I'm the goto geek for my friends, and I just want to mention that MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) has helped me on many occasions when other anti-virus and anti-spyware apps failed to prevent or fix a malware problem. You'd be doing your readers a service to recommend this free security tool.
What is MalwareBytes Anti-Malware?
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is a free anti-malware application that's been available since 2004. It doesn't get as much press as commercial anti-malware apps like Symantec/Norton, McAfee or CA Antivirus. It's not one of "the usual suspects" that tech journalists rattle off when they're listing anti-malware apps such as Avast, AVG, Trend Micro, etc. I have mentioned MBAM a few times on this site, but you're right to suggest a more in-depth review and recommendation.
Aside from having a fun acronym, MBAM is a solid, speedy, secure anti-malware application that many people rely on to protect their data, computers, and personal identities online. It seems adept at rooting out both viruses and spyware, and often finds nasties that the others left undetected. Best of all, MBAM is free to try, and there are none of the gotchas that often accompany free security tools. Just download, install and run. There are no tricky optional toolbars, smiley-face collections or sneaky data-mining license agreements to watch out for during installation.
Once installed and running, MBAM gives you three options:
- Quick Scan performs a scan for malware in only the folders and files most frequently targeted by malware writers. It's fast; it took me only 3 minutes to scan a hard drive with 300 GB of data on it. It's also easy on computer resources so it doesn't slow down other apps while it's scanning. A log file is saved to disk so you can review whatever MBAM found during its scan.
- Full Scan scans every single byte on your hard drive, USB flash drives, optical media, and other storage devices. There's a rumor that MBAM even looks under your couch cushions, but I can't confirm that. It's best to run a full scan about once a week, or when you suspect you might have a malware infection.
- The unique Flash Scan mode scans only volatile memory and autorun objects, favorite targets for malware. It's a virtually instantaneous check for malware. Flash Scan is available only to registered users of MBAM.
Upgrading Your MalwareBytes Anti-Malware
The registered version of MBAM costs US$24.95, and also includes real-time malware scanning and blocking; automatic malicious website identification and blocking; a scheduler for software and malware signature database updates; and priority customer support.
MBAM quarantines suspected malware-infected files in a secured folder from which they cannot execute commands or operations upon other parts of your system. Quarantine is useful in case you need to extract legitimate data from an infected file before deleting it, or in the case of a "false positive" identification of a legitimate program as malware; you can simply tag the app as "safe" and restore it.
To save time during full scans, you can build a list of folders and files that MBAM should ignore when scanning. Such items might include read-only or encrypted files and folders which cannot be re-written by malware. Read-only CDs and DVDs can also be ignored if the data on them has been scanned and deemed safe once.
MalwareBytes also makes StartUpLite, a utility that eliminates unnecessary processes from your Windows startup configuration. This speeds up booting, frees RAM, and helps your system run considerably faster.
FileASSASSIN is another handy utility from Malwarebytes. Often, Windows will not let you delete a file; you get a message such as "file in use by another program" or "access denied" even though you know you should be able to delete the file. This utility overrides Windows to let you delete what you wish.
RegASSASSIN is a powerful malware cure that should be used with caution. Malware often inserts new keys in your Windows registry and alters permissions to make the keys difficult to remove. This utility will allow you to unlock and remove unwanted keys. But you must be certain that you are removing the right keys.
I recommend that you download and run MalwareBytes Anti-Malware, even if you're happy with the anti-virus and/or anti-spyware tools you currently have. It's a handy tool to have on your hard drive, and can also be installed on a portable USB drive to help a friend with malware problems.
Do you have something to say about MalwareBytes Anti-Malware? Post your comment or question below...
Posted by Bob Rankin on 2 Jun 2010
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (Posted: 2 Jun 2010)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved