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How good is a Malwarebytes scan.?


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I recently got a phishing email. Send and return address we’re camouflaged well, so I opened the link. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I thought the situation felt funny, so I didn’t enter any information and closed the window. Disconnected from the internet and scanned of course. 
 

no malware was detected, but this is the first time in years I’ve actually had to count on Malware Bytes to cover up for my mistake. 
 

in other words, should I look at the clean scan and be satisfied that my device and email account are safe despite clicking the link? Or should I take additional steps like throw my computer over a bridge or hit it with a hammer?

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1 hour ago, Dwinkl said:

so I opened the link. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I thought the situation felt funny, so I didn’t enter any information and closed the window.

There is nothing for Malwarebytes to "find" with phishing. As long as you did not enter any data, you are fine. Even if you did enter your info, there would still not be anything to find except your info would have been stolen.

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Thanks, Porthos,  but I must have poorly articulated my question.
 

I wasn’t phished, but I did click the link. My understanding is that even opening a link can cause malware to be loaded to a device, as is now common with text phishing or whatever it is called.

I could be wrong about that, I’m no expert. So perhaps my real question is two part—1) can opening a link load malware onto a device (very broad I know) and (2) my original question—what level of confidence should I give a clean scan?

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It might have been phishing if the real purpose of that email was for you to go to a site that was a fake site of something familiar that ask for your login credentials. Or it could have appeared to be an advertising campaign in an attempt to get you to buy something that may or may not ever arrive. You didn't tell us enough about the site or provide a link to it so we could judge for ourselves, but as you say, that's immaterial to your actual question here.

Thanks for letting us know that it was your computer, both because it is slightly more vulnerable to "drive-by" infections and Malwarebytes is able to better protect computers.

Opening a link to a site capable of downloading malware to a Mac has been an extremely rare event to date. Anything downloaded would almost certainly appear in your default download location where it would be easily identified, both by you and Malwarebytes. And even if that had happened, it is almost certain that nothing nefarious would happen until you launched or opened what was downloaded.

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Porthos—thanks for the input, I’m sure you’re right about being nagged more with similar emails.

 

alvarnell—thanks for the information. I did check my downloads and nothing was there, and I did run Malwarebytes, which found nothing. So seems like I can assume with a high level of confidence that I’m in the clear, at least from this incident.

I will drive around looking for cliffs, just in case I end up wanting that extra piece of mind that comes with tossing a computer from a perilous height.

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It's always best to avoid clicking suspicious links. However, it's exceptionally rare for a Mac to be compromised simply by visiting a website. I can't say it doesn't happen, but it almost never happens and is always targeted at specific individuals or groups when it does happen these days. Malware is almost certainly not a concern here.

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