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Important

In our guide to the best antivirus in 2021, we help you choose the right virus protection software for you - includes Norton, Bitdefender, Kaspersky and more. The best no cost antivirus programs can help preserve your computer from phishing websites. While the free version of Malwarebytes is a solid tool to clear out infected documents, it won’t be able to help you prevent infection in the first place. The premium variety provides additional features, such as parental controls and network security.

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The improved Microsoft 365 Defender portal is now available. This new experience brings Defender for Endpoint, Defender for Office 365, Microsoft 365 Defender, and more into the Microsoft 365 Defender portal. Learn what's new.

Applies to

In Microsoft 365 organizations with mailboxes in Exchange Online or standalone Exchange Online Protection (EOP) organizations without Exchange Online mailboxes, email messages are automatically protected against malware by EOP. EOP uses anti-malware policies for malware protection settings. For more information, see Anti-malware protection.

Admins can view, edit, and configure (but not delete) the default anti-malware policy to meet the needs of their organizations. For greater granularity, you can also create custom anti-malware policies that apply to specific users, groups, or domains in your organization. Custom policies always take precedence over the default policy, but you can change the priority (running order) of your custom policies.

You can configure anti-malware policies in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal or in PowerShell (Exchange Online PowerShell for Microsoft 365 organizations with mailboxes in Exchange Online; standalone EOP PowerShell for organizations without Exchange Online mailboxes).

What do you need to know before you begin?

  • You open the Microsoft 365 Defender portal at https://security.microsoft.com. To go directly to the Anti-malware page, use https://security.microsoft.com/antimalwarev2.

  • To connect to Exchange Online PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online PowerShell. To connect to standalone EOP PowerShell, see Connect to Exchange Online Protection PowerShell.

  • You need to be assigned permissions in Exchange Online before you can do the procedures in this article:

    • To add, modify, and delete anti-malware policies, you need to be a member of the Organization Management or Security Administrator role groups.
    • For read-only access to anti-malware policies, you need to be a member of the Global Reader or Security Reader role groups.

    For more information, see Permissions in Exchange Online.

    Notes:

    • Adding users to the corresponding Azure Active Directory role in the Microsoft 365 admin center gives users the required permissions and permissions for other features in Microsoft 365. For more information, see About admin roles.
    • The View-Only Organization Management role group in Exchange Online also gives read-only access to the feature.
  • For our recommended settings for anti-malware policies, see EOP anti-malware policy settings.

Use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to create anti-malware policies

Creating a custom anti-malware policy in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal creates the malware filter rule and the associated malware filter policy at the same time using the same name for both.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, click Create.

  3. The policy wizard opens. On the Name your policy page, configure these settings:

    • Name: Enter a unique, descriptive name for the policy.
    • Description: Enter an optional description for the policy.

    When you're finished, click Next.

  4. On the Users and domains page that appears, identify the internal recipients that the policy applies to (recipient conditions):

    • Users: The specified mailboxes, mail users, or mail contacts in your organization.
    • Groups: The specified distribution groups, mail-enabled security groups, or Microsoft 365 Groups in your organization.
    • Domains: All recipients in the specified accepted domains in your organization.

    Click in the appropriate box, start typing a value, and select the value that you want from the results. Repeat this process as many times as necessary. To remove an existing value, click remove next to the value.

    For users or groups, you can use most identifiers (name, display name, alias, email address, account name, etc.), but the corresponding display name is shown in the results. For users, enter an asterisk (*) by itself to see all available values.

    Multiple values in the same condition use OR logic (for example, <recipient1> or <recipient2>). Different conditions use AND logic (for example, <recipient1> and <member of group 1>).

    • Exclude these users, groups, and domains: To add exceptions for the internal recipients that the policy applies to (recpient exceptions), select this option and configure the exceptions. The settings and behavior are exactly like the conditions.

    When you're finished, click Next.

  5. On the Protection settings page that appears, configure the following settings:

    • Enable the common attachments filter: If you select this option, messages with the specified attachments are treated as malware and are automatically quarantined. You can modify the default list by selecting Customize file types.

    • Enable zero-hour auto purge for malware: If you select this option, ZAP quarantines malware messages that have already been delivered. For more information, see Zero-hour auto purge (ZAP) in Exchange Online. Select one of these values:

    • Quarantine policy: Select the quarantine policy that applies to messages that are quarantined as malware. Quarantine policies define what users are able to do to quarantined messages, and whether users receive quarantine notifications. For more information, see Quarantine policies.

      A blank value means the default quarantine policy is used (AdminOnlyAccessPolicy for malware detections). When you later edit the anti-malware policy or view the settings, the default quarantine policy name is shown. For more information about default quarantine policies that are used for supported protection filtering verdicts, see this table.

    • Notify recipients when messages are quarantined as malware:

      • If you select this option, the message is quarantined. A copy of the message is delivered to the recipients, but all attachments (not just malware attachments) are replaced with a single text file named Malware Alert Text.txt.

        The default text in the replacement text file is described in Anti-malware policies. To use custom text instead, enter the text in the Custom notification text to recipient box.

      • If you don't select this option, the message is silently quarantined.

      Note

      Regardless of the option that you select, the quarantine policy determines whether recipients receive quarantine notifications (email notifications for messages that were quarantined as malware).

    • Sender Notifications: Select none, one, or both of these options:

      • Notify internal senders when messages are quarantined as malware: An internal sender is inside the organization.
      • Notify external senders when messages are quarantined as malware: An external sender is outside the organization.
    • Admin notifications: Select none, one, or both of these options:

      • Notify an admin about undelivered messages from internal senders: If you select this option, enter a notification email address in the Admin email address box that appears.
      • Notify an admin about undelivered messages from external senders: If you select this option, enter a notification email address in the Admin email address box that appears.
    • Customize notifications: These settings replace the default notification text that's used for senders or admins. For more information about the default values, see Anti-malware policies.

      • Use customized notification text: If you select this option, you need to use the From name and From address boxes to specify the sender's name and email address that's used in the customized notification message.
      • Customize notifications for messages from internal senders: If you chose to notify senders or admins about undeliverable messages from internal senders, you need to use the Subject and Message boxes to specify the subject and message body of the custom notification message.
      • Customize notifications for messages from external senders: If you chose to notify senders or admins about undeliverable messages from external senders, you need to use the Subject and Message boxes to specify the subject and message body of the custom notification message.

    When you're finished, click Next.

  6. On the Review page that appears, review your settings. You can select Edit in each section to modify the settings within the section. Or you can click Back or select the specific page in the wizard.

    When you're finished, click Submit.

  7. On the confirmation page that appears, click Done.

Use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to view anti-malware policies

  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, the following properties are displayed in the list of anti-malware policies:

    • Name
    • Status
    • Priority
  3. When you select a policy by clicking on the name, the policy settings are displayed in a flyout.

Use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to modify anti-malware policies

  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, select a policy from the list by clicking on the name.

  3. In the policy details flyout that appears, select Edit in each section to modify the settings within the section. For more information about the settings, see the previous Use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to create anti-malware policies section in this article.

    For the default anti-malware policy, the Users, groups, and domains section isn't available (the policy applies to everyone), and you can't rename the policy.

To enable or disable a policy or set the policy priority order, see the following sections.

Enable or disable custom anti-malware policies

You can't disable the default anti-malware policy.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, select a custom policy from the list by clicking on the name.

  3. At the top of the policy details flyout that appears, you'll see one of the following values:

    • Policy off: To turn on the policy, click Turn on .
    • Policy on: To turn off the policy, click Turn off.
  4. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Turn on or Turn off.

  5. Click Close in the policy details flyout.

Back on the main policy page, the Status value of the policy will be On or Off.

Set the priority of custom anti-malware policies

By default, anti-malware policies are given a priority that's based on the order they were created in (newer policies are lower priority than older policies). A lower priority number indicates a higher priority for the policy (0 is the highest), and policies are processed in priority order (higher priority policies are processed before lower priority policies). No two policies can have the same priority, and policy processing stops after the first policy is applied.

To change the priority of a policy, you click Increase priority or Decrease priority in the properties of the policy (you can't directly modify the Priority number in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal). Changing the priority of a policy only makes sense if you have multiple policies.

Notes:

  • In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, you can only change the priority of the anti-malware policy after you create it. In PowerShell, you can override the default priority when you create the malware filter rule (which can affect the priority of existing rules).
  • Anti-malware policies are processed in the order that they're displayed (the first policy has the Priority value 0). The default anti-malware policy has the priority value Lowest, and you can't change it.
  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, select a custom policy from the list by clicking on the name.

  3. At the top of the policy details flyout that appears, you'll see Increase priority or Decrease priority based on the current priority value and the number of custom policies:

    • The policy with the Priority value 0 has only the Decrease priority option available.
    • The policy with the lowest Priority value (for example, 3) has only the Increase priority option available.
    • If you have three or more policies, the policies between the highest and lowest priority values have both the Increase priority and Decrease priority options available.

    Click Increase priority or Decrease priority to change the Priority value.

  4. When you're finished, click Close in the policy details flyout.

Use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to remove custom anti-malware policies

When you use the Microsoft 365 Defender portal to remove a custom anti-malware policy, the malware filter rule and the corresponding malware filter policy are both deleted. You can't remove the default anti-malware policy.

  1. In the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, go to Email & Collaboration > Policies & Rules > Threat policies > Anti-Malware in the Policies section.

  2. On the Anti-malware page, select a custom policy from the list by clicking on the name.

  3. At the top of the policy details flyout that appears, click More actions > Delete policy.

  4. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Yes.

Use Exchange Online PowerShell or standalone EOP PowerShell to configure anti-malware policies

For more information about anti-spam policies in PowerShell, see Anti-malware policies in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal vs PowerShell.

Use PowerShell to create anti-malware policies

Creating an anti-malware policy in PowerShell is a two-step process:

  1. Create the malware filter policy.
  2. Create the malware filter rule that specifies the malware filter policy that the rule applies to.

Notes:

  • You can create a new malware filter rule and assign an existing, unassociated malware filter policy to it. A malware filter rule can't be associated with more than one malware filter policy.
  • There are two settings that you can configure on new anti-malware policies in PowerShell that aren't available in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal until after you create the policy:
    • Create the new policy as disabled (Enabled$false on the New-MalwareFilterRule cmdlet).
    • Set the priority of the policy during creation (Priority<Number>) on the New-MalwareFilterRule cmdlet).
  • A new malware filter policy that you create in PowerShell isn't visible in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal until you assign the policy to a malware filter rule.

Step 1: Use PowerShell to create a malware filter policy

Note: In the cloud-based service, the Action parameter values DeleteMessage, DeleteAttachmentAndUseDefaultAlert, and DeleteAttachmentAndUseCustomAlert don't delete messages. Instead, the messages are always quarantined. For more information about retrieving quarantined messages, see Manage quarantined messages and files as an admin in EOP.

To create a malware filter policy, use this syntax:

Best malware software

This example creates a new malware filter policy named Contoso Malware Filter Policy with these settings:

  • Quarantine messages that contain malware without notifying the recipients (we aren't using the Action parameter, and the default value is DeleteMessage).
  • Don't notify the message sender when malware is detected in the message (we aren't using the EnableExternalSenderNotifications or EnableInternalSenderNotifications parameters, and the default value for both is $false).
  • Notify the administrator [email protected] when malware is detected in a message from an internal sender.
  • The default quarantine policy for malware detections is used (we aren't using the QuarantineTag parameter).

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see New-MalwareFilterPolicy.

Step 2: Use PowerShell to create a malware filter rule

To create a malware filter rule, use this syntax:

This example creates a new malware filter rule named Contoso Recipients with these settings:

  • The malware filter policy named Contoso Malware Filter Policy is associated with the rule.
  • The rule applies to recipients in the contoso.com domain.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see New-MalwareFilterRule.

Use PowerShell to view malware filter policies

To return a summary list of all malware filter policies, run this command:

To return detailed information about a specific malware filter policy, use the this syntax:

This example returns all the property values for the malware filter policy named Executives.

This example returns only the specified properties for the same policy.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Get-MalwareFilterPolicy.

Use PowerShell to view malware filter rules

To return a summary list of all malware filter rules, run this command:

To filter the list by enabled or disabled rules, run the following commands:

To return detailed information about a specific malware filter rule, use this syntax:

This example returns all the property values for the malware filter rule named Executives.

This example returns only the specified properties for the same rule.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Get-MalwareFilterRule.

Use PowerShell to modify malware filter policies

Other than the following items, the same settings are available when you modify a malware filter policy in PowerShell as when you create the policy as described in the Step 1: Use PowerShell to create a malware filter policy section earlier in this article.

  • The MakeDefault switch that turns the specified policy into the default policy (applied to everyone, unmodifiable Lowest priority, and you can't delete it) is only available when you modify a malware filter policy in PowerShell.
  • You can't rename a malware filter policy (the Set-MalwareFilterPolicy cmdlet has no Name parameter). When you rename an anti-malware policy in the Microsoft 365 Defender portal, you're only renaming the malware filter rule.

To modify a malware filter policy, use this syntax:

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-MalwareFilterPolicy.

Note

For detailed instructions to specify the quarantine policy to use in a malware filter policy, see Use PowerShell to specify the quarantine policy in anti-malware policies.

Use PowerShell to modify malware filter rules

The only setting that isn't available when you modify a malware filter rule in PowerShell is the Enabled parameter that allows you to create a disabled rule. To enable or disable existing malware filter rules, see the next section.

Otherwise, no additional settings are available when you modify a malware filter rule in PowerShell. The same settings are available when you create a rule as described in the Step 2: Use PowerShell to create a malware filter rule section earlier in this article.

To modify a malware filter rule, use this syntax:

Best Anti Malware Free

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Set-MalwareFilterRule.

Use PowerShell to enable or disable malware filter rules

Enabling or disabling a malware filter rule in PowerShell enables or disables the whole anti-malware policy (the malware filter rule and the assigned malware filter policy). You can't enable or disable the default anti-malware policy (it's always always applied to all recipients).

Best

To enable or disable a malware filter rule in PowerShell, use this syntax:

This example disables the malware filter rule named Marketing Department.

This example enables same rule.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Enable-MalwareFilterRule and Disable-MalwareFilterRule.

Use PowerShell to set the priority of malware filter rules

The highest priority value you can set on a rule is 0. The lowest value you can set depends on the number of rules. For example, if you have five rules, you can use the priority values 0 through 4. Changing the priority of an existing rule can have a cascading effect on other rules. For example, if you have five custom rules (priorities 0 through 4), and you change the priority of a rule to 2, the existing rule with priority 2 is changed to priority 3, and the rule with priority 3 is changed to priority 4.

To set the priority of a malware filter rule in PowerShell, use the following syntax:

This example sets the priority of the rule named Marketing Department to 2. All existing rules that have a priority less than or equal to 2 are decreased by 1 (their priority numbers are increased by 1).

Notes:

  • To set the priority of a new rule when you create it, use the Priority parameter on the New-MalwareFilterRule cmdlet instead.
  • The default malware filter policy doesn't have a corresponding malware filter rule, and it always has the unmodifiable priority value Lowest.

Use PowerShell to remove malware filter policies

When you use PowerShell to remove a malware filter policy, the corresponding malware filter rule isn't removed.

Archives

To remove a malware filter policy in PowerShell, use this syntax:

This example removes the malware filter policy named Marketing Department.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Remove-MalwareFilterPolicy.

Use PowerShell to remove malware filter rules

When you use PowerShell to remove a malware filter rule, the corresponding malware filter policy isn't removed.

To remove a malware filter rule in PowerShell, use this syntax:

This example removes the malware filter rule named Marketing Department.

For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Remove-MalwareFilterRule.

How do you know these procedures worked?

Use the EICAR.TXT file to verify your anti-malware policy settings

Important

The EICAR.TXT file is not a virus. The European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) developed this file to safely test anti-virus installations and settings.

Software
  1. Open Notepad and paste the following text into an empty file:

    Be sure that these are the only text characters in the file. The file size should be 68 bytes.

  2. Save the file as EICAR.TXT

    In your desktop anti-virus program, be sure to exclude the EICAR.TXT from scanning (otherwise, the file will be quarantined).

  3. Send an email message that contains the EICAR.TXT file as an attachment, using an email client that won't automatically block the file, and using an email service that doesn't automatically block outbound spam. Use your anti-malware policy settings to determine the following scenarios to test:

    • Email from an internal mailbox to an internal recipient.
    • Email from an internal mailbox to an external recipient.
    • Email from an external mailbox to an internal recipient.
  4. Verify that the message was quarantined, and verify the recipient and sender notification results based on your anti-malware policy settings. For example:

    • Recipients aren't notified, or recipients receive the original message with the EICAR.TXT attachment replaced by Malware Alert Text.txt that contains the default or customized text.
    • Internal or external senders are notified with the default or customized notification messages.
    • The admin email address that you specified is notified for internal or external message senders, with the default or customized notification messages.
  5. Delete the EICAR.TXT file after your testing is complete (so other users aren't unnecessarily alarmed by it).

Introduction

Here we go, the top 5 anti-malware list. First of all, I want to tell you, what is Anti-Malware. Anti-malware – is a software, that protects you from malicious programs like viruses, trojans, adware, spyware and so on. You may say: “Oh, such as Kaspersky, Norton or McAfee”. No, those programs are classified as antivirus software, they are good, but against viruses, trojans, crypts. Here you can find out more about the best antiviruses. Anti-malware programs are more suitable for such types of threats as adware, browser hijacker, and spyware, which are popular nowadays. Those kinds of malware are not dangerous for your PC but harmful for your privacy and your purse. Moreover, adware and spyware can download viruses and trojans or leave them access to your PC. So anti-malware is more functional then antivirus.

SpyHunter 5

US $42/ 6 MONTHS

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 For: 1 device Distinctive Features: Free Malware Scanner

Another strong anti-malware program is SpyHunter. It is an anti-malware program, that mostly focuses on spyware, ransomware, popups, and adware. It can scan your PC, detect many kinds of threats (including viruses, trojans, adware) and remove them. Besides, SpyHunter protects your PC from net attacks. This is a good anti-malware since it has got a good threat database, that updates every day. Initially, the free version allows you one remediation and removal for results found subject to a 48-hour waiting period. To remove these restrictions, you will have to pay $ 42 – 6 months of subscription.

Wipersoft Antispyware

US $39.99/ 6 MONTHS

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 For: 1 device Distinctive Features: Custom Fix feature for specific threats removal.

The first one will be Wipersoft. This product has been created by Norton LLC in 2015. Like the other two anti-malware programs it has a good threat database, real-time protection, and scanner, that can find adware, spyware and delete them. But still, Norton mainly focuses on viruses and trojans. There are free and paid versions of the Wipersoft. The free version allows users to scan the system for malicious threats, however, their removal, as well as free customer support and custom fix are available only in the paid version.

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security

US 69.95 $44.95/ 1 YEAR

OS: Windows 7/8/10 For: 1 device Distinctive Features: Anti-Ransomware protection

ZoneAlarm Extreme Security provides users with full protection against almost all types of malware threats such as ransomware, Trojans, browser hijackers, adware, etc. In that, it can even compare to the antivirus. Also, it has an integrated feature allowing to block phishing and other malicious URLs. An undoubted plus is the availability of a trial version, which will allow you to evaluate all its advantages over 30 days. After the trial period, you can purchase a US $44.95 commercial version

Plumbytes Anti-Malware

US $29.99/ 1 YEAR

OS: Windows 7/8/10 For: 1 device Distinctive Features: Browser “Anti-Hijack” Protection

Another strong anti-malware program is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This product has been created by Malwarebytes. Like the other anti-malware programs it has a good threat database, real-time protection, and scanner, that can find adware, spyware and delete them. But still, Malwarebytes mainly focuses on viruses and trojans. Over this, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is cheaper then Stronghold Anti-malware and SpyHunter, it costs 29.99$ for 1 year., there is why it’s popular anti-malware too.

Hitman Pro

US $24.95

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 For: 1 device Distinctive Features: Stop zero-day ransomware

Best Malware

Hitman Pro has been developed by SurfRight. HitmanPro is a good scanner, called a “Second Opinion” scanner. It has good database, but doesn’t have any protection. So threats can infect user’s PC, but will be killed by HitmanPro after next scan. Not so good, but not so bad, you can install any protection system with HitmanPro. It would be a nice combo. The price of HitmanPro is 24.95$.

Conclusion

What we have? Five top anti-malware programs, with their own features. If you want to know my choice, here it is. I prefer to use SpyHunter, Wipersoft or Malwarebytes, because of their large databases and protection. Both of them have a good website, where it is easy to navigate. And there are good supports too. Those programs are not cheap, but worth it!