Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Malwarebytes for standard security is best used as a first step in a cleanup job. It's a great program to pull out when you suspect you have a problem.
Everybody (I realize there's no real "everybody") says that as a last resort to download Malwarebytes as though it's the ultimate in malware detection, but I've never seen it on a list of malware programs one just ought to run routinely. Why is that?
In this excerpt from Answercast #81, I look at how Malwarebytes fits into a full anti-virus and anti-spyware program to keep a computer safe.
Malwarebytes is in an interesting position in the anti-malware world:
They don't claim to be an "anti-virus" program - and in fact, they often suggest that you run a different anti-virus program in conjunction with Malwarebytes.
They are kind of, sort of an anti-spyware program. If you wanted to run it most of the time, or regularly, you could run it in place of an anti-spyware program (I think.)
But it's that lack of our ability to really define what Malwarebytes truly is that makes it difficult to make it part of a standard recipe for computer security.
That's why I tend to recommend that you get an anti-virus program; get an anti-spyware program. Usually, I bundle those two together in Microsoft Security Essentials, but as long as you've got both virus and spyware covered, you're good.
Now, Malwarebytes has an interesting characteristic. They're probably a reasonably good anti-malware program, but I guess they're not covering all of the edges that an anti-virus program and an anti-spyware program would actually catch.
However, for what they do catch, they do seem to be better at catching those things than many other programs.
That's why when we're facing a problem - we pull it out. It's a very quick first-line tool to run as soon as you suspect there's a problem.
Now, I realize that's a real fuzzy answer. Part of it is because the definition of what Malwarebytes anti-malware really is, itself, is kind of fuzzy. Frustratingly so, I will admit.
But, it's a good tool. It's a good tool to run when you've got a problem that your other tools haven't fixed.
If you get their paid version, you can in fact run their automated regularly scheduled scanner on a schedule. I personally just wouldn't do that in lieu of an anti-spyware program. I'd be tempted to make sure that was in addition and cooperating with some other anti-spyware program.
So, it's a tough question to answer because there's really no clear "here's
why" - other than to say, "Well, you know, Malwarebytes isn't really an
anti-virus program and it's not a complete anti-spyware program, but whatever it
is it does, it actually does pretty good, so we ought to be able to have it
available if we run into a problem."
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 81 - How do I pick a wireless USB adapter?
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