Malware, or malicious software, is any annoying, misleading, dishonest, privacy-invading, computer-harming software. Different malware is contracted in different ways, and removing them is different depending on the program as well. Removing malware can be a messy problem to deal with, but it is certainly worse if it is not taken care of as soon as possible.
First of all, if you don’t have an antivirus program and a firewall running, you need to install and enable them now. If you use Windows firewall, you can enable it from your Security Center in the Control Panel. If you antivirus service is expired, you must renew it or at least install a free service. Next, check to be sure your antivirus service has been updated recently. If you open your antivirus program, it will very clearly tell you if everything is running properly, yellow and red indicators will notify you of anything expired or out of date.
Once you have established that you have a current, up-to-date antivirus program and your firewall is on, run a full computer scan with your antivirus program. You may have to go into the advanced options or check through the available buttons and tabs. Once the full computer scan is complete, follow whatever instructions are recommended with any infections it finds.
Now, so far you have checked for viruses and worms, etc. There is another group of “back door” malware—spyware and adware, etc.—that will not be detected by antivirus services (unless your service has additional antispyware or other malware tools). If you are still having problems or believe your problem is specify “back door” malware-related, you should probably download a spyware scanner. Be very careful what you download! Some of these advertised scanners and spyware removers are actually spyware themselves and would only worsen the situation!
When looking for a good spyware remover, look for tools that are recommended on several websites. Find reviews on the products and ratings by reputable computer services websites, like CNet and Downloads.com. If it is recommended on several reputable sources, it is probably safe to download. You probably only need one spyware scanner, because too many programs that will simply bog down your computer and conflict with one another. You may want to try several different programs, though, to find one that is easy to use and works the best for you. Once you have downloaded and completed the spyware scan and removed any infections, you should download a good firewall and antispyware program (or both if they don’t conflict and you want extra protection).
If you still have suspicious problems with your computer or if you have problems with these steps, you may need to take your computer to a technician. The sooner these problems are handled, the less likely this is necessary. If you do take your computer to a technician, if possible, be sure to back up your personal files to CD’s, flash drives, or an external hard drive, in case the technician has to reformat your hard drive, etc.
Written by Hannah Miller, Online Marketing Representative and Customer Service, Copper.net.
Copper.net is a nationwide Internet services provider that is all-American owned and operated. Call today, 1-800-336-3318 or sign up online at www.copper.net! Check out my blog for more articles!