So, now you have malware on your PC. You are not alone, so you don’t have to worry alone. There are hell-a-lot of different types of malware, and each need its own fix. However, remember that “Prevention is better than cure,” and that holds good for handling malware too. Preventing your Windows PC from getting infected with malware is a much easier proposition than cleansing the PC later. Well, now your PC is infected and you have to cleanse that.
There are many types of malware – Trojans, Spyware, Keyloggers, Rootkits, Adware, Hijackers, etc..,
First ensure that your PC has got infected. Just slow running of the PC does not mean malware infection. However, you may be infected if:
- Sluggish performance is severe and cleaning do not fix the issue
- Applications crash frequently
- PC keeps rebooting
- Settings change, and even if corrected they revert after a restart
- You get unwanted pop-up ads
- Pop-Ups alerts on PC infection
- Your browser home page gets hijacked
- Unwanted add-ons in browser
- Desktop gets hijacked
- Your antivirus program (a genuine program – not a fake one) alerts you on malware interference
- Your browser takes you to unwanted web pages
- Fake posts on social media pages
- Task manager gets disabled
- Antivirus and firewall program gets disabled
- Hard disk free space decreases drastically
- Files keep replicating
- Hardware stops responding
- Programs attempt to access the internet by themselves
- IP address gets blacklisted
- Emails being sent from your ID
- Your router demonstrates high level of activity
- Your PC or data is held to ransom
Steps to Remove Malware from the PC
- Disconnect devices connected to the computer – USB drives, DVDs, etc..,
- Clean the PC – temp files, etc.., use the Disk Cleanup utility or a third party cleaning tool
- Install a reputed anti malware solution such as Comodo Cleaning Essentials (CCE) and update its definitions.
- Disconnect the internet connection and then run a complete scan.
- If the infection still persists, boot the PC in ‘Safe Mode’ or ‘Safe Mode with networking’.
- Now cleanse the PC of temporary files using the Disk Cleanup utility.
- Following this process run a quick scan followed by a complete scan.
- Reboot the PC to check if the malware has been removed.
- Connect the devices, DVDs that had been connected earlier. Connect them one-by-one and run a scan on them.
- This will help find out if malware exists on any of those devices.
- Now install an anti-malware solution to remove bad registry entries, and also monitor for suspicious activity.
- Run a scan with this anti-malware solution. (Running two different protection solutions helps detect different types of malware.
- Check for the latest updates and patches for your operating system, and update them.
- As the malware infection could have been a keylogger, it is better to change all the login credentials of your accounts that had been accessed through this PC.
However, some malware are so complex, that sometimes it would be prudent to reinstall the operating system and recover your data from back up, than spend hours or days trying to remove the malware.
In order to avoid malware infection, take proactive measures and install an effective antivirus and anti-malware solution.