Forget “Year of the Horse,” it seems like 2014 has become “Year of the Hacker”! These days, you can’t even boot up your computer without fear of spyware, Trojans, worms and other nasty programs trying to invade your computer.
But you know me, I’m a big proponent of online (and offline) safety. So antivirus software is always the first step.
You can download plenty of excellent free security programs from my Security Center. I’ve got antivirus, firewalls, anti-spyware and more. You’ll want to have all three types of software running.
Once you have a great antivirus in place, you’re done.
Well, not quite.
It’s important to remember when it comes to firewalls and antivirus, that you can only have one of each type of program running at once. Running multiple programs of each type can cause conflicts that make you less safe.
Unfortunately, not every security suite can catch every threat. That’s why your Plan A security needs a backup.
For that I recommend Malwarebytes. It’s capable of finding and removing threats that other software misses. Plus, the free version won’t conflict with your existing antivirus.
The free version of Malwarebytes is a great tool in the endless fight against malicious software, but if you’re using the free version, make sure you have always-on antivirus installed as well. You never know when a digital threat will strike.
The Premium version does include a real-time protection module, but the Premium version will conflict with the antivirus you already have.
Note: The free version of Malwarebytes has no passive protection. That means you’ll have to manually run it when you want to check your system. I would do this once a month.
To get started, click the orange “Free Version Download” button on the Malwarebytes home page. Your download will begin immediately.
Open the file and run the installation. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before agreeing to the download!
I recommend using the default installation settings. There is no bloatware or add-ons to avoid.
However, on the last installation window, you will see two checked boxes. The first box recommends starting a free trial of the Premium Malwarebytes program. If you do not want to start the trial version, uncheck the first box.
When you first install Malwarebytes, I recommend performing a full scan. For later scans, a quick scan will usually do the trick.
With Malwarebytes’ new interface, you may be able to see Premium options in your Free version but you will not be able to access them. If a tab is accessible but the options are grayed out, then it is only accessible with a Premium paid account.
The free version of Malwarebytes won’t update its virus list automatically, so make sure you do that before you run every scan. The option can be found in the Update Settings tab.
You’ll want to leave the “Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware” button checked after install. That way, you’ll be sure to get the latest version of the program when it’s released.
NOTE: Because Malwarebytes has just been updated to a new look, more updates and bug fixes will be added soon. Keep checking back for updates to the Update Settings tab.