Are you having problems with malware on your computer? No matter how good your endpoint protection is (anti-virus, anti-everything), it will still not know or be able to catch everything. So it always helps to have a secondary scanning program to find things when you suspect you are having malware issues. I wrote a few days ago about what to do with stubborn viruses.
You know you have malware issues when your firewall tells you that your computer is visiting websites that you didn’t go to. Ok so since most people don’t look at the firewall, it also is obvious when your computer does crazy things that it shouldn’t do. This is things like not starting a program, not connecting to a website, not doing something that it used to be able to do. When others do not have the same problems, it tends to be malware.
It used to be that when troubleshooting computers hardware issues were the main cause of problems. Now it is software issues. Malware is the #1 reason in most environments when things don’t work right. The problem of constant internet access and browser usage has opened the door to these gremlins. Even email based malware is getting very sophisticated. I have seen people get infected just by looking at the email, and not even opening the attachment. Fortunately Sophos catches this almost every time, but nothing is perfect.
I have found using Malwarebytes to find many issues that other endpoint protection misses. It has fixed issues dozens of times for me. This is my favorite secondary protection. However I have also tried online free virus scanning websites, and for the most they are useless.
The only online free virus scanning website that looked like it really might be doing something is Eset, and that was a small download, update and scan. It took probably a half hour to scan the system, which is more realistic time for a full scan. It never found anything, but neither did any other software used on that computer, so it might have been a false error. It was flagged by the firewall as suspicious behavior.
I ran into a new situation where the firewall keeps identifying a Command and Control virus but these tools above are not finding it. I am running Spybot – Search and Destroy which is also excellent. It has a better reputation than Malwarebytes, so you might want to add that to your list as well.
So my order of operations is obviously: Sophos, Malwarebytes, Eset, Spybot. Good luck in protecting your computer!