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Malware Removal

About Malware Removal

Malware can range from mischievous software that displays unwanted ads on your computer to vicious apps that spy on your activities, steal personal information, corrupt or delete your files, and even hold the contents of your hard disk for ransom. While malware is easy to acquire from opening an email attachment or downloading what looks like legitimate software, it can be tougher to remove. Fortunately, antimalware software can guard against attacks and help remove malicious software, returning your system back to a safe state.

Malware Removal


Malware Removal FAQs

  • How to prevent infection
    While running malware-detection software is an easy first step to keeping your system healthy, you must still take an active role in safeguarding your computer and information. Make sure you're practicing safe computing. Keep your apps and OS up to date. Install the updates for your operating system and apps. By keeping your software current, you can help ensure your system is protected from new threats.

    Be really careful about clicking links. Malicious links are a big and increasingly sophisticated security risk. Be skeptical of links in email and on websites; hover your cursor over the link before you click it to see if the address looks suspicious.

    Download software from trusted sites. Stay safe and download apps through a trusted website, as reputable sites run malware checks on the software they offer.

    Be careful on public Wi-Fi. Use a secure connection when transmitting sensitive information, such as a financial transaction. For additional security, a VPN allows you to create a private connection over a public network to send and receive sensitive data, such as credit-card information.

  • What to do if you become infected

    Hopefully you were farsighted and already installed a malware removal tool from Malwarebytes, Microsoft, or Norton, in which case, just open it up and let it run. But if your system is infected and you've not yet installed antimalware software, it's not over yet. You may still be able to download a removal tool and start cleaning up the mess. However, some malware will block you from downloading and installing apps just for this reason. If the malware won't let you download anything, you may be able to use a malware removal app off a flash drive. You can download Malwarebytes Chameleon, for example, on a second machine, load it on a flash drive, plug it in on the infected machine, and start it up.


  • Best Windows antimalware apps

    Malwarebytes

    Malwarebytes makes the definitive tool.

    Avast

    Avast makes a highly rated and easy-to-use app.

    Bitdefender

    Bitdefender's software consistently ranks high in independent lab tests.

    Kaspersky

    Kaspersky's software also scores well on AV-Test.

    McAfee

    Norton has a comprehensive set of malware and security tools.


Best Android antimalware apps

Bitdefender

Bitdefender's Android app is highly recommended.

Kaspersky

Kaspersky's antimalware app earns top marks from AV-Test.


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Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for Download.com. He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.