What to Do If Your Computer Gets Infected with Malware

Malware, or malicious software, encompasses various forms of harmful software, including viruses, spyware, ransomware, and Trojans. An infection can compromise your personal information, affect your computer’s performance, and in severe cases, render your system inoperable. Recognising the signs of infection and knowing how to respond is crucial in mitigating the damage and securing your computer. This section of the Auckland Geeks Guide to Computer Repair provides essential steps to take if you suspect your computer has been infected with malware.

Recognising Signs of Malware Infection

Malware symptoms can vary, but common signs include:

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to act quickly to address the infection.

Immediate Steps to Take

Disconnect from the Internet

To prevent the malware from spreading or sending out personal information, disconnect your computer from the internet as soon as you suspect an infection.

Enter Safe Mode

Booting your computer in Safe Mode limits the operation to essential system programs and services, preventing malware from loading. This step makes it easier to remove the malware without it being active.

Run Antivirus Software

Use reputable antivirus software to perform a thorough scan of your computer. Ensure your antivirus is up to date to maximise its effectiveness against recent malware threats.

Remove Malware and PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs)

Follow the antivirus software's recommendations to remove any detected malware. Some infections may require specialised removal tools or manual deletion of certain files.

Update Your Software

After removing the malware, update your operating system, browsers, and any other software to patch vulnerabilities that could have been exploited by the malware.

Change Your Passwords

As a precaution, change passwords for your important accounts, especially if you stored passwords on your computer or suspect sensitive information may have been compromised.

Preventing Future Infections

Dealing with malware can be stressful, but taking prompt and informed action can minimise the damage and restore your computer’s security. By recognising the signs of an infection, knowing how to remove the malware, and taking steps to prevent future infections, you can protect your digital life. In the next section of the Auckland Geeks Guide to Computer Repair, we’ll explore the exciting world of custom builds, helping you tailor your computing experience to your specific needs and desires.