This is a quick and easy guide on how to remove malicious software (Spyware, Trojans, Viruses, Worms, Adware, etc.) aka Malware.
Please follow the following instructions IN THIS ORDER EXACTLY!:
Note: You should ALWAYS reboot when it recommends doing so.
1. Do you have a firewall running? (Lock it down)
Windows XP SP2 comes with a firewall by default which I recommend you ensure it is enabled.
Other than that try using Kerio Personal Firewall v2.1.5 – this offers a basic lightweight software firewall.
I DO NOT recommend using ZoneAlarm or BlackICE Defender.
Once you have downloaded a Firewall solution, unplug your computer from the internet, install it, restart, then plug your internet back in.
Once your system is back on, and you have the firewall installed, you need to remember the following:
- ONLY ALLOW OUTGOING traffic from program you are familiar with.
- DENY ANY INCOMING OR OUTGOING traffic from programs you are NOT familiar with.
To test your firewall see grc.com leaktest or hackerwatch.org probe.
2. Does Windows need Updating? (Secure the system)
You need to visit the Windows Update website (Internet Explorer Only) Or Start > Run > type: wupdmgr.exe
- If you are on Windows XP, please update to AT LEAST SP2.
- If you are on Windows 2000, please update to AT LEAST SP4.
It is recommended you install all the updates as soon as possible, as this will secure your system against known bugs.
If you run any older Windows Operating System, please consider upgrading to Windows 2000 or XP.
3. How do I remove the malware? (Fix the problems)
Make sure you have anti-virus software installed. If you already have one installed, make sure it is up to date.
Many people seem to use Norton Antivirus or McAfee, however these can often slow your computer down, consider uninstalling them, and trying one of the less mainstream solutions.
Two good FREE alternative Anti-Virus solutions are Free avast! or AVG Free.
Even if you have anti-virus software installed I can recommend a visit to TrendMicro Housecall which is a free online Java based anti-virus software solution provided by TrendMicro, its always a good idea to have a second opinion.
You can find a list of antivirus software here.
ALWAYS make sure your anti-virus software is working and UPDATED!
I would STRONGLY recommend uninstalling any other anti-spyware software PRIOR to installing this software.
Try Microsoft Windows Defender, it’s not as good as it’s predecessors GIANT/Microsoft Antispyware, but it should do the job, providing your using a validated version of windows.
Otherwise try Ad-aware Personal, but I do not recommend “SpyBot – Search & Destroy”, uninstall it if you have it.
DO NOT TRUST OR DOWNLOAD ANY ANTI SPYWARE SOFTWARE THAT APPEARS IN A POPUP WINDOW!
If you think you have a specific virus/malware, try using Norton Virus Removal Tools
Finally if you still think your infected or simply cannot get rid of a piece of malware, you need HiJackThis.
HiJackThis will create a log that you can browse through and tell it to fix, this is a bit of an expert tool so if you are unsure, ask an expert for advise, however usually you can spot the bad lines and select them for fixing.
Download HiJackThis (Be careful when using, some lines are completely harmless!)
If you need more help identifying exactly what is currently running on your system, it might be worth getting a copy of ProcessExplorer (free to download), it’s more powerful “Task Manager”, and its helpful when researching what certain processes are.
Also, try ccleaner, which is a free piece of software that will remove temporary files and fix your registry to name a few of its functions.
Note: If you are unsure about any of this, contact an IT expert.
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