The Ultimate Guide to Identifying & Removing Malicious Software from your Computer
Malware is malicious software. It penetrates and harms computers without the users’ knowledge. Viruses, Trojans, worms and spyware are examples of malware.
Know your Malware
Here are brief descriptions and harmful effects of different malware.
Viruses and Worms
Viruses and worms are like plagues in your computer. They will spread vastly in an infected computer. A virus infects software and when someone uses the software, the virus will spread throughout the computer. Worms will spread in a computer even without any action from a user.
Trojans are malware software that is hidden. Hence, they can masquerade as normal applications. Users usually download them, thinking that they are beneficial software for their computers. Once they are downloaded, trojans will then infect the computer from within.
Rootkits do not actually contain harmful software. They are methods to hide malware. Antivirus definitions will not be able to detect these malware due to the rootkits. This will enable the malware to infiltrate a computer via the rootkit.
Spyware and keyloggers
Spyware and keyloggers are malware that are designed to extract personal information from users. These include passwords, usernames, emails and credit card details. The person who released them will then be able to steal personal information. They will also be able to steal money from the victims.
How Can Malware Get into a Computer?
There are many ways malware can infect a computer. The main way is through the internet. Your computer is vulnerable to malware each time you browse through hacked websites and download software or install a toolbar from unsecured sites. Malware can also spread when you open an email with a malicious attachment.
How to Remove Malicious Software from a Computer?
Do not panic when your computer is infected with malware. It is not the end of all your programs, software or documents. Calm down and simply follow the steps below.
- Download a genuine anti-malware/virus program, if your computer does not have one. Some are free but with very basic features. Some may have varying costs. The cost depends on the advanced features they provide.
- Subsequently, follow the instructions and install the program.
- Run a scan/diagnosis of your computer once the installation is complete. The program should be able to find the malware. Then it will get rid of it from your computer.
- Finally, change your passwords, username , credit card pin number and other highly sensitive personal information.
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