How Do I Remove Malware?
Malware is short for ‘Malicious Software’ and removing it from your computer can be a real struggle. Malware can infect your computer even when you have anti-malware software installed on it. This article will help you protect and clean your computer.
Do you find your PC is getting really, really slow? Is your web browsers home page going to a new site? Are you getting pop ups and mis-directions when trying to surf the Internet? These are just some of the frustrating systems of Adware and it can be much worse.
Surfing the internet without proper protection against malware is the same as swimming with sharks. Always keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software updated and make a habit of regularly backing up your system because prevention is the first and the foremost step towards a virus-free system.
How do you know your preventive measures are sufficient? You can follow the steps discussed below.
Never Too Late to Backup
The first thing you should do when your system gets infected is to make a complete copy of your hard disk. This is advisable because sometimes trying to remove a malware can cause more damage. Taking a backup at this point is a good idea if you are trying to remove a spyware that has not corrupted your data. The process of trying to remove the malware may make your data inaccessible and you may end up losing it forever.
Restore or Repair
If you have a backup, restore from it, if you do not have one then this is a great time to make a full backup of your PC. If you are not sure how then contact us for quick and easy solutions. Otherwise, try to restore your system to an early date by using system tools or system recovery options like ‘Startup Repair in your Windows operating system.
Startup Repair scans your hard disk for errors and tries to fix them. Keep in mind that this utility is intended to fix only certain problems that may prevent Windows from booting, so it may not prove to be helpful every time and in fact, this is not the best solution.
Updating the Anti-Malware Database
An anti-malware database is a repository of malware definitions. This database defines malware for your anti-malware tool. Almost all anti-malware tools use a database to stay updated about the potential threats.
It is important to keep the malware database updated because malware definitions change all the time. If this database is not up to date, your anti-malware tool can miss catching newer malware because it will not register it as a threat. You can keep the malware definition database updated by updating your malware tools regularly.
Performing a full scan
Once you have updated the anti-malware database, run a full scan. If you are using more than one malware tools, perform a full scan using each of them. A full scan requires more time, but it has a better chance of detecting all unknown malware.
Installing New Anti-Malware Tools
Installing an anti-malware tool does not guarantee 100% protection against all malicious content. It may prove sufficient against some malware but no tool can protect against all malware. So what can you do? You can add supplementary anti-malware tools.
It is advisable to stick to reputable anti-malware and be extra careful while downloading a new anti-malware tool. Sometimes malicious software can portray itself as an anti-malware; downloading it will cause more harm than good. Do not fall for this trap! Always perform a background check on every anti-malware vendor before installing.
Specific Removal Measures
Malware is a broad term that includes a wide range of malicious software like viruses, worms, Trojans, rootkits, spyware etc. Knowing the type of malware you are dealing with can help you tackle it the right way.
Most anti-malware tools will notify you about the type of malware that has infected your system. It is advisable to search for specific removal instructions for that malware. These instructions are often technical, so follow them carefully or ask one of your tech-savvy friends to help you. You may also come across sites that offer free or paid tools to remove specific malware. Most of these claims are hoaxes, so steer clear of them and try to download tools only from sites you trust.
You can only be positive that your system is virus-free if you are restoring from a backup made before the system got infected. Other than that, it is virtually impossible to be sure because a malware can fool your anti-malware tools into believing the system is infection free.
The only way to be absolutely sure about a malware removal lies in 3 ‘Rs’. Reformat. Reinstall. Restore!
- Reformat: reformat your system after making a backup. This will erase everything on your hard disk.
- Reinstall: reinstall everything. Avoid installing pirated and cracked copies of programs.
- Restore: restore data from the backup you made earlier. Make sure you copy only the data and not the malware back into your system.
It is important to learn from your mistakes. It’s a jungle out there and you need to do everything you can to protect your system. Keep your anti-malware updated and always remember to make backup copies. This preventive measure alone will take you a long way.
If you think your computer has malware and need help, please call us right away. We are here to help with all of your IT needs.