We all know about the importance of malware protection, but – like backing up data – it's all too easy to keep putting it off until it's too late. If your computer is exhibiting signs of some form of infection, you may well find that it's not possible to install protective software after the fact, or it might be that your protection has been disabled or interfered with.
This is where the appropriately named Emsisoft Emergency Kit can help you out. This malware detection and removal tool picks up the presence of trojans, spyware, adware, worms, dialers, keyloggers and viruses, and can be run straight from a USB drive – perfect if you're unable to download or install software on the affected PC. You can also scan for rootkits, but this means that you have to enable the Direct Disk Access mode which is significantly slower than normal.
The toolkit is compatible with all versions of Windows and it's available in 32- and 64-bit variants. System requirements are low and the scanner uses just 200MB of RAM, which Emsisoft says is "quite low considering the 10 million signatures that it must load".
Despite the fact this is a portable app, Emsisoft Emergency Kit works much like any installable desktop program. When you run it, you will be prompted to install the latest updates so you can be sure than scans check for the most recent threats, and then you’re ready to go.
There's no need to adjust any options if you don't feel like it, because the program is pre-configured with the settings suitable for most situations. Just perform a scan and any nasties that are found can be immediately deleted or moved into quarantine. Options are self-explanatory, but one minor quibble is that the program doesn’t appear in the taskbar (although it does show up when you use [Alt]+[Tab] to switch through running programs).