| By Ryan Russell |
Malicious code isn’t the only thing anti-malware applications catch when they scan your PC and e-mail. Legitimate utilities get flagged, too.
It’s good that security software errs on the side of caution, but PC users need to know when to trust their security tools and when to trust their online sources for apps.
Security companies face a deluge of malware
In my May 20 column, I recommended the NirSoft utility suite. Shortly after that column appeared, I received numerous e-mails from readers with complaints that the utility set off virus warnings on their PCs. (These warnings came, for the most part, from Microsoft Security Essentials). But my recommendation still stands — none of the small, useful utilities in the NirSoft suite are malicious.
The e-mails were predictable, given what some of the tools do. My mistake was not reminding readers that antivirus flags would go up, even though I have given many similar warnings in past columns.
So with apologies, I’ll tell you why it happened and what you should know about specialized utilities and antivirus (AV) software. But first, full disclosure: The company I work for, BigFix, partners with some antivirus (AV) vendors, resells some AV products, and competes with other AV companies. I can’t claim complete impartiality toward the security-software industry. That said, the points I make in this article apply equally to all vendors.