Is your PC acting funky?
Like– when you turn it on you start getting pop-ups that tell you to install a new virus protection software? And when you try to turn it off your computer does more weird things? Like downloading crap you don’t want?
If your PC is doing that there is a good chance you have malware (short for malicious software) and need to remove it.
Where did it come from? You visited an infected site. A site owner would never intentionally put malware on his site, but sometimes sites get hacked with the intent on causing havoc.
How do I get rid of it for free?
Step One: Reboot your PC in safe mode. (Press the power button, count to three, then hold down the F8 key on your keyboard. Select “Safe mode with networking” option.)
Step two: Download and install the latest Malwarebytes free version from this link.
Step three: Run Malwarebytes. This is going to take a while. Get a cup of coffee or go see a movie.
Step four: When it’s done, it will tell you it wants to delete a bunch of files and reboot. Do that.
Step five: That should remove it. But just to be safe I like to download, install, and run Combofix. (Watch another movie)
Step six: This should remove any virus or malware you have on your computer.
Step seven: Do one more reboot. I actually would suggest turning the computer off all the way, counting to twenty, then turning it back on.
Step eight: Since you’re at it lets speed up your computer a bit. Go to add/remove programs in the control panel and remove anything you don’t use. If there are programs there you don’t recognize– Google the name of the program and the results will tell you if it is something legitimate or if it is spyware. If it’s legitimate, keep it. If it is Spyware, uninstall it. I like to remove all the junk that Dell or HP or Sony installs on a PC that I don’t use. That stuff takes up a lot of space and resources and you probably will never use it.
Step nine: Make sure your virus protection software is up-to-date.
That’s it! Typically, you can do this yourself in about 2 hours.
What if I don’t want to do this? Who can I hire and trust?
If you’re still having problems or just don’t want to deal with this– I’d suggest contacting a local computer repair person. (I don’t trust the people at Best Buy or some of the other big chains, find someone local and support your economy.)
If you’re in the San Diego area, I recommend Todd Tolson’s Wired Community.