by many Java applications. It’s one of the most pervasive Java libraries to date. Most Java applications log data, and there’s nothing that makes this easier than Log4j.

The challenge here is finding Log4j because of the way Java packaging works. It’s possible you have Log4j hiding somewhere in your application and don’t even know it.

In the Java ecosystem, dependencies are distributed as Java archive (JAR) files, which are packages that can be used as a Java library. Commonly used tools, such as Maven and Gradle, can automatically add JAR files as you build your Java application. It’s also possible for a JAR to contain another JAR to satisfy a dependency, which means a vulnerability can be hidden several levels down in your application. In some situations, one dependency pulls in hundreds of other dependencies making it even more difficult to find.

Essentially, in the Java world, you can have a JAR nested in a JAR nested in a JAR. This creates many layers that all need to be investigated. Just looking at the JARs your project pulls in directly may not be enough, since Log4j could be hiding inside of another JAR file!

Scan for Log4j with open source tools

There are two open source tools led by Anchore that have the ability to scan a large number of packaged dependency formats, identify their existence, and report if they contain vulnerabilities. In this case being able to scan JAR files, especially nested layers of JAR files, is what we want. Syft generates a software bill of materials (SBOM) and Grype is a vulnerability scanner. Both of these tools are able to inspect multiple nested layers of JAR archives to uncover and identify versions of Log4j.

Syft is also able to discern which version of Log4j a Java application contains. The Log4j JAR can be directly included in our project, or it can be hidden away in one of the dependencies we include. For example, using Syft to scan this sample Java project shows that it includes Log4j version 2.14.1, which is vulnerable to Log4Shell.

Regardless of the version of Log4j that is included, there is value in generating and storing an SBOM to keep a record of everything that is included in any software component or application you deliver. When a new vulnerability is found, such as Log4Shell, it’s much faster to search through a repository of SBOMs than it is to find and scan all of your Java applications.

Grype is a scanner that has the ability to tell us which specific vulnerabilities our software contains. When you include a dependency in your application you can also identify the vulnerabilities that the dependency contains, and so on through multiple levels of nesting. Grype can scan the software directly, or scan the SBOM produced by Syft. This allows you to re-scan the SBOM for new vulnerabilities even after the software has been deployed or delivered to customers.

Scanning the same sample Java project with Grype finds the Log4j vulnerability and identifies it as a critical severity.

Syft and Grype have the ability to scan your applications no matter where they reside. You can scan a directory on disk, scan a container image locally, or even scan a container in a remote registry. You can scan source code before building, or the final application after it’s built. It’s important to scan your applications during every stage of development, just because a source code scan is clean doesn’t mean the final build will be. Even scanning after deployment is a good idea. Maybe you didn’t pick up a critical Log4j vulnerability last week, but you might this week!

Keep Syft and Grype handy

Any time a new zero-day vulnerability is discovered, it can be difficult and challenging for impacted organizations to remediate the problem quickly. The first and most important step is to understand if a particular vulnerability even affects you, and in the case of JAR files it can be a challenge to understand this without tooling. Anchore’s open source Grype and Syft tools dig all the way to the bottom of your dependency tree to identify if there’s a copy of Log4j hiding somewhere.

As an industry, how we react and support each other during zero-day vulnerabilities is critical. Now is the time to share solutions and awareness to help prevent breaches like this in the coming years.

Josh Bressers is VP of security at Anchore.

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Although Linux operating systems are fairly stable and secure, they may not completely be immune to threats. All computer systems can suffer from malware and viruses, including those running Linux-based operating systems. However, the number of critical threats to Linux-based operating systems is still way lower than threats for Windows or OS X.

Therefore, we need to protect our Linux systems from the various forms of threats such as viruses that can be transmitted in many ways including malicious code, email attachments, malicious URLs, rootkits to mention but a few.

In this article, we will talk about 8 best free anti-virus programs for Linux systems.

1. ClamAV

ClamAV is a free and open source, versatile anti-virus toolkit for Linux systems. It’s used for detecting trojans, viruses, malware and other malicious threats. It’s a standard for mail gateway scanning software; it supports almost all mail file formats.

The following are its well-known features:

  • It’s cross platform; works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X
  • POSIX compliant, portable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Works primarily from the command-line interface
  • Supports on-access scanning (Linux only)
  • Provides a virus database update
  • It can scan within archives and compressed files (also protects against archive bombs), the built-in support includes Zip, Tar, 7Zip, Rar among others.

2. ClamTk

ClamTk is a lightweight graphical front-end for the popular command-line based ClamAV (Clam Antivirus), written using Perl and Gtk libraries for Unix-like systems such as Linux and FreeBSD.

It‘s designed to be an easy-to-use, on-demand anti-virus scanner. It’s a reliable graphical anti-virus software which runs smoothly, it’s excellent for getting things done fast.

3. ChkrootKit

ChkrootKit is a free and open source lightweight toolkit to locally check for signs of a rootkit.

It contains various programs/scripts which include:

  • chkrootkit – a shell script that checks system binaries for rootkit modification.
  • ifpromisc.c – it checks if an interface is in promiscuous mode.
  • chklastlog.c – this checks for lastlog deletions.
  • chkwtmp.c – this checks for wtmp deletions.
  • check_wtmpx.c – checks for wtmpx deletions (Solaris only).
  • chkproc.c – checks for signs of LKM trojans.
  • chkdirs.c – this checks for signs of LKM trojans.
  • strings.c – it performs quick and dirty strings replacement.
  • chkutmp.c – this checks for utmp deletions.

4. RookKit Hunter

Rootkit Hunter is remarkable lightweight, open source security monitoring and analyzing tool for POSIX compliant systems. It’s available for Linux and FreeBSD.

It’s a scanner for every kind of threats to a Linux system from backdoors, rootkits to various local exploits.

It’s other important features include:

  • It’s command-line based
  • It’s simple to use and offers thorough inspection capabilities.
  • It uses SHA-1 hash comparison to detect malicious entries.
  • It’s portable and compatible with most UNIX-based systems.

5. Comodo Anti-virus For Linux (CAVL)

Comodo is a powerful cross-platform anti-virus and email filtering software. Comodo Anti-virus For Linux offers great virus protection with the additional features for fully configurable anti-spam system.

Comodo anti-virus for Linux features include:

  • Simply install and forget, no annoying false alarms, just solid virus protection.
  • Provides proactive anti-virus protection intercepts all known threats.
  • Optional automatic updates for the most up-to-date virus protection.
  • Comes with a scan scheduler, detailed event viewer, and custom scan profiles.
  • Offers a mail filter which is compatible with Postfix, Qmail, Sendmail and Exim MTA’s.

6. Sophos For Linux

Sophos anti-virus for Linux is a stable and reliable anti-virus software for a wide range of Linux distributions.

It detects and eradicates viruses (including worms and Trojans) on your Linux computer. It can as well find and block all non-Linux viruses that might be stored on your Linux computer and transferred to non-Linux computers.

You can run all commands (except savscan, which is used to run on-demand scans) as root from the from the command-line interface.

Below are the notable features of Sophos For Linux:

  • Easy to install and runs quietly.
  • It’s effective and secure.
  • It can detect and block malware with on-access, on-demand, or scheduled scanning.
  • Offers excellent performance, with low impact on the system.
  • Offers extensive platform coverage.

7. BitDefender For Unices (Not Free)

BitDefender For Unices is a powerful and versatile anti-virus software suite for Linux and FreeBSD. It offers protection and on-demand scanning on both Unix-based and Windows-based disk partitions by scanning for viruses and malware.

The following are a few of its remarkable features:

  • Enables scanning of archives.
  • Supports desktop integration.
  • It has an intuitive GUI and powerful command line interface that supports OS scripting tools.
  • It can quarantine infected files into a protected directory.

8. F-PROT For Linux

F-PROT anti-virus for Linux workstations is a free powerful scanning engine for use on home/personal workstations. Developed to effectively get rid of viruses threatening workstations running Linux, it offers full protection against macro viruses and other forms of malicious software including Trojans.

Below are some of its exceptional features:

  • It supports both 32bit and 64bit versions of Linux x86.
  • It scans for over 2119958 known viruses and their variants.
  • It’s able to perform scheduled scans using cron.
  • It scans hard drives, CD-ROMS, diskettes, network drives, directories and specific files.
  • It can also scan for images of boot sector viruses, macro viruses, and Trojan Horses.

That’s all! Don’t believe that Linux-based operating systems are completely secure, get one of these free anti-viruses we have talked about to secure your workstation or server.

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