Computer Virus and Malware removal may be required if your computer displays evidense of infection. The clearest symptoms of malware or virus infections are slow performance on simple tasks, computer crashing, pop ups and browser setting changes such as search redirection to website seemingly unrelated to your query.
New malware is created daily to infect your PC, and it is not guaranteed even the most sophisticated and up to date anti-virus or anti-malware will be able to detect it.
How to minimize risk to your computer from malware infection
- Be vigilant opening emails email attachments, verify you know the sender and the attachment appears legitimate.
- Be wary of websites which do not behave as you would expect, and check the address in the top address bar is the correct.
- Any confidential information or financial transactions should be through sites with addresses starting ‘https’ and have the padlock to the left of the address.
- If your computer asks if it is safe to run a program, think carefully as to whether you trust the source of the file before clicking ‘yes’.
- Make sure your antivirus is up to date.
- Compartmentalize data using security permissions, for example you should not need access to other users data.
Most important of all- Backups! We cannot stress the importance of backing up your computer in a form that is quick and easy to recover. Please see this article on best practice backups.
OXPC can supply excellent professional antivirus software to help protect your PC or laptop just £1.85 per month and our supported offsite backup service is just £5 per month.
Virus removal is charged by the hour unless you are on a home support plan, in which case it is free.
What is Malware?
Malware is a term used to describe a variety of harmful software such as viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, spyware, bots, adware, scareware, and other malicious programs. Usually malware is unwanted software designed to earn revenue for the developer that wrote it perhaps through pop up adverts or through online search redirection. Some infections will canvas your PC or monitor your search behaviour for useful marketing data.
Malicious infections such as self-replicating viruses are not as common as they used to be, but some are destructive, others known as bots will slave your computer to the programmer. Your computer may then be used as part of a delivery network to send spam email or launch attacks on other computer networks.
Ransomware such as the prevalent ‘cryptowall’ is currently the worst offender, costing computer users an estimated $325 million in 2015.
Crypto infections enter the network via email in an infected zip, word, pdf attachment, or a compromised website. Once it is executed on your computer or laptop it will not try to install itself, but instead run under your user account, this keeps it relatively off the radar of most anti virus products. It will then search your computer and network folders you have permission to access for documents and images before encrypting everything it can. The virus will then hold the decryption key for ransom. In most cases even if you pay the ransom you will not get your data back.