10 Steps To Take When You Discover Malware On Your Computer

Viruses are everywhere! And although we’d like to think that the Internet is a safe place to spend our time (cough), we all know that there are risks around every corner. Email, social media, malicious websites that have worked their way into search engine results, and ad pop-ups all can pose a threat. Although there are precautions you can take to limit the risk of infecting your computer, sometimes you simply have bad luck and get infected anyway. But thankfully, you can do it for completely free, although removing malware can be a painful process. And because of that, I’ve laid out all the steps of exactly how to do it. computer science computer science computer science

It’s Not Just Viruses — Other Kinds Of Malware To Know About

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Because there are so many kinds, “virus” is typically the term used to describe all the nasty stuff that can infect your computer. But the correct term is actually malware, and there’s lots of it.  Chris Hoffman wrote an article differentiating between the three main types of malware: viruses, trojans and worms. In that same article, he also briefly explains what spyware and scareware are. Scareware, or ransomware, is simply a program that infects your computer and then prompts you to pay to get it fixed. Guy McDowell goes more in depth in what ransomware is and how to remove it. Lastly, there’s adware, i.e. unsolicited advertising installed on your computer.

How To Detect The Symptoms That You’re Infected

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Why do you need to know how to detect symptoms – that’s what you have an antivirus program for, right? Well, that’s true – they help for sure. There have been occasions where mine has caught something and I’ve been able to get rid of it before it has been able to cause any harm. However, if an antivirus program isn’t updated with the latest definitions, it might not catch everything. Plus, it’s always better to know what to look for, rather than depending on what a program says. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science
1. Homepage And Search Engine Hijacking
Ever wonder why your homepage, now redirects to some weird website? Or what about your default search engine now being some other search engine that you’ve never heard of or recognize? These are tell-tale signs of malicious activity on your computer. computer science computer science computer science computer science computer science
2. You’re Redirected To A Different Site Without Warning
Similar to the previous one, another problem you might run into is being taken to another website, likely malicious, when you typed in or clicked something completely different that you know hasn’t taken you there before.
3. Pop-ups
Ah, yes. The notorious pop-ups — we all know what they are. computer science computer science computer science
4. Crashes
This isn’t always related to a malware infection, but if this is happening along with some of the others mentioned here, you’ve most likely got something. computer science computer science computer science computer science
5. Unfamiliar Programs And Toolbars
Ever wonder how all of those toolbars got there in your browser? They are full of search boxes and loads of useless buttons. Frankly, no one needs toolbars anymore. But if one showed up unannounced, it was either your poor program installation habits, or it snuck its way onto your computer… or both. computer science computer science
6. Slow Computer Online And Offline
Internet connectivity issues are one thing, but if your computer is always running slow, whether you’re online or not, you better keep reading this article. computer science computer science computer science computer science
7. Browser Can’t Load Pages
I hate to be the barer of bad news, but if your browser(s) continue(s) telling you that pages can’t be loaded, yet your Internet connection is fine, I’d bet that there’s something fishy going on.

The Steps To Take If You Are Infected

There is a level of panic and worry that can overwhelm you whenever you realize that your computer has been infected – you feel vulnerable and open. However, it’s not over for your computer and all of your files that it contains. There are ten things you need to do to obliterate that virus, trojan, worm, or whatever else may be infecting your computer and restore it to the state that it was prior to the infection. computer science computer science 

1. Back Up Your Personal Files

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Hopefully you have already been backing up your files. But even so, I recommend that you copy your personal files elsewhere just to be safe. Secondly, you don’t want to back up everything on your computer, as there’s a risk that you could save some infected files along with it. computer science computer science computer science computer science
I’ve written several articles on backing up, but the two that you should refer to the most would be why you need to backup and recovery tips to help you prepare for a disaster.

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