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My English classroom has a lot of computers, all of which are very slow due to not being maintained and old, outdated software... or even software that is redundant. One of the computer has three programs, Adware (freeware), Symantec Endpoint Protection, and Microsoft Security Essentials. Are all of these needed? Symantec comes on every computer in the school, and that is not an option to remove. It detects a lot of viruses (I have had things such as NetCat on my flash drive it picked up), and I do not think they would like to stray away from this. Is it possible to delete Adware and MS Essentials, because they are just doing the same thing? I would replace the both of those with MalwareBytes Anti Malware, which I have never used, but have read a lot of good things about.

Basically, is it OK to remove Adware and MS Security Essentials and keep Symantec Endpoint Protection? And is MBAM really needed if Symantec is in place, or even recommended by you all?

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They detected Netcat as a virus? –  Daniel Beck Feb 6 '12 at 17:47
    
They are mine for the purpose of this project –  ekaj Feb 6 '12 at 18:19
    
Generally having AV "installed" does not slow the machines much. Having AV scanning everything , even everything comming in and out does. One item activly running (not 2) and others applied manually every once in a while, would be a good method. In an open setting not having an "active" AV would not be so smart, so it is going to suck :-) On my Own computer I might get away without constant active "watching" going on. There they would need to lock down the computers OR have something activly watching. as far as which program, that is debatable endlessly ,and beyond me. –  Psycogeek Feb 6 '12 at 19:30
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@Psycogeek Having AV installed will slow the system down somewhat because the way they operate is by installing hooks into the OS itself. If anything, it will slow down the boot process. It will cause a bit of a delay in general OS usage too because of on-demand scanning. However, the most drastic slowdown will be if you try to use it while it's running a manual scan. –  Ben Richards Feb 6 '12 at 20:03
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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can safely remove both Adware and MS Essentials due to having the Symantec software. Unless you specifically need MalwareBytes there is no reason to install it.

MBAM and other adware removal tools are geared towards consumer usage and don't really have a place in a managed environment. While traditional anti-virus tools do lack in the adware/malware relm there are other methods which should be employed in an environment like a lab.

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The school administration doesn't really manage the computers at all, so any software or policies that I put into place would probably remain for a while. –  ekaj Feb 6 '12 at 18:18
    
Thats no way to implement a lab. Given the lack of effort on the school's side changing a few programs will not address larger issues present. –  edusysadmin Feb 6 '12 at 18:28
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Basically, is it OK to remove Adware and MS Security Essentials and keep Symantec Endpoint Protection? And is MBAM really needed if Symantec is in place, or even recommended by you all?

I suggest you to keep Miscrosoft Security Essential but not Adaware, MBAM or Symantec stuff or any "security bloatwares" on your PCs.

Keeping things simple i a good way to have a reasonable secured PC.

  1. Keep Windows and applications updated
  2. Enable the firewall (with Windows 7, the MS firewall is enough: no 3rd party FW please...)
  3. Keep MS Security Essential up to date
  4. Have a good HOSTS file such as the MVP's Hosts file and keep it updated with HostMan http://www.abelhadigital.com/hostsman
  5. Use Spyware Blaster to keep IE and Firefox safe (and never use IE... ;-) ) http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html
  6. With Firefox keep it safe with add-ons such as NoScript, AbBlock+, Better Privacy
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These are good suggestions for an individual. ekaj is dealing with an under managed lab at a school. Suggsetions like these do not scale as well and that must be taken into consideration. –  edusysadmin Feb 6 '12 at 19:23
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Symantec's enterprise software (like Symantec Endpoint Protection) is actually very streamlined and not bloatware at all. If he has the enterprise software installed, I'd keep it there. –  Ben Richards Feb 6 '12 at 20:04
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Having multiple programs runing to detect malware is usually a bad idea as they compete with each other. That means the system is slower than it should be.

Leaving Symantec in place seems the logical option but as noted by @JdeBP , if you do not manage these systems, speake to the person(s) that do the management.

The detection of Netcat may not be as malware but something defined by an admin that looks for tools they wish to monitor. Portscanners, password crackers and such will often be configured to trigger an alert so the admin can check out what is going on. Not really a virus or malware.

As you are managing the systems, you can use msconfig to see what else might be running and disable or remove as required.

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Please see edit –  Dave M Feb 6 '12 at 19:46
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