Resident Shield: Why Real Time Protection is Your Most Important Security Service
Your antivirus resident shield or real time protection is the first tier of your defense. Other common synonyms for this service include on-access scanning, background guard, autoprotect, active defense, or realtime shields. Regardless of the terminology, the idea is always the same; the purpose is to continually monitor the data being processed by your computer, in real-time, in order to detect, intercept, and block any suspicious activity, particularly viruses. This is why the terms ‘active’ or ‘real time’ are so common to describe this type of protection.
Real time protection is arguably the most important service in your security arsenal and the program you choose to fill this role will nearly always come with a host of additional tools including scanning and removal or quarantine. Hence, your resident shield program will likely be the backbone of your security arsenal.
There are two important points to understand about real time protection: First, because of the potential for conflicts, you should only have one real-time active shield running at any time on your computer. Multiple redundant services running simultaneously could overlap or conflict, causing system instability or potentially opening new security holes. Therefore, choose one good antivirus program with real time protection and make sure it is the exclusive program fulfilling this role. Two exceptions that will NOT conflict with your primary resident shield are, first, your firewall (and you definitely need a firewall, which we cover in step 4), and second, optionally some form of active anti malware protection (among the Netizen Guide recommendations, SUPERAntiSpyware Pro (paid version) has real time anti malware protection that will not conflict with antivirus resident shields).
The second point about real time protection is simply this: always keep your shields up! There is a reason this service is commonly called a ‘resident shield’ and that is because it should always be running whenever your computer is on. If you find your your active real time protection has been disabled and you are not the one who disabled it then you should be extremely wary because you may have a security breach on your system in which case it would be time to roll out your scanning and cleanup solutions (which we cover in step 3).
For your antivirus resident shield (choose only one):
For additional anti malware and anti spyware real time protection:
Once you have your tier 1 defense in place, proceed to Step 2: Passive Protection