Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tips on How to Detect and Remove malware

Computer acting strange? Getting strange error messages? Is your PC running slower than a turtle? You very well might be infected with malware. This malicious software is no laughing matter. Malware can certainly be more than just a mere annoyance. It can spread through your system, corrupting your computer. It can actually lead you to completely losing all data on your hard drive. Not only that, malware can lead you to become the next victim of identity theft, one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada and the USA.

In fact, since 2003 the majority of widespread viruses and worms have been designed to take control of the user's computer for black market exploitation. Infected "zombie computers" are used to send spam. The junk email being sent from your system could even contain illegal content such as child pornography. Your computer could also be used to engage in distributed denial of service attacks as a form of extortion.

Malware is a malicious form of software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. Malware includes Trojan Horses, keystroke loggers, spyware, worms, computer viruses, and other malicious software.

With the explosive growth of the Internet and home user high speed Internet access, malware is a enormous and growing problem. According to F-Secure, as much malware was produced in 2007 alone as the previous twenty years altogether.

Fortunately, there are steps to take to detect and remove malware before it does anymore harm.

First of all, if you suspect your computer is infected with malware immediately stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive personal information.

Ensure that you have Internet security software installed on your computer. At minimum, have anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software installed on your computer. You might be glad to know that there are free firewalls, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software available for download online. As there are new viruses, spyware, and other malware created everyday make sure that your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date. Remember that Internet security software is only as good as the last update. Internet security experts are constantly playing a cat and mouse game with cybercrooks to catch the latest malicious software.

Once your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is up-to-date, run it to scan your computer for any viruses, spyware, and other malware. Be sure to delete anything the software identifies as a problem. Most but not all computer viruses can be deleted using Internet security software. If not, there are free virus removal tools, to remove other nasty computer viruses from your system.

Once your computer is up and running, think about how malware could have been downloaded to your machine. Consider how you can avoid this malicious software in the future. The key to helping protect yourself from malware is prevention. The old saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" rings very true where malware is concerned.

Malware is indeed a growing threat to your Internet security. It is good to know that there are ways to detect and remove any malware infecting your computer.

To learn more how to prevent, detect, and remove spyware, Trojan Horses, keystroke loggers, and other malicious software please visit Internet Security 101. Chris Hecker is the owner and writer of Internet Security 101. This web site contains free internet security and privacy tips, articles, and advice.



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