A recent article published by PC Pro has taken wings and is being quoted in numerous stories implying that a second antivirus program is needed when using Microsoft Security Essentials. The article states,
"Now, Microsoft has said it sees Security Essentials as merely the first layer of protection, advising customers to use additional, third-party antivirus - although the company stressed that wasn't because the product wasn't good enough to stand on its own." (bold added)
The above statement by PC Pro is an obvious misinterpretation of Holly Stewart's comment (bold added),
"It’s not as efficient to have one kind of weapon," she said. "Like anything you must have that diversity. It’s a weakness to just have one."
Why PC Pro is WrongStarting with the obvious, Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows 7, or earlier and Windows Defender on Windows 8 are disabled when a third-party antivirus software is installed. Thus, an active second antivirus program cannot be run along side Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender.
As clearly stated in this Microsoft Malware Protection Center help topic,
"It’s not a good idea to run other antivirus or antispyware products at the same time as Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender.
Using more than one real-time security product can affect your PC performance. You might also get an error code when you try to update or install, such as 0x80070643."
The use of the word "weapon" by Holly Stewart in the above quote does not mean a second antivirus software, rather, as has long been recommended by the security community, a layered approach of another weapon is needed.
In addition to one up-to-date antivirus software, it is also critical to maintain updated third-party applications such as Adobe products and Oracle Java and install Microsoft security updates.
Along with "safe surfing", having one or two secondary security applications, such as my favorite Malwarebytes Antimalware and WinPatrol to supplement the work of your antivirus software program is generally recommended.
Microsoft Strategy Works!As illustrated in the Microsoft Malware Protection Center report, Evaluating our protection performance and capabilities, 99.9% of computers using Microsoft real-time protection reported no infections on the average day of August, 2013. With results like that, it is clear that the change in focus by Microsoft to prevalent threats is obviously working.
Thus, PC Pro, Microsoft Security Essentials is not designed to be at the bottom of the antivirus rankings. It is designed to target prevalent threats to consumer's computers, as illustrated in the change log for 1.159.819.0, released today.
Update: Microsoft published a response to the "misinterpretation" by PC Pro and the other authors who added to it. The Microsoft article is referenced below as is an article by Leo Notenboom, who contacted Holly Stewart.
- MMPC Blog: Our commitment to Microsoft antimalware
- Ask Leo: Do I Need to Stop Using Microsoft Security Essentials?