Articles in Category: Malware

Macrium Image Guardian in Action

How to Protect Your Cloud Storage and Backups from Ransomware

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

Remote Access -- to your wallet

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!

Avoid Ransomware!

How to Avoid Ransomware

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 remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted?

How to Remove PUPs, Foistware, Drive-bys, Toolbars, and Other Annoying Things

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.

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

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?

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.

The hand of a hacker

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 do I remove malware?

How Do I Remove Malware?

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.

Windows protected your PC

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 check what you choose to download.

ask.com today

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.

100% Secure?

How Do I Know if My Machine is Free of Malware?

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

Hacked Wallet

How Could My Bank Account Have Been Hacked if I Have Good Security?

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 & Meltdown

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.

Padlocks, One Open

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.

Anti-Virus

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.

Malware

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.

Zero-Day Timeline

What’s a “Zero-Day” Attack?

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.

Virus Detected!

How Do I Remove a Virus If It Prevents Me from Downloading or Installing Anything?

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

Peek

Why Wouldn’t an Exploit be Caught by My Anti-malware Tools?

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.

Warning!

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.

Foistware

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.

Hacker

How Do I Decrypt Files Encrypted by Ransomware?

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware. I’ll look at coping strategies.

Windows Defender Done

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.

CryptoWall

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

Because of the threat of ransomware, many people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up. I think that’s a bad idea.

Google Chrome Homepage Setting

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.

You Don't Need A New Computer

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 just … wrong.

It's A Trap!!!

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.

Virus Detected!

What’s the Best Anti-virus?

There just isn’t a best… and knowing that will (hopefully) lead you in the direction of safe internet practices.

Virus in a Picture?

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!

Vault

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…

Mushroom Cloud

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.

Download Button

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.

Malware!

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.

Infected!

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!

Webcam

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!

Virus in a Picture?

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.

Fraud

Is the internet just full of scams?

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.

Hard Drive in the Crosshair

Should My Anti-virus Scans Include My External Drives?

Malware can certainly insert itself on external drives. The question is how high is the risk?

Ye Olde Double Facepalm

Why didn’t my firewall stop this malware?

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.

Tux - The Linux Mascot

Can a flash drive that has a Linux install on it become infected?

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?

Virus

Can I Be Sure My Machine Is Malware Free?

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.

Hacker's Hand

Why Doesn’t Malware Appear in the Add/Remove Programs List?

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!

Someone's Peeking!

What’s an exploit?

Industry experts use the term “exploit” in several ways, which makes warning messages pretty unclear. Stay safe by assuming the worst.

Back Up!

Is It Safe to Leave My External Backup Drive Connected?

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.

This is a stick up!

How Do I Remove Ransomware?

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.

Something's Up

I Canceled a Suspicious Download. Am I Safe?

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 – Scan Your Computer for Malware Without Booting Windows

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.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware Removes Malware that Others Don’t

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.

Virus

Can I Check a Download for Viruses before I Download It?

Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.

Hacker's Hand

The best anti-spyware, anti-virus … and dancing bunnies?

The best operating system in the world can’t save you from dancing bunnies.