What is a Malware Scanner?

A malware scanner is software designed to protect computer systems from malicious software (malware). It uses techniques and tools to identify, block and alert for malware threats. Basic malware detection technologies include signature-based detection, checksumming and application allowlisting. More advanced technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to proactively detect unknown threats.

Unveiling Threats: The Role of Malware Scanners

Some of the more common types of malware include spyware, ransomware, viruses, worms and rootkits. These programs can be used to disrupt the functioning of computer systems, gather sensitive information or gain access to private data. Often, they are deployed without the permission or knowledge of the computer’s owner.

While a standard antivirus program can help protect a computer from malware, it can be difficult to keep up with the evolving nature of these threats. Therefore, it is essential to use a dedicated malware scanner, which will not only check for known viruses but also look for other suspicious patterns or activity.

Some of the most popular free malware scanners include Malwarebytes and McAfee. Both are longtime cybersecurity veterans and provide a range of products for both individuals and businesses. One thing to note when using a malware scanner is that it can take several minutes or more to properly scan a computer, particularly if there are lots of files. As such, it is a good idea to back up any files that are important before running a virus scan. This can be done by copying the most important files to an external hard drive or online backup service.