My Security Software is Turned Off!

June 25, 2010

We’ve said many times how important it is to keep an eye on your security software to make sure it’s working properly. But did you know that it’s normal for some security software to turn itself off briefly from time to time? It’s true!

Your security software downloads updates every day. There are two types of updates. Definitions and program updates. Definition updates usually get downloaded at least once a day, sometimes more often. Program updates are much less frequent, but do happen fairly regularly. Program updates are more complicated to install because your security software is running. A program that is running cannot be updated while it is running. Security software companies usually handle this in one of two ways.

The most common way to handle it is to make you reboot your computer. As the computer is booting back up, it installs the program updates before the security software starts running. This method is good because your computer isn’t running unprotected for any amount of time. The drawback is that your computer use is interrupted by the reboot.

The other way to handle program updates is to stop the security software from running, update it, and then start the security software back up. This is nice in that you don’t have to reboot your computer. The drawback is that during the time it’s updating, your computer is not fully protected. During that time, you should not access websites or read email. Usually, the period of time that the security software is shut down while it’s updating is a very short period of time. But sometimes major updates take longer.

Earlier this week, there was a program update to Vipre that took longer than normal to apply. Several of you noticed Vipre was not running and contacted us about it. Another small problem with this week’s update was that on some systems, Vipre’s active protection did not come back on after the update. This is easily fixed by opening Vipre and turning active protection back on. This illustrates, however, how important it is for you to keep an eye on your security software. We applaud those of you who noticed this.

The lesson is that anytime you notice your security software is not working, Try to turn it back on. If it won’t, wait 10-20 minutes. During this wait time, don’t access websites or read your email. This will give your security software time to finish updating itself, if that is what caused it to be turned off.

If after waiting 10-20 minutes your security software isn’t working, try to turn it back on again. If that doesn’t work, reboot. After rebooting, if it’s still not working, then you have 3 options. You can try to uninstall and reinstall your security software (make sure you know your license key before doing this), call the manufacturer’s technical support line, or give us a call.

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