Generally, the word of Virus is more familiar than malware. Oftentimes, when people hear the word malware, most of them will call it Virus, or part of a virus. So, take into account that a malware program is not a computer virus. This article will discuss what Malware is, how to prevent it and how to remove malware from a computer.
Before you find out whether or not your computer got malware attack, your should understand what malware is. Understanding how malware work, you’ll know how to prevent and remove malware on your computer. Malware is a software program, but the difference with common computer programs is its malicious intent on the computer that harms the user whose computer is exposed to a malware program. A malware program works on a computer whether to remove, hide, or steal data from an infected computer without the permission from the owner. A malware program can spend the bandwidth of your data plan and the resources of your laptop. It is a harmful and dangerous program.
The Difference between Virus and Malware
So, malware programs are dangerous as its nature and purpose. Then, how about Computer Virus? Keep in mind that a computer virus could be a part of a malware program. Malware is grouped into three categories based on the creator’s objectives:
- The malware that infects the computer such as viruses and worms
- A malicious program that that lurks and steals data such as spyware
- The malware program that attacks secretly such as Trojan or backdoor
The virus is a type of malware that when the first appeared and it troubles many people. So, the computer viruses are more known than other types of malware programs. Commonly, non-tech people categorize all malware programs as viruses. Read also; the most harmful computer virus names.
For more detail, I will give you a few reviews about some types of malware.
Types of Malware
The virus, which is the first group of malware type, is the first malware to appear in the tech world. So, if there is a problem on your computer, often a virus that is accused as the cause. The virus itself is a term that is used for a program to insert itself into a file program or data with a specific purpose.
A virus can change the extension of the infected file, so the file cannot be used anymore. Or the virus can also reproduce itself so as to create a full memory and eventually make the computer hang or slow down. The worse cause of a computer virus is if it is capable of entering into the computer system and change or damage the OS file that can cause the computer or laptop could not get into windows.
Just like viruses, worms also belong to the first group of malware that aim to infect computers. A worm aims to attack, alter or destroy the file, or replicate itself to fill the memory space. The difference between a Virus and Worm; the virus spreads itself by inserting itself into another file, while Worm is a stand-alone program, does not require another file as a hive.
The spread of worm in a computer does not require an intermediary (person). Worms can spread themselves through the network, and ‘spawn’ on every connected computer.
Spyware is a malware program aims to spy on the device it attacks. It can record your computer data usage, collect information, and send the information or data from without you realize it. If the recorded information is about your internet usage, such as the sites visited, or the information you frequently seek may be harmless. But if the recorded data or information is the credit card numbers, e-banking, along with the password, it will be very dangerous.
The term Trojan Horse derived from the story of warfare in ancient Greece where the elite soldiers hide inside the statue of a Trojan horse in order to enter the fort and do the attack; as a Trojan works the same way. Trojan seems like an important or useful program, but when it’s extracted, the program aims to destruct your computer. Trojans are usually ridden by viruses, worms, spyware, or other malicious malware programs. Usually, the extension Trojan could be .exe or.com.
Trojan is a very dangerous program as it can spy on the use of your computer and save the important data such as password, etc., and send it to the Trojan creator. Trojans can even provide access to its users to ruffle the computers they attack.
How to Remove Malware
If your computer device has been infected with a virus, the only way to recover your data is to remove the attacking malware. How to remove malware? The following are the steps.
1. Delete Temporary Files
Temporary files include the cache and cookies on your web browsers. Your browsers often become the nest of malware programs. For that, clean the temporary file on the browsers (including recycle bin) if you want to remove malware from your computer.
To delete temporary files on Windows, go to RUN then type % temp%. Then, delete all the contents of the temporary files. After that, remove the contents from your recycle bin. Right click on the recycle bin icon on the desktop and select empty recycle bin.
Deleting temporary files in the Chrome browser also a good way to remove malware if your primary browser is Chrome. Go to history, click menu, and then, select the option to delete browsing data. Check all options for deleting all data.
2. Delete or Reset System Restore
Windows also has a System Restore feature, which is actually very useful if there is a problem with the system. With System Restore, you can restore the system back like when point restore is saved. But unfortunately, the system restore is also often used as the nest of a type of malware. I personally prefer to turn off all system restore to prevent malware attack.
So, to remove malware, you can also reset the system restore. You just simply need to turn off the system restore, and then turn off the computer. Aftger that, restart the system restore. Once it restarted, the formerly saved file system has been removed and replaced with the latest file system.
3. Scan Your Computer with Antivirus Thoroughly
Antivirus is the most powerful tool to remove malware from PC or laptop. If your computer has an antivirus, do a thorough scanning for all of the hard drive partitions. Also, install anti-malware software and do scanning if your antivirus does not have any anti-malware feature. Immediately quarantine or remove the detected malware.
4. Scan Through Save Mode
If you are scanning normally, it will be less successfully eradicates all malware programs that attack your PC or laptop. So, do scan through save mode. When it’s in a save mode, Windows will run in its minimal condition. It means only certain important drivers are active and additional software programs are also inactive. Any malware program that cannot be removed normally can become inactive in a save mode. So, you can remove malware in save mode.
5. Scan Using Live CD
There are some malware programs that can remain active even though your Windows is in save mode. To get rid of such malware programs, you can do the scanning via Live CD. So, you do the scanning even before entering the Windows, or at boot time. This should be able to overcome the malware that attacks, except that a malware program does not being detected as a malware.
6. Windows Defender
Windows Defender is a built-in Windows security program. So, if you do not have an antivirus and cannot install an antivirus on your PC or laptop that has been infected with a malware, you can use Windows Defender to remove virus or malware.
You can perform normal scanning when the computer is in use to check your computer security, or you can do it offline. Using Windows offline defender is more recommended, as this way will do the scanning process before entering the Windows (when booting).
7. Remove Unknown or Weird Program
Browse the contents of the program files installed on your computer or laptop. In case you find a strange program that you do not know, delete or uninstall it immediately. Therefore, you have to know what programs you install in order to avoid uninstall errors. However, even if it’s wrong, it will not damage the Operating System of your computer. It’s just going to be holing and it’s inconvenient if it turns out that it is important but you don’t have an installer.
8. Reinstall Computer
This is the last way, but the most powerful way to remove malware from your computer. Take note that you should scan other partitions other than the file system to avoid any malware re-infects your computer system. But too often reinstall the OS also gives a bad impact on your computer.
How To Prevent Malware Infect Your Computer
As a saying goes, prevention is better than cure. To that end, before a malware infects your computer, it is much better if you immediately take precautions. However, if a malware has been infecting your computer, you can go directly to the way how to overcome and make this section as a reference so that your computer will not be re-attacked by any malware. Here are the proven ways how to prevent your computer from viruses or other malware.
1. Install Antivirus
Antivirus is a must-install program on the computer unless your computer is never used to connect to the internet and access a flash disk or other portable storage. To choose a good antivirus, get a trusted antivirus. Choose also the one that provides protection against malware. Also, make sure you get the antivirus from the right source. I recommend you to download the antivirus directly from the website provider. There are many good free antivirus software programs if you do not want to pay.
2. Update Antivirus Periodically
After installing an antivirus, you have to update it periodically. The update time depends on the notification from authority provider. This is really necessary as the development of malware is also quite rapid nowadays. The latest antivirus update will add the latest dangerous virus names database, so it can be detected once any of them attacks your computer. Besides updating your antivirus, also fix bugs in the antivirus in order the security of the computer is better.
3. Avoid Using Piracy, Nulled, or Cracked Software Programs
In addition to breaking the law, pirated programs have usually been inserted or bundled with malware by hackers who created the pirated software. So, hackers can control the computer that installs pirated software, spread the virus or worm, stalking, even destructive. The destructive pays the license of the program, especially Windows OS which is very expensive. But you can use a software program that is Open Source like Linux as it’s cheaper and even some are free.
4. Update Operating system
If you are not using a pirated Operating System, you can update your operating system periodically. Like Antivirus, Operating System developers are also still developing the operating system, fix bugs and loopholes that exist and close the weaknesses of the Operating System to be more secure again.
5. Avoid Downloading File Carelessly
Commonly, when looking for something, a software program, for example, we search it on Google and download one without thinking carefully. But such way is very risky. So, it’s better to download the software program from authority source directly. Furthermore, if you have to pay for a software program and you cannot afford, look for another alternative. Pirated programs are not recommended at all.
6. Avoid Visiting Unclear Pages or Clicking Unclear Links
Lately, in many social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, you’ll find posts with strange links attached. For example a porn video link or the like, which makes the user click on the link carelessly. Though, you have to be careful as the link could be a trap for malware to gain access to get into your PC or laptop.
Likewise, if there are an email contains a certain link that is sent from a source you do not know, never click on that link. But if you have to visit certain unclear pages, you can use one of the best private browsers to protect your internet browsing. The point is to avoid such link that seems suspicious.
7. Turn off the Autorun Feature
Windows has an autorun feature, which is actually useful. For example for the antivirus to run automatically scan your flash disk when you attach it to your computer. However, many malware uses this feature to execute itself. This is certainly dangerous. Therefore, you should just turn off the autorun feature.
You need to know that most of the malware attacking Windows OS, while another OS including Linux is very rarely attacked because its open source matter which makes Linux has a pretty tough security system. Finally, there is no harm in you switch to the Linux OS as it’s an Open Source Operating System.