Virus and Malware Removal from your PC or Mac in Easy Steps
Virus and malware refer to various types of programs that gain access to a computer for malicious intent, often without the user’s knowledge. The goal of malware is to either steal your personal information or encrypt data and demand ransom payment for you to regain access to files. Viruses and malware can infect computers and devices in several ways.
Malware comes in a variety of forms and contrary to popular belief that Macs are safe than PCs, both platforms can be vulnerable to malware.
Here, we will look into how your device gets infected and virus and malware removal steps.
How your device gets infected with malware
There are several ways for your device to get infected with viruses and malware, but mostly it comes from a malicious website. Harmful websites often require some action on your part, like asking to install software that your computer appears to need, or by asking for permission to install one program, but installs a different one. In some cases, the website will attempt to install software on your computer without permission. This software can be installed through an email, browsing a website, or clicking on a pop-up window with a false error message.
If your computer is behaving differently, like running extremely slow, ads showing up that you normally wouldn’t see, and unexpected crashes, you probably have some kind of virus or malware on your computer.
If you think your computer has been infected, use this step-by-step virus and malware removal guide.
Disconnect your device from the internet
Disconnecting from the internet will prevent more of your data from being sent to a malware server. It is important to stay offline as much as possible when your computer has been infected. If you need to download an antivirus tool, install it and then disconnect.
Enter safe mode
Safe mode is a way to start your computer so that it performs checks allowing only the minimum required software and programs to load. If viruses or malware is set to load automatically, this will prevent from doing so, making viruses and malware removal easier.
For Mac – Restart your Mac and then immediately press and hold the shift key until you see the login window.
For Windows – Restart your PC and when you see the sign-in screen, hold down the shift key and select Power. Then go to Choose an option and select Troubleshoot→Advanced Options→Startup Settings. On the next window, click the Restart button and a menu will appear with numbered startup options. Select number 4 or F4 to start PC in safe mode.
Avoid logging into accounts
During the virus and malware removal process, be careful to not expose passwords through a copy-paste function or by clicking a show password box. Key logger viruses are common malware, which runs invisibly to capture your keystrokes. To avoid sharing your personal information, refrain from logging into sensitive accounts while your device is infected.
Check your activity monitor
If you know that you’ve installed a suspicious update or application, close the application if it’s running. You can do so by using your activity monitor. This shows the applications running on your computer, so you can manage them and see how they affect your computer’s activity and performance.
Malware and viruses can take up resources on your computer, so check the CPU tab to see which applications are working. When you find the suspicious application, you can close it through your activity monitor and then delete the application from the Finder menu in Mac or uninstall it from your System Settings Windows.
Run a virus and malware scanner
Malware scanners can remove most standard infections. However, if you already have an antivirus program active on your computer, use a different one, since your current antivirus software may not detect the malware initially.
Fix your web browser
It’s common for malware and viruses to modify your web browser’s homepage to re-infect your Mac or PC. Check your homepage and connection settings with the below steps. You will need to connect to the internet to complete the steps.
Chrome – In the top right corner of Chrome, click More→Settings. Select the dropdown menu and verify your default homepage.
Safari – In the top left corner of the screen, select Safari→Preferences→General. Next, open the Homepage and verify your default homepage.
After homepage setting verification, clear browser cache. For Chrome, select History→Clear Browsing Data→Time Range→All Time→Clear Data. For Safari, select Preferences→Privacy→Manage Website Data→Remove All. Follow the above-mentioned steps for easy virus and malware removal.