How to get rid of malware

Who I am
Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
Author and references

By now you should know it well, I don't know how many times I've repeated it: the best weapon to defend against viruses, spyware and other malware is the brain: if you pay attention to the sites you visit, you download applications only from trusted sources and you don't indiscriminately open all the attachments that you receive on the e-mail you can sleep relatively peacefully and therefore there may not be any need to intervene by going to delete malware.




This however - be careful - does not mean that you can work without having a good antivirus or a good antimalware installed on your PC. It would be a very serious mistake to do otherwise, especially on systems Windows which, as infamously known, are the favorite target of cybercriminals.

In this regard, today I want to recommend some free anti-malware software that you can use to strengthen your computer's line of protection and track down those threats, such as spyware, trojans or other malicious software, that can escape the antivirus. They are all extremely intuitive and coexist perfectly with antivirus (as they do not check the system in real time but are only used for on-deme scans). Let's get to know them more closely and see how to eliminate malware using them.

Malwarebytes Anti-malware


The first among the programs to eliminate malware that I want to introduce you is Malwarebytes Anti-malware. It is unquestionably one of the best-in-class tools, is updated on time to counter all the latest cyber threats, and is super easy to use. It is agolable in two versions: a free one, which is the one I recommend you to install, and a paid one, which additionally offers a real-time control system, like that of the antivirus.


To download the program on your PC, connect to its official website and wait for the download to be started and completed automatically, if this does not happen click on the link Click here.

Then open the installation package named mb3-setup–x.x.x.exe e click in sequence on the buttons YesOK e Next>. Then accept the conditions of use of the software, putting the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement, and finish the setup by pressing on first NEXT five consecutive times, then on Install e subsequently on end. If present, uncheck the option to try Malwarebytes Pro free for 30 days.

Upon its first launch, Malwarebytes will download the most up-to-date malware detection database from the Internet. Wait for this operation to be completed and proceed with the system check by going to the tab Scan application by selecting the option Search for harmful elements e clicking on your button starts scan.

At the end of the scan (it may take a long time), if threats have been detected, press the button to eliminate them all. A system restart may also be required to complete the operation. Easy, right?

Spybot


Spybot is an alternative software to Malwarebytes which, as the name suggests, is mainly focused on the contrast of spyware but is also able to effectively eradicate other types of malware. It also includes an immunizing feature that blocks dangerous sites in all browsers (via the Windows hosts file).


Spybot is also agolable in a basic free version and a more advanced paid version. To download the free one, connect to the program's website and click on the button Download that you find at the bottom of the web page displayed, in correspondence with the wording Free. Then click on any of the buttons Download placed under the heading Ad-free downloads on Safer-Networking Ltd. e finally on the button Download found on the page that opens.

Once the download has started and is complete, start the installation package spybot–xx.exe click her cousin Yes and then OK e Next> three consecutive times. Then put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms of the license agreement to accept the conditions of use of the software and complete the setup by first pressing on Next> e then Install e end.

When installation is complete, start Spybot, first click on No and then Cancel then press the button Updates e wait for the malware definition database to be downloaded from the Internet. Then, close the updater window and click on the button System scan present on the Spybot main screen to start the PC scan and eliminate malware. Once the scan is complete, you agree to remove any threats that the program may find.

To block access to dangerous sites, select the icon instead Immunization from the Spybot home screen and click in sequence on the buttons YesComplete immunization e Immunizza. Protection occurs at the system level (via the hosts) therefore it affects all browsers, even those installed following the use of Spybot.


Adwcleaner

Adwcleaner it is not a full-featured antimalware like Malwarebytes or Spybot. It is a small free application that does not need to be installed in order to function and focuses on removing only certain types of malware: it is particularly suitable for eradicating the so-called browser hijackers, that is, those "little programs" that are often found in software packages. installation of software downloaded from the Internet and change the browser's home page and search engine.

To download Adwcleaner on your PC, connect to its official website and click the button Download Now located in the left sidebar. Once the program has finished downloading, start the executable adwcleaner_x.xx.exe e click on the button first Yes e then Accept to access the main program screen.

Then start a full computer scan by clicking the button Analyze e wait for the program to detect all potential threats present within the system. The operation takes a few minutes and the reonts are automatically divided into the tabs that are shown at the bottom based on the elements detected.

In the tab Services  Windows services are listed that according to the application pose a risk to privacy; in the tabs Folders e Fillet there are the folders and files that Adwcleaner deems related to spyware, adware or other threats; in the card DLL the libraries installed in the system are collected which according to AdwCleaner are to be considered dangerous; in the card WMI there are the WMI extensions, which are usually used by services and applications to show messages to the user, altered by malware; in the card Connections links modified by malware are listed; in the card Planned activities there is the list of scheduled operations in Windows that could be, in some way, attributable to malicious software; in the card Register find registry entries that refer to potential cyber threats; in the tabs relating to web browsers there are instead all the malicious / promotional toolbars and extensions that have been detected within these programs.

In case the software detects threats at the end of the scan, to delete malware click on the button first Clear e then OK three consecutive times. Keep in mind that in order for the operation to be completed successfully, the software will close all applications that may be open and then restart the computer.

Delete malware on Mac

As mentioned previously, Windows is the operating system most targeted by malware (also because it is the most widespread in the PC field) but you must know that it is not the only one. Also Mac, albeit to a lesser extent, they have to deal with malware.

Precisely for this reason, I suggest you contact ClamXav, an antivirus based on the open source ClamAV project that is able to recognize and remove malware designed not only for macOS but also for Windows. It can be especially useful if you are in the habit of exchanging files with Windows users and want to make sure you don't infect their PCs. The software is paid but can be downloaded and tried without spending a cent for a maximum period of 30 days.

It also includes a module for real-time system protection (Sentry), which is deactivated by default. To enable it, simply go to the program settings and choose which folders or drives to constantly monitor.

To download ClamXav on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Download you see in the left sidebar. Then open the package in .dmg format that contains the antivirus and drag the icon of ClamXav in the folder Applications say macOS.

Then start ClamXav, agree to start the free trial of the software and click on OK e Install to start the installation of the ClamAV antivirus engine. The operation is very simple to follow: you have to press the buttons in sequence Continue twice in succession, on the button Accept, then again Continue e, in conclusion, his Install. Then type the password of your user account on macOS and press the key Submit.

Then agree to automatically check for software updates, start downloading the latest definitions and start your first scan by selecting a path from the left sidebar (eg. Your name for the home folder, Documents for the document folder etc.) and clicking on the button Start Scan which is located at the top left.

You can also add and scan custom routes. To do this, click on the button + (plus symbol) at the bottom left and activate the real-time system check function by clicking on the item ClamXav attached to the menu bar, by pressing up Preference ..., by clicking on Sentry e then choosing which paths to monitor.

To activate the automatic scan of keys and hard drives connected to the Mac, check the box instead Scan inserted discs e then confirms the changes made by clicking on the button OK.

For more information on the malware issue on Apple computers, also take a look at my guide dedicated to antivirus for Mac.

Delete malware on Android

A speech in some ways similar to that made for Macs is also valid Android. In general, to avoid malware on Android it is sufficient to install only the applications that are on the Play Store but, given that caution is never too much, even installing a good anti-malware can undoubtedly be an excellent idea.

In this regard, I suggest you consider Bitdefender, the mobile device counterpart of the well-known computer antivirus that always ranks well in the comparative tests. It is very fast in scanning but does not offer any particular functionality, it just checks for malware in the apps installed on the device.

To install Bitdefender on your smartphone or tablet, connect to the appropriate section of the Google Play Store via the link I have just provided you by acting directly from your device and then press the button Install / Accetto.

Then start the antimalware by accessing the screen of your device where all the apps are grouped and then pressing on its icon. Then accept the conditions of use by pressing the button Accept e start a complete system scan by pressing the button SCAN.

Once the check is complete, remove any threats found on your device. I also suggest you make sure that the Autopilot is active, in this way Bitdefender will automatically scan all the apps you install on Android and avoid the download of malware on your device.

Finally, I would like to point out that Bitdefender for Android is also agolable in a paid version that includes a system to block access to applications, a function to locate the smartphone / tablet remotely and tools for protecting privacy. However, you can experience the "features" at no cost for a maximum period of 14 days.

To learn more about how to eliminate malware on the Google mobile platform, I invite you to read my guide dedicated to antivirus for Android.



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