How Your System Gets Infected And How To Deal With It
Signs of infection and ways to remove it
You use the computer constantly. Rather, you use it all time, for different purposes. And doesn’t matter if you like games of you work from it, you write a book or you make designs, your computer is something extremely important in your life. And hackers know that, too. Moreover, they know, that you may keep important data there, like unfinished projects, or you may use confidential information to pay, for example, for some shopping. And they are trying their best to get access to that data and to use it in their purposes. That is why, you better keep your system as protected as it is possible. Though, even with supposedly reliable protection, it is vulnerable.
How your computer can get infected?
Basically, there are many ways of how a computer can get a virus or a malware in its system. That is why, we will discuss the most usual ways to get even a protected system infected.
1. By installing a software. Definitely you have had a situation when you have to install a software, of when you have to agree with the Terms and Conditions, but you are too lazy or just do not have time to read all. That is why you presume, that it is safe, that the content is harmless, and you just click “Accept”, even without reading it. Also, it is easier to accept all if the content were written in a difficult language. And one more thing, always use custom install, like this you will control what exactly components are being installed and if there is nothing odd or suspicious in the installation, otherwise the malware will get into your system without you being aware of this.
2. Through downloading an infected software from the internet. If you did it, you can be absolutely sure, that any malware, even the oldest version, will start acting even before the software download is completed. That is why, make downloads only from verified sources, never use torrent sites and always use notifications that your antivirus sends you during the installation.
3. Through e-mail attachments. A hacker may send a virus in a mail attachment. Once you open the mail and click on the attachment, your computer gets infected. Moreover, there are cases known, when you even don’t need to open your mail box, it is enough just to preview the mail to get the virus in the computer. Do not open mails with suspicious content or links, even if they come from your friends or relatives, unless they confirm, that they have sent it and that they have attached a file.
4. Connecting a USB device. Once you start running a USB-device or disk, which contain a virus, it will definitely penetrate the system. That is why, always run antivirus scanning before opening any attachable device.
5. If the antivirus software is not appropriately updated, then, most likely, it will be useless in fighting off the newest threats. New viruses and malware are appearing every day, and they use newest technologies and principles. Most of them learned to hide in the system or pretend being good programs, that is why, it is important to update the antivirus software regularly.
6. Pirating content. If you download movies, music, games from unauthorized sources, your computer will be infected by one or another malware for sure. Moreover, if you are sharing that content with your friends or relatives, you spread the virus among them, too.
7. No antivirus or antimalware program, and that is the most sure way to get a virus you’re your system. Or, if these security programs are installed, but they aren’t updated. The difference is not too big though.
8. Adobe Products. It may sound very strange, especially to those who love those programs, but using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat is also an almost sure way to get infected. Only their presence is dangerous. But if somehow are attached to them, at least make sure, that they are updated.
9. Infection notice. If you notice a popup window that claims, that your system is severely infected, and offers to run a free system scan and remove the threat, be careful. In most cases, this is a virus.
10. If you received ANY link from ANY source, NEVER perform a log in through it. This technology is used by phishing websites, and your data will become available for those, who can and most likely will misuse it.
Whatever you are doing to protect your system, with nowadays technologies, you can never be sure. That is why, it is needed to know, how to detect correctly, that your computer has got a virus or a malware. Though, we can give only very general advice, as nowadays viruses and malware are so advanced, that detecting them is super difficult, if at all not impossible.
Though, you shall take immediate measures if:
• Your computer started behaving in an unusual way, not like it has been always.
• In your screen appear messages or images, that you haven’t ever seen.
• If some software starts in on its own.
• If you get a notification from a firewall, that some kind of application attempted to connect to the web, and you are not running this application.
• Your friends receive mails or messages in social networks from you, while you haven’t written them anything.
• The speed decreases, the computer very often freezes.
• Files may be either deleted or modified, the same applies to folders.
• The flashing light shows access to the hard disc, while you aren’t running any program.
• Your browser lives its own life. For example, you for one or another reason are not able to close the browser window.
• The BSOD screen appears regularly.
• Lack of space in the memory, while you really have not installed many programs.
First of all, do not panic if you noticed one or even some symptoms of an infection. The failures can still be connected with an incompatible software, application of all hard disc memory and other things, that have a pure technical character. But, you still need to be sure, that your system is not under a threat. And to do this, you better get to know how and which steps you shall make.
If a malware sends messages with links to a virus to your, say, facebook, or other social network friends, first of all, you shall log out from your account on all devices. And, if possible, turn off the computer, this is a good preventive measure to avoid infection.
Also you shall invent strong passwords to all your accounts and manage them safely. Never save your passwords on the same computer.
And how do you like a malware that is asking for money?
Well, even not asking. But once you run the offered security check, it will show you so many viruses and system errors, that you will get surprised, that your lap is still alive. And you will rush to buy this super solution to remove all those errors and threats. Like this, you not only download a malicious software into your computer, but also pay money to its developer.
If you suspect, that you are a victim of a cyber-attack or your system is really infected, you better scan the system with both a good antivirus and a good antimalware product. The advanced malware is very difficult to detect even for the most advanced software, though. And also very important is to keep the antivirus software updated. But if you notice that your security product doesn’t work, even after you reboot the computer, it is a clear sign, that there is a virus in the system. The reason for that is, that some malware is developed in a way, that they damage the antimalware itself, or deteriorate its update function. And if the product that fights the malware and viruses off, is not updated, it becomes useless.
What shall you do if your computer is infected?
First of all, do not make a complete mess by panicking. Then, disconnect your system from the web and try to restart the computer. If it did not work out, start the computer, but in safe mode. Otherwise, you also can use a rescue CD to reboot the system. Then, check if your antivirus software is updated. If yes, perfect, but if not, update it urgently. BUT not from your computer, as it may be infected or even under the control of an attacker. Or, at least use an alternative computer of yours. If you use the infected computer, the malware may destroy the system completely, or it can send itself through mail and messages to people who are in your contact list.
If you did all possible scanning, and the security software detected the malware but is not able to remove it? You shall check the official website of the product that you are using, they normally have customer support feature, and they solve such kind of problems. Or, check for a solution in the web, as, most likely, somebody has already faced this problem and the solution has been discovered or invented many years ago.
After detecting a malware, remove it. In order to do it, you have just to follow the instructions that are normally provided by the vendor. If this did not work, contact the vendor`s customer support.