How to Remove Malware from your Computer
Having your computer infected by malware is no fun. Today, computers are at the center of everything that we do as human beings. Any disruptions, therefore, have the potential to set us back, both in terms of time and resources. That is why we, at Network Bees, have decided to produce this comprehensive malware removal process, in which we look at everything that you need to do in order to get yourself back on track.
Common Signs of Malware Infection
Malware infections exhibit a wide range of symptoms. We have previously covered some of these signs of a malware infection in an article that you can read by following the provided link. Needless to say here that most of the time, an infection by viruses, Trojans, worms or any other type of malicious software will negatively affect your PC’s performance. That is the reason why this ten step malware removal process is so important;
Step 1 in the Malware Removal Process: Disconnect your PC from the Internet
As soon as you suspect that your computer has been compromised by malicious software, the first thing that you need to do in order to protect yourself is disconnect from the internet. That is the case even if you know that the infection was introduced to your PC from a USB flash drive, or through other removable media.
Viruses, Worms, Trojans, Adware and other forms of malicious software propagate across the internet, and you do not wish to become a source of infection for other computers. You also do not want any information that is stolen from your computer to get send to other computers across the internet.
We understand that you may actually need to reconnect to the internet as part of the malware removal process, but, while taking stock of the situation, it is better to temporarily disconnect your computer from the internet.
Take a Deep Breath
The next thing that you need to do when your computer gets hit by viruses and other malicious software is take a deep breath. In most cases the symptoms only make things seem worse than they really are. Really! We have, over the years, had numerous computers that were attacked, and there was almost always something that could be done to recover from the menace.
Most of the threats that exist out there are simple annoyances that can you can exorcise on your own without having to call on the services of the resident wannabe tech guru (there is always one in every office). In any case, malware attacks are some of the reasons why it is so important for everyone to make sure that they keep backups of their most critical data.
Identify the Source of the Infection
This may only be useful for future references, but it is critical for you to identify the source of infection whenever your computer gets hit by malware. Malware removal can be time consuming and costly, and you do not wish to have the entire process repeated as soon you get back on track by reintroducing the infection.
Some of the most common ways through which computers are infected by malicious software are through visits to infected websites, through infected downloads and through USB and other removable drives. You can learn more on how malware spreads from one computer to the other by reading this article.
Change Your Passwords and Inform Your Bank
If your suspect that your passwords and personal information have been compromised during the attack, you should take steps to protect yourself from losses that may come through the unauthorized accessing of your bank account by hackers. Financial gain is, by far, the biggest motivation behind the creation of malware, and you should move quickly to ensure that cyber criminals do not gain at your expense. You can change the passwords using any other uninfected computer.
Reboot into Safe Mode
If the infection is so severe that you fail to get your computer to boot up the normal way, try starting Windows in Safe Mode (with networking). You can do this through the Advanced Boot Option, which can be accessed by pressing the F8 key while rebooting. Doing this may give you access to your computer, if everything else has failed. You can then try and remove the infection while in Safe Mode. You can also simply back up all the important data that is stored there, if you have not already done so.
Scan Your Computer with Kaspersky
This is where the malware removal process really begins. The fact that your PC has been infected can only mean that you did not have an antivirus installed. The number of people whose computers are not protected by an anti-malware program is rather surprising.
In any case, the infection could also be a sign that the antivirus that you have on your computer is not up to the task of protecting you, or that your have not been updating it on a regular basis. At Network Bees, we have discovered that the most effective way of removing malware infections from your computer is through the use of Kaspersky security.
Kaspersky is one of the best known anti-malware programs in the world, with millions of users across the globe the best known computer anti-viruses in the world. We have used it countless times on our own PC to get rid of viruses and other malicious software.
Uninstall and Reinstall Your Browser. (For adware/browser hijacking attacks)
One of our own computers was recently hijacked (yes, we are not infallible) by a piece of malicious software that kept taking us to some Russian version of AliExpress (Things would have been better had it taken us to the English version).
After using every trick in our arsenal in a bid to get rid of the problem, we finally gave up and uninstalled Firefox. We then reinstalled the program, and discovered that this solution had gotten rid of the problem.
Uninstalling and reinstalling your browser is one of the ways through which you can disable pesky adware and get rid of browser hijacking attacks.
Install an Antivirus/ Upgrade to a Good One
If your malware removal efforts have succeeded in ridding your PC of malicious software, you should consider yourself lucky and take steps to protect yourself from future attacks. This includes the installation of a strong antivirus, for those whose computers were previously unprotected. If your computer has been attacked despite the fact that you had an up to date antivirus, you should consider moving to a better one, such as Kaspersky.
Format Your Computer
In the unlikely event that every malware removal step that we have mentioned here has failed to get rid of the infection, you may be forced to take the drastic step of formatting your computer and reinstalling your Operation System. If you have been able to gain access through Safe Mode, you would have been able to backup your data while you still could. If not, then remember to create offsite backups next time.
Always Backup your Files
Backing up important information is something that most computer users neglect to do. It’s only when things go wrong that they appreciate the importance of taking this step.
Now that your computer is up and running and you have installed a strong antivirus, the next thing that you need to do in order to protect yourself in backup all the files that you care about that are on your computer (excluding programs, which can always be downloaded and reinstalled).
Need to learn more about computers? Read our article on how you can instantly boost the speed of your PC.