Is Your Computer Infected With Malware?

Malware is becoming one of the most common problems with computers, whether in a work or home environment. We have chosen to share some information about it and how to get rid of it. Malware is particularly bad because it can affect the browser and cause problems with Paragon.

There are a few obvious symptoms of a malware infection to look out for:

  • Your computer is running extremely slow: If you are not running a lot of programs at once or doing something intensive like video or photo editing and the computer is still running a lot slower than usual, it may be infected with malware.
  • Random pop-ups: A great example of this would be if you are on Paragon, and only Paragon, but still get a random pop-up, it may be malware. The most common ones are those that look like an anti-virus program and say you have an alarming amount of infections but the program isn’t your anti-virus.
  • Programs that you didn’t install asking for payment: There are a lot of malware programs designed to get money from you. If a program comes up and says your computer is infected but it requires payment to fix it, it may be malware. They are designed to look like a good program and scare you with the number of infections,but they are not real. They also typically ask for payment through prepaid cards like Moneypak.

You have determined your system is infected with malware; what do you do?

Malwarebytes has a free tool which can be found at http://www.malwarebytes.org/. You can remove the majority of malware infections yourself by following a few simple steps. Click the “Free Version Download” button and complete the following steps to remove most malware infections.

  1. Once the download has finished, open the file to start the setup.
  2. Follow the different windows and click OK, Next or Install. This program is safe to skip most boxes and keep clicking Next.
  3. Malwarebytes should open after installation; if it does not, then check your desktop and double-click the icon to start it.
  4. When the program starts, it will need to update the database – click Yes to update before continuing.
  5. You will now see the main windows of Malwarebytes and can start the removal process.
  6. Make sure the bubble next to Perform Quick Scan is selected.
  7. Click the Scan button toward the bottom of the program. This step could take anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours.
  8. Once the scan is done, there will be a pop-up window letting you know it is finished and if malware was found on your system. Press OK.
  9. Click Show Results on the bottom right of the program, or if Malwarebytes reported there was nothing found, you can close the program now.
  10. This is where the list of infected files will be – if it is empty then your computer is clean. If there are items listed, continue on to the next step.
  11. Right-click on the name of an infected file (it will be in red) and click Select All.
  12. Click Remove Selected on the bottom left.
  13. Malwarebytes will start the removal process which may take a while and sometimes requires the system be rebooted to finish the removal. If it asks you to reboot the computer, make sure you have saved what you were working on and click Restart.
  14. That’s it, your computer should be clean! Only the most aggressive malware is able to bypass Malwarebytes.

If you decide against the self-help option mentioned above, or if Malwarebytes fails to remove the malware from your system; you can have your IT department, computer shop or electronic store (such as, Best Buy through the Geek Squad) service your computer.

For constant protection from malware, we recommend a dedicated program on your computer, such as the paid version of Malwarebytes. Your system will be monitored while it is on, in the same way an anti-virus program operates. If you do not purchase the software, we suggest running the scan exactly as detailed above on a bi-weekly basis. That will help ensure your computer is in good working order.

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2 thoughts on “Is Your Computer Infected With Malware?

  1. I ran into a huge virus problem and malware recently when I downloaded JAVA from the Oracle website. Since then I have learned that the open source of JAVA can be hacked and compromised with malware. The program I’m trying to use for some charts requires JAVA. any suggestions on how to get a clean version of JAVA?

    • Hi Shawn,
      The best place to get java is https://www.java.com/en/download/ Java comes bundled with the “Ask” toolbar — while that isn’t technically malware it isn’t something most people want. It is easily avoided by giving the install/update windows careful attention so you can uncheck the option to install it. You may want to try disabling it and see if it is really needed. Any software on your computer can be hacked given enough time and motivation, so your best bet is to keep everything updated, disable what you don’t need and only download from trusted sources. Don’t hesitate to call for help walking through this!

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