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Scan for keyloggers
Keyloggers are designed to record every single letter you write on your keyboard. They are mostly used to steal personal data (credit card numbers, passwords) because they consume minimum resources and are hardly noticed by users. But, some people use them to control what their children do when they use the computer.
Although they share common traits with spywares (they both spy on the user's activity), they can be accessed by the user (if he manages to guess the secret combination, e.g. Ctrl + Shift + 1) and reprogrammed (change the location where the keylogger files are stored, change the email to which keylogger files are sent and etc.). Unless you have an access to the net, you cannot be harmed by keyloggers.
The best way to fight them is to install an antivirus or an antispyware software. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (a free computer virus removal tool, with an option for premium features) is one of the best options to fight keyloggers. Also, scan your computer more often and AVOID VISITING SUSPICIOUS PAGES, which is the best computer virus protection.
Note: If you want to use a keylogger to watch over your child(ren), download it from trustworthy sites only (e.g. Cnet), because you risk becoming someone else's "child" without your knowledge.
Scan for and remove zombie/bot malware infections
A botnet is a network consisting of hacked computers that are infected by malware and controlled by the botnet owner without the computer owner’s consent and knowledge.
The bots can be used to launch DDoS attacks that can cause a website to go offline, send spam messages, drive fake traffic, click advertisements and much more, depending on the botnet owner. Normally the user won’t even notice that their computer is a zombie bot being controlled because the malware is programmed to stay hidden as long as possible, by bypassing both known antivirus or firewall software and does not damage nor change any part of the operating system that may trigger the owner’s suspicion.
The best way to remove a Zombie/Bot malware infection is through Safe Mode. To get into Safe Mode:
If you use Windows versions other than Windows 8(.1)/10: Restart your computer and press F8 (or F12) before the Windows logo appears; *If you use Windows 8(.1)/10: hold the SHIFT key and click Restart at the login screen.
Once the Advanced boot screen appears highlight Safe mode with Networking out of the offered options and press Enter on your keyboard (if you are not sure how, read this);
Scan pieces of software and URLs using VirusTotal.com
VirusTotal is a website that provides free check-up for files and websites for viruses. It uses 55 different antivirus products and 61 online scan engines to check for viruses that the computer's or the mobile device's antivirus may have missed. This is a good way to prevent malwares from invading your computer and an answer to the "how to get rid of a computer virus (or of a mobile device one)" question.
Upload a file (up to 128 MB) or copy a URL you find suspicious. Based on analyses of all the softwares you will be informed whether the file or the URL is malicious and spare you from troubles.
Note: There are some files which may be recognised as viruses by SOME of the antiviruses, and they are actually not. Those files are known as false positives. So if a file is treated as a virus by small number of antiviruses (e.g 2 out of 10), then it is most likely a false positive file.
If you wonder how to check computer for viruses and protect it, the best way is to prevent malicious software from invading your computer in the first place. WinPatrol is a very popular software which scans for the symptoms of computer virus and alerts you in case of hijackings, malware attacks and changes made to your computer, without your permission (and it also includes other useful utilities which enhance your system's performance).
While traditional security programs scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats, WinPatrol takes screenshot of your critical system resources and alerts you if any changes occur without your knowledge. You'll be able to remove dangerous new programs while others prepare to update their definition/signature data files.
Download it from the official website only, install it and follow the instructions.
Phishing email messages, links, or phone calls are another way for a virus to find its way to your computer. You are asked to provide your credit card number, log in to Facebook (or other social network) through the email and etc.
The best way to protect yourself from phishing emails, and the best mobile device or computer virus protection in general, is to avoid opening them and READ THE TITLE CAREFULLY. So, if you notice an email that has a suspicious title and is sent from a suspicious email address, don't open it. Usually suspicious mails are directed to the Junk folder and valid emails are shown in the regular Inbox folder. However, there are some cases where valid emails are shown in the junk folder.
Also, ignore emails that inform you that you've won a contest or emails from a stranger asking for assistance with their inheritance.
Note: If you are not sure how to recognise a phishing email, read this tutorial. If you are still not able to recognise a phishing email, consider installing an antivirus software which will delete phishing emails automatically.
If you wonder how to protect computer from virus, you may take advantage of the Firewall. The OS (Operating System) Firewall is designed to protect you from the attacks of hackers. It can also stop your computer from sending malicious software to other computers. That is why, it is very important to have it activated all the time. By activating the firewall you will minimize the chances for hackers to find a bug in your computer.
To activate it:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall (or type 'Firewall' in the search box) -> click Turn Windows Firewall on or off in the left pane -> Click Turn on Windows Firewall under each network location that you want to help protect, and apply the changes.
Os X v10.5
Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Security -> Firewall -> Choose what mode you would like the Firewall to use
OS X v10.6 and later
Apple menu -> System Preferences -> Security (or Security & Privacy) -> Click the Firewall tab -> Unlock the pane by clicking the lock in the lower-left corner and enter the administrator username and password -> Turn On Firewall (or Start) -> Click Advanced to customize the firewall configuration
Note: Some antiviruses have their own Firewall that will substitute the default Windows Firewall once they are installed (You will be notified by the Antivirus software). Do not enable the default Windows Firewall in those situations.
People are aware that there are many websites out there designed to steal their data; However, the hardest part is to identify those websites. Usually those websites offer paid versions of popular softwares (such as antiviruses, games etc.), or an easy way for making money without effort. Once you open the website you will be asked to install a piece of software that allegedly improves your browsing experience. Do not accept it because not only does it not improve your browsing experience, but also it infects your computer or mobile device.
If you are not sure whether a website is safe or not, you can check it with virustotal's engine. Virustotal is a website that provides free check-up for files and websites for viruses. It uses 55 different antivirus products and 61 online scan engines to check for viruses that the computer's antivirus may have missed.
All you need to do is to copy the link of the suspicious website in the designated field and wait for the results.
The question does my computer have malware is sometimes difficult to answer, because malwares are available in all shapes and sizes. Junkware Removal Tool is a utility that searches for and removes common adwares, toolbars, and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) from your computer. A common tactic among freeware publishers is to offer their products for free, but "equip" them with PUPs in order to earn revenue. This tool will help you remove these types of programs.
Click here to download it and once you've had it downloaded, install it.
Once you run the Junkware Removal Tool, it will scan your computer and remove every trace of these programs including their files, registry keys, and folders stored in your computer quickly and efficiently.
Avoid suspicious ads (advertisements) on websites
If you wonder how to protect computer from virus or how to protect your mobile device, you should avoid clicking on suspicious ads. Unfortunately, they are on every second website you visit, waiting for you to click them. They offer you money, free mobile devices (usually iPhones), vacations and countless stuff. But the only thing you actually get for free is a malware, and an empty credit card.
The best way to protect yourself from ads is to avoid opening them. Remember that there is no such thing as free lunch. Also, consider installing a good antivirus software that will protect you from suspicious ads.
Does my computer have malware? Sometimes, this question is difficult to answer because there are different types of malware (some easily noticeable, others not). Browser hijacker is a type of malware that alters the search and error page of web browser and redirects the user to a page set by the developer of the hijacker (which is often malicious). Browser hijacker is created for a number of reasons among which your personal data (Credit card number). A computer can get affected with browser hijacker virus through a software, e-mail and etc.
Your computer is infected with hijacker if:
The Default search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing) of your browser alters without your permission
The default home page of your browser is not the one you've set as default (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Bing or other)
You are flooded with advertisements
You are automatically directed to another webpage you had no intention to visit (e.g. you want to open facebook.com, but you end up being redirected to anywebpage.com)
Removing it in the Control Panel (Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features/Uninstall a program) is a temporary solution because once you restart your browser (or computer) everything will be the same.
How to clean computer from malware, including hijackers? You can remove hijackers using Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, which is one of the best for the task. Enter the Safe Mode and run a full scan of your computer. To get into the safe mode:
If you use Windows versions other thanWindows 8(.1)/10: Restart your computer and press F8 (or F12) before the Windows logo appears
If you use Windows 8(.1)/10: hold the SHIFT key and click Restart at the login screen
Once the Advanced boot screen appears, highlight Safe mode with Networking out of the offered options and press Enter on your keyboard.
Turn on your computer and press and hold the Shift key until you see the Apple logo and a small progress bar
After you enter the safe mode, install Malwarebytes and run a full scan. Once the scan is completed, and the hijacker deleted, restart your computer.