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Install Malwarebytes Anti−Malware
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is a free computer virus removal tool (that offers a premium plan, too). It is an anti-malware software that scans for, identifies the symptoms of computer virus (or malicious software), and removes different types of malicious software (adware, spyware, trojans). Also, it offers an easy-to-use interface and a short wait time for scans.
Download it from the official website, install it on your computer, click of the Scan Now button and wait for the treats to be eliminated.
MBAM also has a premium version which offers a full-time background 'Malware Protection' and Malicious Website Protection, and a shorter wait time for scans, which is not the case with the free version.
Note: Although MBAM automatically updates its database, you can also check for updates manually by clicking Update. For best results, it is recommended to install it and scan for viruses with it while you are in safe mode. If you don't know how to enter the safe mode, click here to learn more.
If you see annoying advertisements you cannot close, or get redirected to a different website without your consent, it's possible that your computer is infected with a malicious adware.
Adware is a term frequently used to describe a form of malware (malicious software) which presents unwanted advertisements when you browse the net. The advertisements produced by adware are sometimes in the form of a pop-up window titled "an offer you can't miss" or some similar phrazes. Those advertisements automatically open webpages infected with a malware (virus, worm, spyware and etc.) which invaded your computer without your knowledge.
If you wonder how to get rid of a virus on your computer, and of other types of malicious software, the best way to fight adwares (and other types of malicious software) is to install an antivirus, antispyware or an adware removal tool. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, (for Windows and Mac OS), SuperAntiSpyware (for Windows only) and BitDefender Adware Removal Tool (for Windows and Mac OS) are the most downloaded and trusted. Install them and run periodic scans. Also, be careful what web pages you visit and make sure to install software from trustworthy webpages only (Cnet, Filehippo etc.).
The number of threats to your computer and mobile device is increasing every day. Many developers work hard to find weak spots (bugs) in the operating systems and create new viruses so that they can steal personal data from millions of users.
To be on the safe side, and as a good mobile device/computer virus protection apply the recently released updates once you receive a notification that there is one. DO NOT DOWNLOAD UPDATES from third-party websites because they might have been modified to harm you.
Keep the installed programs/applications up to date
Another way for a virus to infect your computer or mobile device is through an outdated software. Many people just install pieces of software, without checking for updates from time to time. An outdated software can be a way for hackers to gain access to your computer or mobile device as new types of computer virus are "born" on a daily basis.
To define computer spyware: it is a piece of software designed to steal personal data (especially credit card numbers, account passwords etc.), without your knowledge.
How do you get spyware on your computer? There are many ways for spywares to invade your computer, such as: visiting websites like "Enter our site and win an Iphone" or "Click here to download ..."(any software which is not free). This means that spywares are harmful only if you have access to the internet. Once they invade your computer they store everything you write and periodically send it to the creator of the spyware who most often "unloads" your credit card.
How to detect spyware on computer? The best way to detect and fight against them is to install an antivirus, antimalware or an antispyware software. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (for Windows and Mac OS) and SuperAntiSpyware (for Windows only) are known to protect many computers from being invaded by spywares. Install one of them and run periodic scans.
Note: If you use a computer and you have sensitive data stored on it, it would be better to buy the full version of one of these softwares (also called Internet security). It will run full scans in the background and the wait time will be shorter.
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 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.
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.
A browser toolbar is usually a horizontal line with shortcut icons on it that resides within a browser's window. Its primary purpose is to provide a better user experience. However, some toolbars can be harmful. Almost every computer user has come across browser toolbars that he/she didn't (want to) install showing up on the screen. They usually get installed when you install a piece of software, without your awareness or consent, and certain toolbars can make way for a virus in your computer, by redirecting you to a malicious website automatically.
A Backdoor Trojan is a malicious software that usually finds a way into its victim's computers without their knowledge or consent, through websites, software and etc. It allows the software developer that created it to control the computer of the victim and steal sensitive data.
To delete a Backdoor Trojan, and every trojan computer virus, you need an antivirus software and free time. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is one of the best for the task. The best way to remove a Backdoor Trojan is through safe mode:
Boot your computer in safe mode and once it is in safe mode, install a fresh copy of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (or other antivirus software) and run a FULL scan, to ensure that everything is scanned thoroughly. Once the Trojan is deleted, restart your computer.
Avoid web pop−ups that inform you that your computer is infected
If you are browsing the net and a pop-up that warns you about the condition of your computer appears, close it immediately. If you click on it, it will allegedly scan your computer and later it will ask you to install a piece of software that will "improve" your computer's stability (eventually it will, but with a virus).
Also, ignore and close pop-ups that pretend to be a Windows alert (the ones which use the Windows theme).
If the pop-up appears only when you visit a specific website, avoid that website. However, if it appears on every website you visit, then your computer might already be infected.
Ensure to untick unwanted checkboxes during software installation
Most people don't even pay attention to the options a program installer offers. They just hit the install button and wait for the installation to be completed. What they don't know is that toolbars and other unwanted programs are most often installed along with the desired softwares people download from the Internet.
To prevent toolbars and other unwanted software from installing, select the Advanced/Custom settings field that every software installer offers and untick Install XYZ toolbar, and/or Make XYZ the default webpage.
If you wonder how to get rid of a computer virus, or a virus on your mobile device, the answer is simple - install an antivirus. A good antivirus software is essential, if you want to keep your personal data and files (pictures, videos, documents, etc.) to yourself. If you don't have an antivirus software installed, make sure to install one as quick as possible.
Read the End User License Agreement (EULA)
Before you install a piece of software, be sure to read the End User License Agreement, or EULA. It contains information on how this software interacts with your computer (or mobile device) and use your private information. If you find that a particular software is using your personal data or tracking your computer (or mobile device), then it is up to you to determine whether you really want to install the software.
Scan for viruses in Safe Mode / Safe Boot (Mac)
Viruses are designed to deprive you of the pleasure to browse the net and download files quickly. The solution is to remove them; however, there are some viruses which may incapacitate your antivirus and prevent it from operating normally. If you try reinstalling it or install a different one, the result will be the same.
In a situation like this, you need to access the safe mode or safe boot (so that the virus remains inactive). If you are not sure how to get into safe mode, click don't know how to boot in Safe Mode guide.
Once you are in safe mode, download a fresh copy of an antivirus software and scan your computer. Since the virus (or viruses) is inactive it will be easier for the antivirus to delete it (them). Also, you can run a full malware scan with Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to make sure that the virus(es) is(are) removed.