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Are these programs effective and are they more effective in safe mode?


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#1 JonEBGud

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 09:35 AM

I have Webroot, Malewarebytes and System Mechanic on my pc. All are latest versions. Are these programs effective and are they more effective in safe mode?


Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 10 April 2016 - 04:22 PM.
Moved from Win 10 to 'General security'


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#2 CmmTch

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 11:02 AM

I can only speak to Malwarebytes, it is a good program, I have two other programs from Malwarebytes, both free editions, their anti exploit protection, download here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/malwarebytes-anti-exploit/ and their anti Ransomeware (Beta version) download here http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/download/malwarebytes-anti-ransomware/

 

I also have Windows Defender, SUPERAntiSpyware (Free edition) http://www.superantispyware.com/download.html and SpywareBlaster (Free edition) https://www.brightfort.com/spywareblaster.html

 

These are IMO very good items to have for somewhat layered protection, however the most important protection is between the keyboard and the back of the chair, we as users are the last protection to stop the nasties from getting into our computer.

 

The main difference as to "Safe Mode" is all services, drivers and applications aren't running yet when the boot up is limited to safe mode. As to being more effective or not I imagine if you had an infection, depending on were it was, it might be easier removed without a reboot. If it's in something that is running at the moment then it would advise that a reboot was needed to completely remove what ever it was.


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#3 quietman7

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 08:10 AM

Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode designed to start Windows with minimal drivers and running processes to diagnose problems with your computer. This means some of the programs that normally start when Windows starts will not run.

Why use safe mode? The Windows operating system protects files when they are being accessed by an application or a program. Malware writers create programs that can insert itself and hide in these protected areas when the files are being used. Using safe mode reduces the number of modules requesting files to only essentials which make your computer functional. This in turn reduces the number of hiding places for malware, making it easier to find and delete the offending files when performing scans with anti-virus and anti-malware tools. In many cases, performing your scans in safe mode speeds up the scanning process. Scanning in safe mode was a recommended course of action years ago with many security scanners. This was before malware writers began to employ more sophisticated techniques to counter removal efforts in that mode and before we had programs like Malwarebytes which work effectively in normal mode.

Why not use safe mode? Some security tools like anti-rootkit scanners (ARKs) and scanning programs with anti-rootkit technology use special drivers which are required for the scanning and removal process. These tools are designed to work in normal mode because the drivers will not load in safe mode which lessens the scan's effectiveness. Other security tools are optimized to run from normal mode where they are most effective. For example, scanning with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware in safe or normal mode will work but removal functions are not as powerful in safe mode. Malwarebytes is designed to be at full power when malware is running so safe mode is not necessary when using it. In fact, Malwarebytes loses some effectiveness for detection and removal when used in safe mode because the program includes a special driver which does not work in safe mode. For optimal removal, normal mode is recommended so it does not limit the abilities of such tools.

Further, scanning in safe mode prevents some types of malware from running so it may be missed during the detection process. If the malware is not related to a running process (i.e. malicious .dll) it probably will not make a difference performing a scan in normal or safe mode. A hidden piece of malware such as a rootkit which protects other malicious files and registry keys from deletion may not be detected in either mode without the use of special tools. Additionally, if the scanner you're using does not include definitions for the malware, then they may not detect or remove it regardless of what mode is used. If you're dealing with zero-day malware it's unlikely your anti-virus is going to detect anything. However, programs like Malwarebytes can detect zero-day malware and is one reason they are recommended to supplement your anti-virus software. Also keep in mind that there are various types of malware infections which target the safeboot keyset so booting into safe mode is not always possible.

Generally I recommend performing a scan in normal mode unless that mode does not work or the tool is specifically intended for use in safe mode.
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#4 quietman7

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 08:12 AM

Webroot SecureAnywhere and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware are both trustworthy and effective. See my comments at the bottom of Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools as to why I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium.

System Mechanic is a comprehensive optimization suite by iolo that purports to improve performance, repair Window's registry, fix common PC problems, and enhance the speed of a computer. It includes a registry cleaner, a registry revitalizer (to fix "so called problems"), system optimizer and several other features. The optimization and performance improvement claims made by such software vendors are borderline scams. There is no statistical evidence to back such claims. Advertisements to do so are a marketing ploy intended to goad users into using an unnecessary and potential dangerous product. I would not trust any results such programs detect as problematic or needing repair nor recommend using the options to fix them. I also would not trust any detection alerts for viruses or other malware.

Further, these types of junk optimization programs are often considered Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) so they may be detected or even removed by some security scanners which specifically look for PUPs and adware.
 

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons.

Why you should not use Registry Cleaners and Optimization Tools


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#5 boomdig

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Posted 16 April 2016 - 01:51 AM

I agree with quietman7 about 3rd party optimization programs.  The three you have installed is good enough. It's about the same as what I have installed. Using Chrome I activate Ad-Block and have Emsisoft malware real time protection. That's about it. I learned from an online tech service I subscribed to that when I said while your at it, clean up and delete any junk. They always took out things like Advanced System Care and any other optimizer programs plus any registry fix it tools. I asked why and he said they cause, in the long run, more trouble than they are worth. Running in safe mode is ok but some infections might not be running and not picked up. I would think that unless the instructions for the program say to run in safe mode, run it in a normal setting.






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