Today we are going to look at two tools, which will hopefully be a part of your computer’s toolkit; one will tackle the problem of malware and the other will be tasked to ensure your computer software is kept up to date.
Malwarebytes Anti Malware
Malwarebytes is a lesser-known company, which makes a good anti-malware software named Anti-Malware. It belongs in the same league as Ad-Aware and Spybot’s Search & Destroy, both of which are great anti-malware tools as well.
I have largely given up on Ad-Aware and moved to Spybot for the last couple of years and it has served me quite well, being un-intrusive and generally quite capable of dealing with spyware and Trojan horses. However, there is a nagging feeling that relying on just one software isn’t really a good solution as it might miss out detecting other viruses due to the definitions being outdated. That’s where Anti-Malware comes in – it is a very fast and efficient tool to scan your system for so-called “Malware” and they update their definitions every day, making it capable of quickly reacting to new threats. It is also capable of picking up stuff missed out by Spybot.
The program can be used free of charge and works fine in this manner, but to get automatic updates and realtime protection, you need to pay a fee; however don’t let that turn you off as the free version is more than decent to fill in the “gaps of detection” in Spybot. Don’t expect to use this software as your main anti-malware software though, unless you plan to pay for the full version.
The next tool to consider is Update Notifier. Most of the time viruses, ad-ware, Trojan horses, worms, and the rest of the evil and nasty things on the internet get into your machine via vulnerabilities in software. Thus software companies are constantly releasing updates to fix these problems. The most recent example of this is Adobe’s pdf file format has been compromised to allow an attacker to execute any code on your system, simply by viewing the pdf files. Shortly thereafter, Adobe made available a fix for this problem, but how many of you are aware of this? 🙂
To further exacerbate the problem, a typical computer can have so many different types of software that updating each one individually can take a lot of time. Granted, many software now come with an auto-update feature, but you are still required to launch the application and let it check for updates, so it is still tedious. That’s where Update Notifier steps in.
This application is completely portable (no installation needed) and scans your computer upon starting to build a list of installed software. From there, it will check to see if there are newer versions available, and provide you with a one-click download link if there is. This streamlines the whole task of keeping your software updated into one clean, simple package you can launch every other week to make sure you’ve always got the latest version installed. The best part is it’s completely free!