Removing Viruses From Your Computer

You open your computer one day and hmm? What do you see? A chain of websites you have never opened before on Chrome. Maybe someone else used your computer. But wait, you charged your computer 2 hours ago and it’s still on low power? Now that seems fishy. Any form of technology is susceptible to viruses. Malware is an application that can affect the way your computer functions to the point where you may lose full control of your device and all the information stored. While technology has been a blessing in our lives, a small mistake is all it takes and your entire life could be stolen from right under your nose!

With current internet trends and developments, all it takes it an accidental click on a link you weren’t even intending to click and the next thing you know you are suddenly battling heaps of issues related to your device that you never had before. People are often troubled by a malware attack on their PC or laptop. A malware has the power to alter your desktop settings, hijack your web browser and drain your device’s performance power. However there are a few measures you can take to identify and destroy malware attacks.

How to Identify Malware

There are a few ways of recognising that your computer is under attack. Different malwares infect devices in different ways. Some may cause your computer to slow down significantly while some may trouble you with endless pop-up ads. If your computer battery runs too slow or if your browser opens up a pop-up tab that reads *YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED* in a red background, your computer may well be under threat.

Pop-up web pages however, are just another means of a malware trying to finding its way to take control of your computer. If you often find yourself opening browsers that read *Not Secure* next to the url, the website is not protected. Which means even if it is a legitimate website it does not have an encrypted connection, making it susceptible to viruses.

There are many ways of detecting if your computer has been affected by a malware, these include:

  • Strange pop-up ads or pop-up windows
  • Default browser has changed
  • Can’t restore original settings
  • Your browser is constantly being redirected to unknown pages.
  • Mysterious posts and updates appearing on your social media platform
  • Your device’s system tools has been disabled
  • Your battery life has reduced significantly

 

How to Remove Malware Manually

Most people opt for downloading anti-virus/ anti-malware software straight away without trying to fix it manually. However, if the malware in your computer is weak and has been disrupting your browser more than the computer itself then there may be ways around removing it without downloading and paying for software. By accessing the settings and system preferences of your computer, you may be able to detect and remove the malware yourself. Some malware can be removed through a few simple steps.

 

Cleaning Your Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome and on the top right of the browser click on . (You might see a red arrow pointing upwards instead. Alternatively, click on ‘Chrome’ and ‘Preferences’ to take you to the same area)
  • Scroll to the Search engine tab and click on “manage search engines”.
  • Delete all search engines you do not recognise as they may be malicious sites.

Chrome Settings (Malware)

Disabling unrecognised extensions.

  • Malicious applications often enable applications on your browser without you realising.
  • Click on Settings in the top right corner Settings. (Again, you might see a red arrow pointing upwards instead).
  • Click on “More Tools”, then click on “Extensions”.
  • A list of all the active and inactive extensions will be displayed.
  • Select the extension you do not recognise and disable them.

Removing Malware extensions

Restoring and Cleaning

  • Once you have done the above steps, it is time to restart your computer.
  • Once restarted, open Settings on Chrome again.
  • Scroll down and click on “Advanced”.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the Advanced list to find the “Reset and clean up” tab.

Removing malware
Reset Chrome (Malware)
Removing Malware on Mac

As we all know, Macs work different from most other PCs and laptop brands. Therefore when a Mac is infected, there are different precautionary measures that need to be taken when removing malware manually. If you know which malicious application has infected your computer, then removing it is a no-brainer. Because if you know which application has infected your device then all you have to do is:

  • Make sure all your current running applications are closed
  • Search and open “Applications”.
  • Scroll through the list to find any unidentified applications.
  • Select it and move it to trash
  • Clear trash

 

Another handy tool you can use is a software that detects and cleans out malware specifically for Mac devices, CleanMyMacX.  It is a free software that you can download from your App Store. It is specific for Mac and is known for protecting Mac devices from basic dysfunctions and malwares. Mac’s are pretty on top of their protection services, therefore it is best to download Mac related anti-malware software as they generally work better on Mac devices. Here is an informative website on how you can remove malware from your Mac.

Removing Malware with Anti-virus/ Anti-malware Softwares.

If none of the above steps worked, your computer may be infected by a strong malware. In this case, it may be time to download an anti-malware software if you don’t already have one in place. When downloading an antivirus software, you need to ensure you are downloading from a trusted site. Once you have found a trusted site, check their package plan and compare prices.

There are many good softwares out there such as Total AV and AVG. The starting price for TotalAv is only A$18 annually for detecting and removing viruses as well as enabling firewall.

If you already have an existing anti-malware software in place and have still been greeted with a malware attack, your software may have expired or may be out of date. Ensure your software is up to date and is constantly running while your device is turned on.

How to Avoid Malware in the Future

Activate your firewall and AdBlocker. The best way to ensure you are not troubled with malwares is to enable Firewall and an AdBlock to ensure you only visit secure sites. Adblockers can stop ads across all websites, therefore you won’t have to worry about disabling ads manually every time you visit a site.

Enabling Firewall

  • To enable Firewall on your PC, search and click on “Control Panel”.
  • Next click on “Systems and Security”, once the window opens, click on Windows Defender Firewall.
  • Ensure Firewall in turned on.

Firewall 2
Enabling AdBlock

  • To manually enable AdBlock on the websites you visit, click on the padlock sign, a pop-up will appear. Click on Site Settings.
  • Scroll down to “Ads”. 
  • Select whether you want to enable or block ads for the website.

Adblock

If you are a regular user of electronic devices and conduct a lot of online research, you may find your PC is more susceptible to malwares. This is because there are more chances of clicking accidentally on a pop-up ad or link that automatically downloads a malware. The best way to avoid your computer from being infected is to make sure you only trust and browse websites that have a padlock next to its url. These websites use encrypted connection and can ensure safe browsing. Below is an image of what it looks like. If you click on the padlock, it can view the safety certificate as well.

Padlock

Summary

Viruses and malwares are all over the internet. An accidental click on an ad could cause a system crash of your entire laptop. Sounds scary but it’s true. The best way to protect your device is by installing an anti-malware software and make sure it is always active while you browse. These softwares have advanced firewall and AdBlock options to ensure the security of your computer. You could have downloaded a malware by mistake ages ago and not known that it is still there. This is because a lot of times, a malware sits in a device and just gathers information. In this case, your laptop may display signs of alteration due to a malware attack, however it can be hard to identify at times. Once a malware has been detected, it is important to act on it and get it removed as soon as possible before it gives other malicious types of software your information and general access, making it extremely difficult to rid your computer from it and protect your data.

It is a common misconception that refurbished electronics are only sold because they are rendered useless after being attacked and infected by a virus, causing the system to crash and any future data to be at risk of being taken or used. This however, is not true. The Computer Market is a company that sells top refurbished electronics. Our devices are good as new and they are available at super affordable rates. TCM is QA and ISO Accredited, meaning quality is guaranteed for all asset detagging, formatting and data destruction for any IT End Of Life Request. At TCM, we ensure all the devices we sell are free from any malwares or viruses. Buy a refurbished device, save money and stay secure! Call us today.

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