How to Remove Malware From Your Computer

Submitted by Tech Support on Mon, 02/20/2023 - 10:39
malware icon on a laptop screen, hand touching keyboard

If you have malware on your computer, don't panic--there are plenty of ways to get your machine (and your data) back in working order. Here's what you need to know!

Why Malware Removal Matters

The best way to stop malware from infecting your computer is to defend against it in the first place. Anti-virus software and complete defense suites help protect your machine from the various attacks and infections on the internet. It's also smart to have a good backup and recovery strategy in case things get out of hand.

However, even the best-laid plans can go astray, especially as malware becomes more advanced. That's why it's important to have malware removal solutions in your back pocket.

Malware can spread to different parts of your computer, other machines on your network, and even to the contacts in your email or messaging applications. From disabling your device to stealing your data, malware can cause all kinds of issues to efficiency, security, and your company's reputation.

Removing Malware

If you stumbled into a malware trap, take a deep breath and roll up your sleeves. Here's how to start recovering your device and data:

#1: Be Smart

Your first job is to be prepared. For example, you should know what kind of malware you're dealing with, what it's impacting, and how you'll know when it's been removed. You should also avoid logging into accounts or using passwords during this process--that way, hackers don't have easy access to this important information.

#2: Download a Virus Scanner

If you don't already have some sort of digital defender or virus scanner, it's time to download one now. You have a variety of options, and many are even free. Just make sure you choose something you can trust--otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally adding more fuel to the fire by introducing new vulnerabilities, viruses, or malware.

Don't worry about running the anti-virus software yet; you'll do that later.

#3: Disconnect From the Internet

Now that you have your virus scanner ready to go, disconnect from your network. This is a good way to minimize damage, reduce or remove certain vulnerabilities, and make your job a little easier when it comes to malware removal.

#4: Use Safe Mode

Whether you're using a Mac or a PC, you should have access to "safe mode" or "safe boot." This allows you to boot up your computer with automatic checks and without unnecessary software. Essentially, your computer is running in the simplest way possible to help you identify issues and mitigate damage.

#5: Manually Check for Suspicious Activity

Once you're in safe mode, it should be easy to access Task Manager or your computer's activity monitor. This allows you to scroll through the applications currently running on your machine--and if anything looks suspicious or you see a name you don't recognize, you can perform relevant research and stop the application if necessary.

#6: Run Your Anti-Virus Software

Even if you find the culprit with a manual check, it's smart to run a check or scan with your anti-virus software. Depending on your setup, you may need to connect to the internet to begin or complete this process. This scan should identify where the malware is hiding, what files may be infected, and what your next steps should be.

Preventing Malware In The Future

Once you've identified and eliminated malware, it's time to take the most important step: learning from this incident. Luckily, business security is bigger, better, and smarter than ever--and with the right combination of software and procedures, your computer and data can be protected. You can even choose devices with built-in security measures to give you a leg up in the complicated digital world.

Perhaps the most important thing to take away from this malware attack is that your company isn't immune from attacks and won't be ignored or overlooked by hackers. You need to take active steps to learn about the latest threats, upgrade and update your defenses, and keep your teams educated on best practices.

Malware can be stressful--but with the right approach, it's possible to bounce back.

Struggling with malware? Want to protect your business from this and other digital dangers? Contact us today!


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