Unless you are using a computer that is completely disconnected from the internet, you will need some form of antivirus or malware removal software if you have already gotten your computer infected.
It is very important that you protect your computer from viruses and malware to keep your data private and secure. There are several antivirus and malware removal tools you can use to secure your computer and keep you protected and malware-free.
In this article we will go over why you should protect your computer, what is malware, and the different tools you can use for malware removal.
Why Should You Protect Your Computer?
If you plan to ever connect your computer to the internet, you should have some kind of protection for your computer. For most of our everyday home computer use, Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender is more than enough.
There are many unfortunate instances where visiting a phishing website or clicking a nefarious ad has led to a computer getting infected with a virus or malware through little to no fault of the user.
What are Malware and Computer Virus?
Essentially malware is a type of malicious software that can negatively affect a computer system by damaging its files, stealing and recording data, and spying on the user. Malware software writers use a wide variety of methods to infect as many computers as it can with malware. There are several different types of malware including computer viruses, trojans, and ransomware.
Each type of computer malware can perform several functions from stealing your data, encrypting your files, deleting or altering your files, and recording your activity.
Difference Between Computer Malware and Computer Virus
Many people use the words malware and virus interchangeably but there is a difference between the 2 terms.
Computer malware encompasses any and all forms of malicious software, independent of how it is distributed, its function, and how it works. A virus is a type of malware that once injected into your computer replicates itself and spreads its code to other programs on your computer and network. Computer viruses attach themselves to preexisting files on your computer and when that file is opened the virus becomes active.
Which Tool Should You Use For Malware Removal
There are many tools both free and paid for virus and malware removal. Of the many options available for you to download, we recommend that you give MalwareBytes a shot.
What Does Malwarebytes Do?
Malwarebytes protects your computer from online threats and removes them from your computer. The software can detect and remove any form of malware and other advanced threats from your computer. It is also able to stop any malware attempts in real-time and shield your system from attacks and exploits. An additional feature of Malwarebytes is its ability to detect and stop ransomware so you can keep your data.
The key feature that Malwarebytes has that we will highlight in this article is its ability to cleanse your computer of malware infections.
The program will give you step-by-step instructions on how to remove any type of malware from your computer, instead of doing everything on its own leaving you clueless if it did its job or not.
How Malwarebytes Cleans Your Computer
Malwarebytes is the most popular malware removal tool for finding and removing unwanted files from your computer. They offer a free downloadable ADW Cleaner which will remove the pesky files you may not be able to find on your own.
Their free ADW cleaner was designed to target all types of malware and remove them in less time than it would to make a cup of coffee. After cleaning your computer using the ADW cleaner, you might find your computer running even faster than before.
But How Do You Know If You Have Malware In The First Place
While Malwarebytes can detect and remove malware from your computer, if you don’t already have it installed, you might not even know if you have malware on your computer. There are a few obvious signs that your computer might be infected with some kind of malware.
- If it is running much slower than usual.
- Has frequent pop-ups when you open some programs or don’t do anything.
- A new toolbar or add-on that you didn’t install
- Popups that are difficult to close or keep reappearing.
- Sudden lack of storage space
- Browser home page changes
If you are experiencing any of these signs of malware on your computer, it’s time to scan for malware.
How To Protect Your Computer From Future Malware Attacks
Computers are prone to getting infected with malware and computer viruses daily so it’s in your best interest to develop good online habits to minimize the risk of getting infected with malware. There are a few things you can do right now to minimize the chances of your computer getting infected and needing malware removal tools.
Avoid Clicking On Suspicious Links and Websites
There are times that malware and computer viruses can hide themselves as images, PDF’s, and downloadable documents. Thankfully Windows Defender and other antivirus software can detect if a file is suspicious, which can greatly help you identify a malicious file.
Empty Your Computer’s Trash and Downloads Folder
After you scan your computer for malware and delete files, it is best to immediately empty your computer’s trash bin to remove them from your system.
Change Your Passwords
Once you’ve cleaned up your computer from any malware that might have been on it, you should consider changing all of your online passwords. Some types of malware record your activity and act as a keylogger, a type of malware that records the buttons you press on your keyboard. When creating a new password, be sure to use numbers, letters, and special characters to make sure your accounts are secure. It would also be wise to start using a password management system like LastPass.
Please explore other areas of our website to learn more about how you can keep your computer and network malware-free, and learn about other tools like Malwarebytes you can use to remove malware.