It’s the final post in our malware extravaganza this month, and this one is designed to help you out should the worst happen. You turn on your computer one day and discover it is infected with malware. This could be a lock out virus, a Trojan that could steal your data or a worm that has left your files ruined. Whatever it is, all you know if that you want it off and sharpish! So here are a few easy steps to get rid of malware and viruses and restore your computer to normal.
As soon as you realise you have malware on your machine you need to act. The first step for this is to disconnect your machine from the internet (to stop the malware from leaking elsewhere) and boot your machine up in safe mode. For a Windows machine you need to shut down the computer and restart it. As soon as you see anything on the screen, press the F8 key repeatedly. This will bring up the advanced boot options menu, where you can select safe mode with networking and press enter. For a Mac you need to once again turn off your computer, press down the Shift key and hold it down while it boots. You can stop holding the shift key when you see an apple logo and a progress bar.
Once you have entered safe mode, you now want to delete all temporary files on your machine. This quick process will speed up the virus scanning, free up disk space and it might even get rid of some malware. It’s as simple as using the disk clean up utility included on your machine. Once you have done this, you are now ready to run a virus scanner and get rid of that malware.
Now you are ready to get rid of this nasty malware for good. Thankfully a standard malware scanner is usually enough to get rid of most infections. If you already have antivirus installed, make sure you use a different malware scanner for this, as your inbuilt one could be corrupt. There are millions of malware variants, so no one scanner will catch them all. You are looking to download an on demand malware scanner and run it, or if you prefer you can use a FixMeStick. The FixMeStick is a plug and play antivirus USB stick specifically designed for wiping out malware from your system. It’s a self-bootable USB stick that operates in it’s own clean environment, identifying viruses and malware and cleaning it up. It’s not a cheap option, but it is incredibly effective.
Some malware infections can do some very sneaky things with your settings. One of these is adjusting your web browsers home page to direct it to a site that is filled with spyware and other kinds of malware to help infect your computer further. So before you start using your computer again, check your homepage and connection settings. Verify that the home page is what you want it to be and isn’t something random, and that your internet will be connecting to the correct ISP and not something unknown.
Now that your computer is completely clear of viruses and you know you won’t re-infect it as soon as you open up your internet browser you can begin rebuilding. If you have been clever and been backing up your computer regularly, you should have a fairly recent backup to restore from. But before you do that, make sure you have downloaded some strong anti-virus software so that you don’t have to go through this again! Once that is in place you should be able to restore directly from a backup or download all of your files again, depending on how your particular backup provider works.
If you find yourself stuck when it comes to cleaning malware off your computer, don’t worry, you’re not alone! At All your Computers we see a lot of people who have become victims of malware and don’t know what to do next, and we can help. Our lines are always open, so if you find yourself stuck one day, just give us a quick call and we will do everything we can to help. We can also then help you figure out where the virus came from and how to avoid getting one again. For more information or emergency support, get in touch with us today.