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 check what you choose to download.
You should be able to remove any toolbars or browser settings that have been added to your computer.
It’s impossible to know your machine has no malware. What does that mean for your safety?
Even with seemingly appropriate security in place, things can happen. I’ll review what things, and the additional steps you can take to protect yourself.
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.
You can’t rely on yourself as a malware detector. Learn how to be a malware avoider.
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.
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.
A zero-day attack is very simple: it’s the exploitation of a vulnerability before there’s a fix for it. I’ll review the timeline.
You avoid ransomware the same way you avoid any malware. On top of that, a full backup can save you not only from ransomware, but from a host of other problems as well.
Some malware goes to great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running, or applying a fix. I’ll tell you what steps to take.
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.
Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed as well. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware. I’ll look at coping strategies.
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.
Because of the threat of ransomware, many people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up. I think that’s a bad idea.
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.
For some reason many people’s gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider getting a new computer. That’s just … wrong.
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.
There just isn’t a best… and knowing that will (hopefully) lead you in the direction of safe internet practices.
Anti-malware tools have never been 100% solutions – but, despite what we hear on the news, they are far from dead!
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…
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.
Download sites are just too risky these days – unless there is no way to avoid them. Even then, be very careful in your selections.
Deleting Facebook won’t help, so I’ll look at more general approaches to removing Potentially Unwanted Programs that are, effectively, malware.
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!
Sure, you can cover your webcam with tape. But that won’t solve the real problem… you’ve got malware on your computer!
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.
Many advertisements of computer products include promises that they can’t keep, or know that they won’t keep. By making things seem much worse than they actually are they attempt to entice – or even scare – you into purchase tools you simply don’t need.
Malware can certainly insert itself on external drives. The question is how high is the risk?
It seems like even the most up-to-date anti-malware package isn’t always enough. It’s frustrating because you think that it would be.
Firewalls and security software are important tools to keep your computer safe. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as perfect protection from the variety of threats on the internet.
Depending on the format of the drive, how the malware finds you, and how you access Windows, you may or may not have a problem! Does that sound vague enough for you?
Believe it or not… you can’t prove that you don’t have malware. But when your computer slows down, it doesn’t necessarily mean malware.
Malware not showing up in the Add/Remove Programs list doesn’t surprise me at all. After all, malware’s success is based on its ability to hide from you!
Industry experts use the term “exploit” in several ways, which makes warning messages pretty unclear. Stay safe by assuming the worst.
Malware is just software. It doesn’t destroy your computer hardware in any way. Some work, albeit perhaps significant work, will get you back up and running without needing to destroy anything.
My fairly strong opinion is that if you’re backing up to an external drive, leave it plugged in. Otherwise you’ll be missing backups on those days you forget to plug it in.
Ransomware is often not easy to remove because it blocks you from your system. Restoring from a backup is the easiest recovery option, but I’ll look at a few more as well.
Cancelling a suspicious download in progress typically prevents any part of the download from impacting your machine. Unfortunately there are still a few problems we should look out for.
Windows Defender Offline is a free Microsoft tool to scan for malware before Windows boots or when it can’t boot at all. It’s can be a convenient approach to removing some stubborn malware.
Even the best anti-virus and anti-spyware tools miss things. Malwarebytes Anti-malware has a good reputation for cleaning up some of the things that other tools don’t.
Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.
The best operating system in the world can’t save you from dancing bunnies.