I apologize for the delayed reply but we have been very busy the past few days with a widespread outbreak of a new ransomware infection.
Microsoft Security Essentials is pre-configured to do a once-a-week Quick Scan. MSE does not scan incoming email but it does scan email attachments (which is where malware would be hidden) before the attachments are opened.
The quick scan will look for viruses in all the places they are most likely to hide. Its a good choice when youre just checking on the health of your PC...if something makes you think your PC is infected with a virus or spyware, we recommend a full scan. Your computer will be a little slower while it is running, but the full scan looks everywhere for possible problems.
Getting started with Microsoft Security Essentials
Generally there are three types of scans offered by Microsoft Security Essentials and most other anti-virus and anti-malware programs:
- Quick Scan only checks the areas of your computer most likely to contain malware...the most prevalent and common places where malware typically hides. The length of time for performing a Quick scan will vary but it generally takes about 15-30 minutes so they can be performed daily.
- Full Scan is much more comprehensive since it scans the entire hard drive (all folders/files) which can number in the thousands. The length of time for performing a Full scan will also vary but because it is so comprehensive, this type of scan can take several hours. Most Full Scans can be scheduled to run late at night when not using the computer so you can perform a weekly scan without having to monitor it.
- Custom Scan allows the user to select any files and folders on the hard drive to be scanned.
In most cases when performing routine security checks, only a Quick Scan is needed. A Full Scan is recommended for heavily infected systems. For multiple drives, you can perform a Custom Scan.
Also, right-clicking on a file or folder and choosing "Scan with Microsoft Security Essentials" from the context menu will initiate a scan only for that file or folder. Most anti-virus programs will allow you to do this.
Same principle with Malwarebytes which offers three types of scans.
- A THREAT SCAN (formerly QUICK SCAN) looks at the most prevalent places for active malware so scanning every single file on the drive isn't always necessary. This is the recommended scanning mode.
- A CUSTOM SCAN (formerly FULL SCAN) allows you to customize where and what folders and files you want to scan including external drives. If you choose to check the entire C:\drive (all files/folders) it will perform similarly to a FULL SCAN.
- A HYPER SCAN (formerly FLASH SCAN) quickly checks your system for active threats and is limited to detection of immediate threats. If anything is found, a THREAT SCAN is recommended afterward. This scan is only available for Malwarebytes Trial or Premium users.
Note: You can also scan a specific file, folder, drive, or group of files with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware if you enable the right-click scan option.
You only need to download one setup file which can be used on multiple computers.
A 14-day trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium is available as a pre-selected default option when first installing the free version (regardless of where you download) so all users can test the real-time protection component/features for a period of two weeks. When the limited time period expires those features will be deactivated and locked AND Malwarebytes will notify you with a "Trial Expired" message. Enabling the Protection Module feature again requires registration and purchase of a license key. If you continue to use the free version, there is no requirement to buy a license...you can just use it as a stand-alone scanner.
If you click on the "Try a 14 day trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium" at the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium product page) you will be directed to the Start Trial page. Just click the "Start 14-Day Trial" button to begin the download and full protection will be available for 14 days. There is no separate download.
When the 14-day trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium expires there is no need for it to run at start-up if you want to use the free version as a stand-alone scanner. Just right-click on the Malwarebytes icon in the system tray and uncheck "Start with Windows". Alternatively open Malwarebytes, click Settings > Advanced Settings and uncheck "Start Malwarebytes Anti-Malware with Windows".
If you do not want to use the trial Premium version, when offered during the setup installation, uncheck: "Enable free trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium...then click Finish.