Virus, Malware & Spyware Removal!
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Tell-tale signs you might be in infected:
- Annoying Popups
- Browser Homepage Changed
- Slow System or Network
- Constant Crashes
- Ransom Demands
- Antivirus Disabled
How Do I Know If I Have Malware?
If you’ve got a computer then it’s almost impossible that you’ve NOT had some kind of malware on your system at some point. Even seemingly harmless activities like checking your mail or clicking on search results can be dangerous if you don’t have adequate protection.
And if you’ve already got problems on your system then they’re only going to get worse.
What Should I Watch Out For?
- Increased CPU usage
- Slow system response time or slow network speeds
- Problems connecting to or maintaining a network connection
- Freezing or crashing computer
- Missing or modified files
- Files with strange names (random characters)
- New software you didn’t install
- Programs behaving differently or re-configuring themselves (particularly antivirus or firewall software)
- Mouse moving on it’s own
- Emails or messages being sent on their own (email, Facebook etc)
- Changed passwords on your accounts
- If you’ve knowingly installed something you shouldn’t have!
What Kinds Of Malware Do You Deal With?
– when your homepage or search engine settings are changed and can’t be set back
– Some popups are normal and an (annoying) part of the internet experience. But if they’re persistent and hard to get rid of then they’re move than likely a sign of malware. In any case, even the most innocent popups can be an interruption so we can put tools in place to minimise them too.
– sometime a deal is too good to be true, and that’s often the case with “FREE” software you can download online. It’s an easy mistake to make. We’re too trusting. But often there is other software bundled in with these tools.
– a particularly malicious form of marketing which actually encrypts your files/folders/images and demands you pay to access them. DON’T follow the prompts to pay. Get in touch and we’ll see if we can help.
– software that’s designed to track your activity online and even steal your information. If you do any shopping or banking online, be particularly careful to protect yourself from spyware.
– this software disguises itself as a normal program to trick you into installing it. Often bundled with software that’s been downloaded from suspicious sources like torrent sites or black hat forums. “Trojan Horse” style infections can access your information and send them back to a third party without you knowing. Some will take control of your computer to install even more malware. Always get your software from trustworthy sources.
– this kind of malware infects your computer and then uses your computer to infect other computers on your network, acting like a virus. Sometimes they perform other actions which can corrupt your system or steal your information too. Require human action to replicate.
– yep, computers can get worms. Usually designed to infect systems by exploiting vulnerabilities and then deposit payloads. Their payloads are often used to create networks of bots which are then used to remotely access other systems in denial of service attacks. Can self replicate without human interaction. A very slow network is a good sign you’ve got a worm.
How Can I Prevent Infection?
Use Quality Anti-Malware Software
– The most effective software has a proven track record and targets multiple types of malware. As mentioned earlier, prevention is better than cure so selecting software that has real time protection can be very effective.
Make Use of Your Firewall
Most Operating Systems these days come with a built in firewall. Make sure it’s active and configured to prevent unwanted data getting in, or out of your computer.
Update, Update, Update
– Keep your Operating System up to date regularly. If possible, use automatic updates so you can set and forget. Regularly check to ensure other software and hardware updates are installed such as drivers and vulnerability patches which are released from time to time. This prevents exploits being used by hackers to infect your system.
Get Your Software From Original Sources
– My parents always taught me to: “buy genuine” and that’s good advice online. Always get programs from the developer’s website, never download software from forums, torrents, or newsgroups where hackers can inject their own code before sharing.
Use Spam Protection
– Most of the free email providers incorporate fairly good spam protection into their services. If spam is a problem when you’re using your own domain email, try forwarding your emails through one of these accounts to take advantage of the free service! (If you don’t know how, then ask us, we can help!)
Use Cloud Storage To Share Files
– For the same reason you should use spam protection, you should use cloud storage to ensure shared files are safe. Google Drive (to name one) has excellent virus scanning built in so you can feel safe when downloading from a Drive folder.