Articles in Category: Malware

I Got a Pop-Up Virus Warning. Is My Computer Infected?

Messages that indicate you have a problem and recommend a specific download as a solution are immediately suspect.

Why Did My Security Software Not Detect a Virus on My PC?

Even with up-to-date anti-malware tools, you can still fall victim to malware. I’ll explain why by comparing your computer to your… bathroom?

Can Malware Infect Other Computers on My Network?

There are forms of malicious software that attempt to travel from machine to machine on your local network. There’s good news, though.

How Was My Bank Account Hacked When I Did Everything Right?

Even with all the right things in place, stuff happens. I’ll review the additional steps you can take to protect yourself.

How Do I Scan Nuclear Power Station Computers Without an Internet Connection?

Scanning your nuclear power station’s Windows computers for malware can present some challenges if the machines have been secured properly.

How Do I Prevent a Repeat of Ransomware?

All malware is scary, especially ransomware due to the damage it can inflict. Here’s how to avoid a repeat performance.

My Machine’s Full of Malware; Should I Get a New Computer?

For some reason, many people’s gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider getting a new computer. That’s unnecessary.

How Hackers Use Malicious Attachments to Give You Malware

Another day, another report of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities. Here’s how you stay safe.

What’s the Best Anti-Virus?

There just isn’t a best. Knowing that will (hopefully) lead you in a safer direction.

How Do I Safely Back Up an Infected Drive?

Once your machine is infected, system backups are likely to include the infection, but are still important. I’ll look at what steps to take.

How Do I Make Sure I Don’t Have Malware?

It’s impossible to know your machine has no malware. What does that mean for your safety?

Extensions page in Microsoft Edge.

Can Browser Extensions See My Bank Account?

Browser extensions are often installed with little thought to the immense security risk they present.

How Do I Remove Malware that Blocks Downloads

Some malware goes to great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running, or applying a fix. I’ll tell you what steps to take.

How to Protect Your Cloud Storage and Backups from Ransomware

There are additional protections for your data if your machine becomes infected with a form of malware known as ransomware.

Will Ransomware Encrypt Backups?

A full-image backup is still the best defense against ransomware. But what if your backup gets encrypted? I’ll look at the likelihood of that happening and make some recommendations.

How Do I Decrypt Files Encrypted by Ransomware?

Once your files are encrypted by ransomware, your options are few. If you’re not prepared, there are a few straws to grasp at.

How Do I Remove Malware from Windows 10 & 11?

Trying to remove malware? I’ll walk you through the steps and options, from simple to hard, including the only approach that’s guaranteed to work.

Yes, Your Security Software Might Slow Down Your Computer – What to Do About It

Security tools are asked to do an important, sometimes resource-hungry task. Here’s how to mitigate their impact on your ability to use your computer.

How to Remove PUPs and Other Unexpected Things From Your Computer

Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.

Resist Those Dancing Bunnies

Malware authors often make fantastic promises to get people to bypass their security software. It’s important to remain skeptical, vigilant, and attentive.

Should I Disconnect My Backup Drive When I’m Not Backing Up?

Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.

Another Reason Your Computer Might Be Slow: Prevention, Presence, or Removal of Malware

Malware can impact your computers performance before it arrives, once infected, and even after removal.

Five Reasons Ransomware Will Be Around for a Long Time

There are several reasons ransomware will be a scourge for some time to come. Most boil down to, well, us.

How to Avoid Ransomware — the 3 Things You’re Hopefully Already Doing

Avoid ransomware the same way you avoid any malware. A full backup will save you not only from ransomware, but from a host of other problems as well.

How Do I Bypass Keyloggers? The Guaranteed Way to Avoid Having Your Keystrokes Maliciously Recorded

I hear about techniques to bypass keyloggers often. The problem is, keyloggers can log much more than keystrokes. There’s really only one solution: avoid them in the first place.

What’s a “Zero-Day” Attack? A Diagram of the Vulnerability Timeline

A zero-day attack is an exploitation of a software vulnerability before there’s a fix for it. I’ll review the timeline.

Can Malware Survive If I Reset My PC?

It’s possible for malware to be difficult or nearly impossible to remove. It’s also extremely rare.

Why Does Malware Exist?

Malware has come a long, long way since it began as a benign joke or proof-of-concept. Today, most malware boils down to someone, somewhere, making money.

What Can a Technician with Remote Access Do?

Several current scams center around gaining remote access to your computer, often in the guise of fixing problems. There’s no way to know what was done, but we do know one thing: it’s a trap!

My Computer Is Infected with Malware. Should I Just Throw It Out?

Malware is just software. It doesn’t destroy your computer’s hardware in any way. Some work — albeit significant work — will get you back up and running without needing to destroy anything.

I Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

It seems like even the most up-to-date anti-malware package isn’t always enough. It’s frustrating, because you’d think it would be.

Which Files Were Affected by a Hack or Malware?

After a hack or malware infection, you’ll want to know you’ve cleaned up the resulting mess. The news is not good.

How Can I Tell If a Download is Safe?

Checking whether a download is safe before you download it is nearly impossible. Your best defense is your own skepticism, plus anti-malware tools to scan what you choose to download.

How Do I Get Rid of Ask.com?

You should be able to remove any toolbars or browser settings that have been added to your computer.

What Do I Need to Do About Spectre and Meltdown?

Spectre and Meltdown sound scary. Here’s what you need to do, which is hopefully what you’re doing anyway, along with an attempt at an analogy.

How Do I Know If My Computer Has Been Compromised?

You can’t rely on yourself as a malware detector. Learn how to be a malware avoider.

I’ve Been Told My Computer Has a Virus, But My Anti-Malware Program Doesn’t Remove It. What Do I Do?

Making sure your anti-virus program and its definition database are up-to-date is the best way to make sure it can recognize and remove viruses.

What’s the Difference Between a “Trojan Horse”, a “Worm”, and a “Virus”?

There are many different terms that relate to software with malicious intent. Ultimately, however, there’s only one you really need to know, and several things you need to do.

Do I Need this Add-on Recommended by this Software Installation?

Many installers include offers of additional software packages. If you don’t pay attention, you could end up with software you don’t need or want.

Removing a Redirect Virus

A redirect virus can fool your browser into going to malicious web sites without your knowledge. I’ll outline my experience detecting and removing one.

How Do I Remove a Website from My Computer?

How to remove a website from a computer is a common question, yet it actually doesn’t make sense – websites aren’t on your computer. I’ll look at what is.

I Got a Call from Microsoft and Allowed Them Access to My Computer. What Do I Do Now?

A very common scam has people supposedly from Microsoft or your ISP or other authorities calling to help you with computer problems. Don’t fall for it.

Is anti-virus dead?

Anti-malware tools have never been 100% solutions – but, despite what we hear on the news, they are far from dead!

Can I Delete What My Anti-malware Program Puts in Quarantine?

Quarantine gives you the option to “rescue” files you might want. Of course there is one way to make sure you always have an extra copy of everything…

Why is my machine so slow after a recovery from malware?

Not only is malware written with bad intent, but it is often written badly. It can leave a mark on your computer’s performance even after it’s been removed.

Is It Safe to Download from Download Sites?

Download sites are just too risky these days – unless there is no way to avoid them. Even then, be very careful in your selections.

Would deleting Facebook help clear up a malware infection?

Deleting Facebook won’t help, so I’ll look at more general approaches to removing Potentially Unwanted Programs that are, effectively, malware.

Can Malware Authors Hijack My Anti-malware Software?

Once a hacker has control of your machine they can do anything they want. So yes, they will try to disable your anti-malware… and more!

Should I Cover My Webcam When Not in Use?

Sure, you can cover your webcam with tape. But that won’t solve the real problem… you’ve got malware on your computer!

Can I get malware from a picture?

Typically there’s no need to be terrified of clicking on images… as long as you know what to look for and how to manage your protection.