If your computer becomes infected with some form of malware, there are a set of procedures you should undertake to ensure its removal and most of all, the protection of your information.
Removal of malware
The first stage to recovering from an infection is to remove the malware from your computer system. This can be achieved using specialised software known as malware removal tools, which many of the industry leading anti-malware companies offer a free solution for everyone to use.
Scan your system
Once you have removed any malware that was present on your computer its time to scan your system with Anti-Malware software. This is to ensure that no residual malware has been left behind that may introduce future infections. Scans are easy to do and are normally required the first time you install a new piece of Anti-Malware software. Here are a few pieces of software that you could use on your computer, Kaspersky Anti-Virus, Avast Anti-Virus and Malwarebytes.
Change your passwords
Almost all users have probably used their computer to log into email and social media accounts, online banking websites, and shopping sites. Assuming you’ve had malware on your computer, the malware could have logged the passwords to access these accounts and uploaded them through the internet back to the hacker. With just your email account, the hacker could reset your passwords on other websites and gain access to almost any of your online accounts.
To prevent this, you should consider changing the passwords for your important accounts as a high priority. It may be pertinent to change these passwords on another computer that you know is clean to perform this activity.
Along with running Anti-Malware software its important to consider other types of protection that can help you in the future. Add-ons to web browsers that can block potentially malicious adverts can be extremely useful, an example of this is Adblock for Google Chrome and Firefox and it is highly recommended for doing this.
Passwords are a problem in this digital world – as to be really safe, you should use different passwords for the different sites that you use. Unless you are extremely good at remembering passwords this is a bit of a nightmare! There are password manager applications that will store passwords securely for you – all you need to do is remember the master password (which then becomes the key to unlock your online kingdom) – once this has been provided your password manager should take care of the other passwords for you.
A number of websites now allow for two-factor authentication to access important accounts, such as online banking facilities. This usually means having to enter 1) something you know – such as a password and 2) something you have – such as a one time token delivered either to your phone or generated by a card reader. Without these two piece of knowledge access is not granted.