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Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is an application that is developed to protect computers and devices from different malware. But we need to start with what malware is.

Malware is actually malicious software. It is software designed to gather important private information like secret pins and passwords. Malware also has the ability to alter normal computer operations and gain illegal access into private computer networks.

Some other unintentional software that is harmful to the computer system can also be referred to as malware. Some malware is even designed to pry into systems with the intention of getting vital and private information. An example of this kind of malware is Regin.

Malware is not just a nuisance – it is really dangerous

Some programs are designed just to cause a big harm and crash a system or a database. In case of fraud, this kind of malware can crash the database to wipe out implicating records. An example of this kind of malware is Stuxnet.

How Stuxnet Worked infographic

Some other malware are used to extort illegal payment from unsuspecting victims. CryptoLocker is a very good example of this.

There are other malicious programs like the regular viruses, scareware, adware, spyware, ransomware, worms and Trojan horses. All of these different programs are collectively called malware. Malware is usually embedded in harmless and non-malicious files, like software packages. Sometimes it comes as an executable file and other times it comes as a mere script.

Under United States law, malware is regarded as computer contaminants. Some companies often add it to their product for different purposes. A very good example is the Sony rootkit. It is a spyware designed to prevent re-copying of the file. Sometimes malware is used by government to gain information about certain people that are being monitored. Or even gain access to the database of the enemies’ network. However, no matter the purpose, all malware is illegitimate as they operate without the victims’ knowledge and consent.

Those annoying pop-ups can cost you a fortune

PirateBay malicious ads

Some malware is designed to display advertisements and some of them even go as far as redirecting affiliate market revenues. Earlier in this article, ransomware was mentioned. It is a kind of malware that is developed to alter the normal operation of the system by the developer so as to be able to extort money to reverse the effect. A very good example is CryptoLocker that has also been mentioned earlier in this write-up.

Once it finds its way into the system, it encrypts some vital files. The victim will have to pay a big sum of money for the reversal of the encryption. Some other kinds of malware is used for what is known as “click fraud.” They are used to generate pseudo clicks to be able to claim payment from the advertiser. Some malware is just designed for the purpose of sabotage. Stuxnet is a very good example of sabotage. It was designed and used to harm some industrial tools.

Protecting yourself with Malwarebytes

This article is actually meant for Malwarebytes Anti-Malware application which protects your system against different kinds of malware. But you may not appreciate the importance of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware if you don’t know how harmful malware can be.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes every kind of malware. It runs on Windows and OS X desktop machines as well as on Android devices.

MalwareBytes Mobile Scanner

It was developed and launched in early 2008 by a company named Malwarebytes Corporation. Like most commercial software, it has free version that scans the system for any malware which it removes when detected. It also has a premium paid version.

Free or paid: which version is right for you?

MalwareBytes Select a scan

The major difference between the paid and free versions is that the paid version has a flash memory scanner and it provides real time protection and these two features are lacking in the free version. But the free version can be upgraded to the paid version upon payment. The major advantage that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has over other anti-malware applications is that it scans in batch mode instead of scanning all opened files like other anti-malware programs. It is a very huge advantage because it reduces interference in case another anti-malware is running concurrently on the same system with it.

Another remarkable feature of Malwarebytes Anti-malware is its highly interactive screens. It allows the user to select how malware and other threats should be searched and the action to be taken on them if detected. The screen has detection option setting which allows users to define the methods they want the program to use in detecting all potential malware and threats.

MalwareBytes Mac threats detected

There are some malware that are difficult to detect. This is because they effectively hide themselves by first modifying the operating system files. An example of such files is rootkit. It is a very malicious program that can alter the normal operation of system files to be able to hide itself. A lot of anti-malware software would never detect this malware. But Malwarebytes Anti-malware would definitely detect it because of its very intensive and effective scanning method.

MalwareBytes Threat scan

Another striking feature of Malwarebytes Anti-malware is that when “scan within archives” option is selected, the program scans three levels deep. At this point, it is necessary to let you know that if this option is not enabled, the scan would just be on the first level and this may not be effective for malicious rootkits. That aside, users should also note that encrypted archives are difficult to scan effectively, so not all the malware present in an encrypted archive would be detected.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware recognizes the fact that some malware can be useful and that not all potential threats turn out to be a malware so it offers three options of handling methods for users to select from.

MalwareBytes Detection settings

The first option is “Ignore detections.” If this option is chosen, the program will not act on the detection. The second one is “Warn user about detections.” If this option is chosen, the program will notify the user on the detection and ask for the kind of action to be taken on the detection. The third option is “Treat detections as malware.” If this option is selected, the detection would be treated like a harmful program. It can either be removed or subjected to other remedial measures.

Download your free copy of MalwareBytes Anti-Malware here.