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Malicious attacks remain the leading cause of data breaches. Worryingly, over 17 billion files were leaked in a single month. With cyber criminals constantly finding new ways to bypass security protocols, there’s even more reason to worry.
But why exactly should you be worried about malware? Tons of reasons, as it turns out.
Cyber criminals can use your personal information for all kinds of crimes. They can use it to access your bank accounts, commit identity theft, or blackmail. And even with Malware protection, you aren’t exactly safe. Protection software isn’t always perfect, and new malware can find any loopholes and bypass it.
So, what you do if malicious programs find their way into your PC or Mac?
Here’s how to get rid of malware on both platforms:
How to Get Rid of Malware on PC
Here’s how you should go about removing viruses from your computer:
1. Disconnect From the Internet
The first thing you should do if you suspect malware intrusion is to disconnect your PC from the internet. This will stop the further spread of the malware, and stop any more of your personal information from being sent to its server.
Don’t just disconnect, stay offline throughout the computer virus removal process. And if you have to download a malware removal tool, do so quickly and go offline immediately. Don’t go back online until you’re sure you’ve removed all the traces of malware.
2. Enter Safe Mode
Also known as safe boot, safe mode is a computer start-up method that boots your computer using only the minimum programs and software required to load.
If the malware you’re dealing with is set to auto-load during start-up, booting in safe mode will stop it from doing so. That way, it won’t infect any more of your files and will be easier to get rid of.
To enter safe mode, turn off your PC and boot it again. But this time, don’t let it boot fully. Instead, press F8 immediately it starts booting. You’ll see the Advanced Options Menu. From that, select Safe Mode with Networking and hit enter.
3. Delete Temporary Files
With your PC in Safe Mode, use the Disk Clean Up tool to get rid of Temporary Files.
Here’s how to do that:
- Go to the Start menu
- All Programs (or just Programs)
- System Tools
- Disk Cleanup
- From the Files To Delete list, select Temporary Files
Deleting your Temporary Files might get rid of the malware if it was programmed to launch during start-up. If it doesn’t don’t worry, because it’ll still make the next step faster and more effective.
4. Install a Virus Scanner
Computer malware scanners come in two types: Real-time scanners and On-demand scanners.
Real-time scanners such as the AVG AntiVirus FREE perform virus scans in the background while your computer is in use. With on-demand scanners such as the Microsoft Safety Scanner, you need to manually run them each time you need to scan your PC.
You might need both types or just one to get rid of malware, depending on its type. So if you hadn’t already installed any malware scanner, this is the time to go back online and download one.
In fact, it’s advisable that you download your scanner at this stage when your PC is already in Safe Mode. Doing so earlier can cause the virus to spread.
5. Scan Your PC for Malware
Start by running the On-demand scanner. Once the on-demand scan is complete, run your real-time scanner. While either of the two scanners can get rid of the malware, using both increases your chances of success.
6. If Necessary, Remove Malware Manually
Some malware won’t go away until you delete it manually. But, you shouldn’t perform this step if you’re not familiar with using the Windows Registry to delete system and program files. That’s because you can easily compromise your PC’s functionality by deleting the wrong files.
If you’re unsure about this, it’s best to hire a virus repair and removal expert. But since there are many posers in Oakville, be careful when choosing a computer repair expert.
7. Recover Damaged Files and/or Software
After you clean all viruses by scanning, retrieve any files that were damaged by the malware from your back up. Also, reinstall any affected software.
This is one of those situations where backups are priceless, and we strongly advise you to make them on a regular basis.
How to Get Rid of Malware on Mac
There’s a commonly held belief among Mac users that their platform is immune to malware. That’s mainly because there are more viruses and malware targeting laptops and PCs than Mac computers.
While the reasoning behind the misconception is true, Mac computers can still get infected with malware.
Common examples of Mac Malware include:
As you can see, these malicious programs are intentionally named to look like antivirus products. Such names trick Mac users into giving out their Apple ID account or credit card info, which cybercriminals can use to their advantage.
The two main security risks facing users of the Mac platform are previously installed malware and false alerts. So if you come across messages like “your Mac has a problem” online, avoid them. Chances are it’s an attempt to trick you into downloading malware.
And if this info came a bit too late for you, here’s the procedure for removing computer viruses on the Mac platform:
Malware Encountered Online
If you unknowingly download programs you suspect to be malware, quit your browser immediately. Next, visit the Downloads file folder and drag any suspicious programs to Trash. Lastly, empty the trash and stay away from the site you downloaded the malware from.
Malware That’s Already Installed
If you’re frequently seeing pop-ups asking you to submit your credit card or Apple ID info, it’s very likely that malware has already found its way into your Mac.
In such a case, quit the software/app you suspect might be affected. Next, start your Activity Monitor. Locate the suspicious app or search any of the common malware names above.
When you locate the malware, hit Quit Process and exit the Activity Monitor. Lastly, visit the Applications folder, drag the suspicious program into Trash and then empty it.
What if None of These Steps Work?
If you closely followed our guide on how to get rid of malware and are still experiencing problems, it’s time to call the experts.
Techville is the leading provider of phone and computer repair services Oakville, Burlington, and Milton. We also fix other electronics such as iPods, GPS, tablets and game consoles.
Contact us for speedy repairs.