Did you notice your PC running slowly for no apparent reason? Does it randomly crash and restart? Are you having problems accessing your computer’s storage?
These are signs that your computer may have malware. Data revealed that over 9.9 billion malware attacks took place around the world in 2019. Unfortunately, this form of cyberattack can cripple businesses and make them bleed.
Companies lose an average of $200,000 due to cyberattacks. Furthermore, upstarts and small businesses suffer the most impact. Some of them even end up folding.
Hence, you need to protect your data by getting rid of malware as early as possible. Continue reading below as we teach you how to remove malware from your devices.
Removing Malware From Your Windows PC
If you suspect that your PC has malware, the first thing you should do is to disconnect from the internet.
This will stop your computer from sending more data to the malware server. It will also keep the malware from spreading further into your network.
Next, you want to put your computer in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your PC and wait for the sign-in screen to appear. Thereafter, press and hold down the Shift key then choose “Power” then “Restart.”
After restarting, go to the “Choose an option” screen. From there, choose “Troubleshoot,” then “Advanced Options,” then hit “Startup Settings.”
Move on to the second window and select the “Restart” button. Wait until another screen to appear containing a menu. From the menu, select number 4.
Alternatively, you can hit the F4 key to prompt your PC in Safe Mode.
The next step is to spot any malicious applications on your activity monitor. If you see one running, close it immediately.
Next, you want to run a malware scanner. This step is crucial in removing any standard malware infections. Thereafter, verify your browser.
Complete the process by clearing your cache. Open your Chrome browser and go to “History.” Select “Clear Browsing Data” then hit “Time Range.”
Choose “All Time” then hit the “Clear Data” option.
Removing Malware From Your Mac
Even though Mac computers offer better protection against viruses, they are still not 100% impervious to threats. To remove malware from your Mac, start by disconnecting from the internet.
Much like with a PC, you want to enter your Mac into Safe Mode. To do this, restart your Mac then quickly press and hold the Shift key. This will prompt the Apple logo to appear on the screen.
Once the login window appears, release the Shift key. Now, you can proceed with checking for any malicious applications running on your activity monitor.
The same thing with the PC, close any dubious applications that you see. Delete them accordingly through the Finder menu.
Open Finder then select “Applications,” “Utilities,” then “Activity Monitor.” Choose “Select Application” then hit “Quit.”
After stopping the dubious applications, you can now run your malware scanner. Before clearing your cache, make sure to verify your browser. If you’re using Safari, go to the top-left corner of the screen and click “Safari.”
Select “Preferences” then hit “General.” Choose the “Homepage” to verify your default homepage.
You may also click the link to learn more about how to remove malware on Mac computers.
Removing Malware From Your Android Device
In case your Android phone or tablet catches malware, you can also get rid of the latter in a few steps. First, you need to power off your device to reboot it in safe mode.
To do this, press the power button then wait for the animation to start. As soon as the animation begins, press and hold the volume down button. You should only release the button once the animation ends.
Thereafter, you should see the “Safe Mode” indicator at the bottom. From there, you can start deleting any suspicious apps that you see. Go to “Settings” then search for those apps then delete them accordingly.
After deleting everything, install a reputable mobile security app on your device.
What If It Fails?
Sometimes, your attempt to remove malware may end up unsuccessful. When this happens, you will need to take a more drastic step to ensure that your computer is malware-free. You can do so by reinstalling all your applications, programs, and operating system.
The first step is to backup all your files. Transfer your files to an external drive. And if you’re using a Mac computer, you should also erase your startup disk before reinstalling your OS.
To reinstall your Windows OS, follow the instructions from the factory restore options. Be careful not to miss a step and follow everything to the letter.
Hit the Start button then go to “Settings.” Key in “Recovery Options” then choose “Reset this PC.” From there, select “Get Started” then choose “Remove everything.”
To reinstall your macOS, restart your computer then hold the “Command + R” keys after you hear the startup chime. Next, select “Disk Utility” then hit “Erase.”
Tips for Malware Prevention
Since prevention is always better than cure, let’s discuss a few tips to keep malware at bay. First, invest in reliable antivirus software like Malwarebytes. You also want to update your antivirus software regularly with the latest patches.
As for your operating system, you need to keep it current at all times. Apply all the latest security patches.
When browsing or opening emails, think before you click. Examine the source of the email before opening any attachments. If it is an unsolicited email, consider deleting it.
Last but not least, use strong passwords. Come up with a good mix of numbers, letters, and special characters.
Never use the same password across all your accounts.
Expand Your Data Protection Knowledge
Now that you know how to get rid of malware from your device, you can protect valuable data and secure the integrity of your network. But malware is only one of the many forms of cyber threats that you may encounter.
Expand your knowledge of data protection by reading our other articles. We discuss different topics that will keep you a step ahead of malicious cyber-attacks.