In part 1 of this series we looked at 3 types of essential computer security software: Anti-virus software, Firewall software and Anti-spyware software. Unfortunately, even with one of each of these, or a comprehensive security suite, you may still not catch every threat that can infect your computer. That’s why you need some other ‘response’ appropriate solutions which we will look at in 2nd part 2 of this mini-series.
Malicious software is constantly evolving and becoming more and more difficult to detect and remove. Only the most advanced anti-malware technologies can detect and remove these malicious programs from your computer.
When malware has taken over your computer and barred you from its resources, it's a little late to start thinking about installing an antivirus utility because in many cases entrenched malware may interfere with antivirus installation or scanning. The good news is, there are also some good and free programs that can detect and remove malware. Here are a few of the best on the market (listed in alphabetical order, not based upon any ranking):
Avira Rescue System - This free, cleanup-only software has no problem with Windows-centric malware, because it launches from its own custom boot in order to perform its scan. The product does have some limitations and its "repair" has reportedly left some systems unusable.
Comodo Cleaning Essentials – This free, malware removal software is designed to identify and remove malware and block unsafe processes from computers running Windows. The software consists of a set of powerful security tools. It requires no installation and can be run directly from removable media such as a USB ‘flash’ drive. This enables you to run the software on any malware affected computer which might preclude installation of other similar programs.
Emsisoft Emergency Kit – This is another free, cleanup-only product. This tool doesn't attempt ongoing protection; it's all about solving the immediate problem. The Emsisoft Emergency Kit is a collection of programs that can be used to scan for malware and clean up an infected PC without installation. It’s excellent software for cleaning up the malware from a computer.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – this free software is known for its malware fighting ability. It detects and removes malware like worms, Trojans, root kits, spyware, and more, including screen locker and ransom ware. All you have to do is open this Anti-Malware Free and run a scan. This anti malware program has the capability to get installed in Windows safe mode. You can run it from there and perform any scan.
RogueKiller - This software cans, detects and allows removal of malware by terminating the malicious processes and programs from your computer. It is not actually malware removal software, it just stops the malware processes and that allows you to remove the threat from your computer. But RogueKiller does have the ability to remove malware infections such as Zero Access, TDSS, rogue anti-spyware programs, Ransom wares, etc.
Spybot 2.3 - We use the word antivirus to describe products that protect against viruses, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, and all manner of other malicious programs. Spybot 2.3 doesn't promise to remove viruses, Trojans, and other tough malware. It specifically focuses on spyware and other types your full-scale antivirus might miss. It does the job as advertised, just don’t expect more of a removal feature-set from the software then it is intended to resolve.
These are by no means all of the virus/malware removal programs on the market. In fact, many (most) of the Anti-virus and/or Anti-malware program developers offer 'virus or malware removal software' that can be run for known viruses where anti-virus software is not already installed, or prior to installation of anti-virus/malware software.
Though malware removal programs such as those mentioned above (and others as also noted) may solve the specific problems elaborated in your time of need, it is always best to use and keep current the proper antivirus, firewall and anti-malware security software to hopefully prevent them from accessing your system in the first place so as to stay protected from all kinds of threats.