You may wonder how to remove malware, but what exactly is it anyway? Malware is malicious software that can infect your computer with a variety of different viruses, worms, spyware, adware, and scareware. Needless to say, these can cause time, hassle, frustration, and even money when it comes to trying to get your computer back the way it was.
How Does it Work?
This malicious software actually contains a code that is uses to damage your computer. The code, when introduced to the computer system, begins to corrupt your computer system. Whether Windows or Mac, it doesn’t matter; an invasion by malware will disrupt and corrupt any system or computer without prejudice. Even if you already have an anti-virus program installed, you’re not necessarily protected, as it can infect your computer through that as well. If you take the right steps, you can figure out how to remove malware.
Typically, scams are aimed toward users into scaring them by informing that their computer is infected with a virus, which is a lie. At the same time this warning pops up, a hand dandy software is offered for installation in order to kill said virus. Victims of this scam will then pay for this anti-virus, and while doing so, end up infecting their computer.
Symptoms of a Malware Infection:
If you think you are having trouble with your computer, keep a look out for certain signs and symptoms, as these can point to malware. Some of the symptoms this frustrating software can have include, but are not limited to:
- Hijacked Homepage: In this case, your home page can actually be hijacked. Your homepage will be altered, and then lock down a certain system in which the user will not be able to switch their homepage back to the original. This can then be followed by other annoying signs, like the change of your tool bars.
- Hijacked Search Engine: One of the most common ways of recognizing malware, is if your search engine has been hijacked. This will happen as a user’s normally used search engine within their internet browser, will abruptly vanish and be replaced by another, usually unfamiliar search engine.
- Pop-Ups: Getting a load of pop-up advertisements is yet another popular sign that your computer is infected with malware. Sometimes, it is normal to get pop-ups, but if you’ve got a virus or are infected by this irritating software, your computer can become very slow when surfing the web, and an abnormal amount of pop-ups can appear.
- Scareware: Last but not least, an almost frightening screen of blue can suddenly appear on your computer, known among the computer world as scareware. This scareware will display on your infected computer, along with a warning to urge you to download a software in order to fix the problem. But don’t be fooled, as this is just a fake anti-virus package, which usually goes by the name of System Security.
If you have one or more of these signs, your computer may be infected. But don’t be scared. After all, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Just take a gander at these lessons and apply them. You may be able to save your computer yet. Here are a couple things to remember first:
The Worst Thing You Can Do:
If you’re wondering how to remove malware, there is one thing you should never do. In fact, the worst thing you can do is use an anti-malware software. Why is this one of the worst options? Because malware itself is a very complicated and rather sophisticated software. Like having a strong immune system, this software will protects itself against such intrusions.
The Best Thing You Can Do:
One of the very first steps, and one of the best, is to make a back up of your files. Doing a disk image backup will ensure that all of your files are backed up. Just remember, that even if you don’t mean to, you may end up deleting files that you originally did not want deleted during the cleanup process. So to install them on a CD or USB flash drive, is definitely something to take into consideration, and a worth while process. You can always place your files on an external hard drive as well.
Now, that all being said, here are a few steps to getting your computer back to normal. Follow these in order to figure out how to remove malware, and maybe by the end, you’ll be in luck.
- Step 1: First, disconnect the computer from all of your networks, such as the internet. If it’s possible, use a removable software, so that any potential install that is new, will be clean.
- Step 2: Back up any and all files you will want to save.
- Step 3: Use Safe Mode in order to freeze the malicious software in its tracks. Doing so can stop it from running, as some of the infectious software is sometimes auto-starting, meaning it will run on its own if not in safe mode.
- Step 4: Check out “My Network Places” in order to delete any name that does not look familiar to you.
- Step 5: Reboot your computer back to Safe Mode once again. By now, surface versions of the software should be taken care of.
- Step 6: Go into your add/remove programs area of your control panel, and delete any adware that may have snuck its way into your computer.
- Step 7: Now, go ahead and delete all of the following: Active X controls, the web browser’s cache, web browser’s history, temporary files, and cookies.
- Step 8: Go ahead and empty out you recycle bin now. And remember to empty the recycle bin for every user on the computer.
- Step 9: Ste up a brand new firewall program and get it running pronto.
- Step 10: From there, log on to the internet and scan the hard disk in case of any viruses.
- Step 11: Last but not least, reboot your system. While doing so, check for anything odd or anything you’ve missed.
Getting malware certainly isn’t fun in the least bit, but it’s not the end of the world. By taking a little time out of your day, and having a bunch of patience to go through all of these steps, you can learn how to remove malware yourself. And, in the end, you may be able to get your computer back the way it was. It is worth it in the end, when you have your computer up to par once more.