How can you tell if your computer is plagued by a malware entity? There are some signs to watch out for. However, the most common ones include slower-than-usual performance, random app and program crashes, and other anomalous incidents.
But how does malware impact your computer? Does it cause fatal and irreversible damage to your software and hardware components? How do you remove it from your device? Find out below.
What Malware Does to Your Computer
A malware entity impacts your computer in many ways. It disrupts your system operations. It steals sensitive and private information. It also allows unauthorized access to your computer’s system resources. That is why it is imperative that you take proper measures to remove malware entities from your Windows laptop or computer.
How to Remove Malware from a Windows 10/11 Computer
If you suspect that a malware entity has successfully infiltrated your computer, here are some fixes to try:
Solution #1: Boot Your Computer into Safe Mode.
Before you even do anything, try disconnecting your computer from the internet. Do not connect to the internet until you are sure that you have successfully removed malware from your computer.
Now, boot your computer into Safe Mode. Take note that in this mode, only the important programs and services are run and loaded. This means your computer will be noticeably faster than usual.
Here’s how to boot your Windows 10/11 computer into Safe Mode:
- Go to the Start menu.
- Click the Power button.
- Press and hold down the Shift key while clicking Reboot.
- A new menu should pop up. Select Troubleshooting.
- Choose Advanced Options and click Startup Settings.
- Click Restart and wait for the next screen to appear.
- A menu with a few startup options will appear. Choose Safe Mode.
- Your computer should now boot into Safe Mode.
Once your computer is in Safe Mode, run a quick virus scan. But before you do so, delete all your temporary files and free up the disk space to speed up the scanning process. For this, you may use the Disk Cleanup utility.
To use the Disk Cleanup utility, input disk cleanup into the search bar and hit Enter. Next, click the tool that is named Disk Cleanup. From here, you can delete the unwanted junk and malware entities that are disguised as legit files on your computer.
Solution #2: Run a Quick Malware Scan.
If booting your computer into Safe Mode does not work, you can run a quick malware scan. If you already have an anti-malware tool installed on your computer, try using other anti-malware software. There is a chance that your current anti-malware tool might not have detected the threat. It is worth noting that no anti-malware program can detect all types of malware because they are constantly evolving.
One anti-malware program that we recommend using is Outbyte Anti-Malware. Not only does it get rid of malware entities on your computer, but it also removes tracking cookies that spy on your activities and protects your private information from being sent to third parties.
Solution #3: Check Your Web Browser Settings.
Malware entities are designed to cause damage to system files and other settings. This includes the settings of your web browser.
If malware has infiltrated your computer, it is possible that it will modify your web browser’s settings. It will change the settings to display malicious ads, making you more exposed to threats.
So, before you launch your web browser, make sure to check your homepage first. And then, check the settings. If you notice any changes that you know you haven’t done, revert them to your original settings. You can also uninstall and then reinstall your browser to ensure no malware can cause further damage to your computer.
How to Protect Your Computer from Malware
Now that you know how to get rid of malware on your computer, it’s time that you take protective measures to prevent malware from infiltrating your system again.
Here are some tips to take into account:
Tip #1: Connect to Secure Networks.
Once you connect to the web, your computer becomes connected to millions of other devices. This means you could also be connected to hackers and potential attackers. To ensure you are protected, visit websites that use SSLs. Simply said, these are websites that have URLs that start with https instead of http.
Tip #2: Always Enable Your Firewall.
A firewall is a technology that controls the flow of data and information between the internet and your computer. Make sure it is enabled to restrict any unauthorized access.
Tip #3: Install a Trusted Anti-Malware or Antivirus.
Installing a reliable anti-malware or antivirus program is essential to keep your computer protected against viruses and malware entities. If you already have one installed, be sure to keep it updated.
Tip #4: Never Install Any Illegal Software.
Aside from breaking the law, installing illegal or unauthorized software will compromise your data security.
Tip #5: Observe Good Security Practices When Surfing the Web.
When you’re accessing the world wide web, you have to take caution at all times. Avoid clicking on random links that are being sent to you. Malware entities may quickly spread when you click on them. In addition, do not open email attachments unless you are completely sure that they’re safe.
Tip #6: Do Not Keep Sensitive Data on Your Computer.
If possible, do not store or save any file that contains personal or crucial data on your personal computer. It is best that you keep it on your work computer or on an external drive that is not connected to a network.
Tip #7: Install Software Updates.
Software updates are released by developers to fix flaws, bugs, and vulnerabilities that have been previously reported. If you don’t install them, intruders may exploit these weaknesses and attack your computer. The moment an update is available, install it to prevent attacks.
Malware and viruses are constantly evolving. This means as anti-malware programs improve, so do they. You can never be too confident when it comes to online security. Make it a habit to check for signs of malware infection and take preventive measures to protect your computer.