Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It comes as no surprise that different computer protection tools operate differently. Here's a short rundown on my recommendation.
XP Pro, Spyware Doctor, and Microsoft Security Essentials. Problem happens every time I have two anti-virus software. Spyware Doctor and Microsoft Security Essentials. I shut down Spyware Doctor completely and run only MSE for two weeks and not one single virus. I then close down MSE and start up Spyware Doctor and run it for two weeks and I get plenty of low risk stuff needing deleting and some occasional virus. What does this mean? That SD's findings are false positives or that MSE is not doing the job right? I understand that you, Leo, use both and recommend them.
In this excerpt from Answercast #18, I look at a case where anti-virus and anti-spyware tools are showing different results and discuss why that may be happening.
So I do want to be clear about one thing: I do not necessarily recommend Spyware Doctor.
I don't dis-recommend it. I've never used it; I've never played with it.
I would caution you about interpreting advertisements on my site as recommended by me (even if the ads include the word "recommended" which means being recommended by the advertiser, not me.)
In fact, at the bottom of every page of Ask Leo!, you'll see a statement that links to a more lengthy article which basically boils down to the fact that ads on my site don't imply endorsement by me.
So, I can't speak to Spyware Doctor's specifically. Like I said, it's certainly not something that I've personally have ever recommended or dis-recommended.
Now, a couple of things come up here.
One is that it's well known that not every anti-malware tool catches every piece of malware.
You're comparing to
It doesn't surprise me that some, as you put it, low-risk stuff would show up in one and not the other.
For example, the most common case that I see all the time, that I hear from people about all the time, are so-called "tracking cookies." A lot of anti-spyware tools will warn you to varying levels of urgency about tracking cookies.
Now, tracking cookies, in my opinion, just aren't a big deal. They really aren't. I mean, you can make some decisions about that on your own; but they're not the kind of thing that warrant some of the red alerts that you get from some anti-spyware tools.
MSE, for example, doesn't report on tracking cookies at all (to the best of my knowledge), which is exactly how I want it to be.
So it doesn't surprise me that you might find some low impact stuff that a tool like MSE might not report on.
So, that's about as clear as I can get on these two specific tools. I will throw you at the article, "What are tracking cookies and should they concern me?" in case what you are seeing are in fact tracking cookies.
Beyond that, I'd have to know specifically what kinds of things you are seeing.
The only spyware tool that I tend to recommend in addition to Microsoft Security Essentials is the free tool from Malwarebytes.org. That I typically only recommend when you actually are experiencing a problem. It does a good job of removing a few threats that a number of other tools don't necessarily find or remove completely.
So that's where I think you're at. I don't really see a huge problem here
other than making sure you are keeping MSE up to date as possible.
Next from Answercast 18 - Is it okay to use hibernate to shut down my computer daily?
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