I’m regularly asked how often I scan my primary personal machine for malware. The answer is – as part of a layered security approach, I have a formal schedule which I stick to without fail.
Running a quick scan with both these applications, takes less than 5 minutes. For example: Malwarebytes’ – 150,000 objects – 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Microsoft Security Essentials – 30,000 items – 1 minute and 18 seconds.
Much of today’s malware though, can be extremely difficult to identify and remove – despite a user relying on frontline antimalware applications to do the job. So, I don’t see any advantage in running full scans on a live system – instead, once a week I run a Linux-based antimalware application (a live CD), which scans from the outside looking in. Malware generally can’t hide if it’s not running.
I’ve come to rely on the following free live CDs, which I regularly alternate, to ensure (hopefully), I’m operating in a malware free zone.
This useful utility comes in handy when you need to clean a malware infected machine. Or, as in my case, to ensure a machine is not infected. It is particularly useful for detecting and disinfecting malware infections which give regular AV products running within Windows a hard time.
Features include: Automatic detection and removal of all types of malware. Boot from CD or USB stick. Supports using updated signature files. Supports 13 languages. Supports both FAT and NTFS drives.
The download consists of an ISO. You can either burn this to a CD/DVD or alternatively, create a Boot USB stick by using something like the Universal Netboot Installer (UNetbootin).
Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10, is designed to scan and disinfect x86 and x64-compatible computers that have been infected. Particularly useful when the infection is at such level that it is impossible to disinfect the computer using anti-virus applications, or malware removal utilities, running under the operating system.
Note: Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 can be run from a USB device.
Avira AntiVir Rescue System is a Linux-based application that allows you to access a system that cannot be booted anymore. Not only will this application scan the system for infections, but it can be used to repair a damaged system, or rescue data.
If you’re looking for an uncomplicated, reasonably quick booting alternative antimalware scanner/rescue CD, which will update the definition database automatically (assuming you’re connected to the Internet), any one of these freebies will do the job nicely.
In the constantly evolving world of cybercrime, all users are well advised to scan their computers regularly with an antimalware application that does not rely on the native operating system.
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