Is it really necessary to have a real-time anti-virus program running at all
times using up resources? I have Avast anti-virus, but I also run a different
manual online scan every day using Malwarebytes, anti-malware, and Super
Antispyware, Bit Defender and others. I was wondering if I can uninstall my
real-time Avast AV?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #74, I look at the advantages of real-time scanning for viruses
and spyware. Real-time scanning of email can be another story.
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Stopping real-time anti-virus scans
Well, it’s a hard one to answer generically.
My recommendation in general is if you’re not sure, have one.
Have exactly one real-time anti-malware scanner working for you.
Now the reason I hesitate at all is because there are people who are
experienced enough on the internet that they will actually never get infected.
They will never accidentally cause something to download on their machine and
One would think that I would be such a person, and in fact, to the best of
my knowledge, I have never actually invited malware on my machine. I would be a
candidate for not running a real-time anti-malware scan. I’d run it
anyway. In fact, I do run it anyway.
Malware can slip by
The fact is – it’s simply too easy for things to kind-of sort-of slip by,
sometimes. I have come very close to downloading and installing malware without
realizing it. It’s that “without realizing it” part that you want a real-time
scanner there to protect you from.
Malware can infect your machine in seconds!
In other words, by the time you realize that what you just downloaded is in
the process of infecting your machine… it’s too late!
So, my recommendation in general is that yes, you should have one good
anti-malware product that is keeping an eye out in real-time for the
things that are happening on your machine. That way, you can be protected from
things that might accidentally get to your computer.
If you are a person who is confident about always being able to
identify something – and never, ever downloading it – then of course,
feel free to skip the entire process. I just don’t think that there are many
people who fall into that category.
Real-time email scanning
Now, I do want to clarify something about one real-time aspect that
definitely can cause people problems when it’s enabled: that is real-time
Sometimes, the anti-malware software’s real-time component, when applied to
your email (in other words, as your email is being downloaded), can
occasionally cause problems: everything from false positives to all of your
email being deleted as it’s downloaded.
My recommendation in general is to leave those features turned on. Just be
aware that they can cause that kind of a problem. If they do, then turn off
that and only that portion of the real-time scanning
component of your anti-malware software.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 74 – Is there an age or gender component to being comfortable with technology?