Security Corner

Aug 14 2011   8:51PM GMT

Is Your PC Infected With Malware?

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

I am always suspicious when my computer starts acting strangely and immediately do a scan for malware. I usually come up clean, discovering that the strangeness is some sort of software error or system glitch. The last time I noticed a computer acting strangely (not my own), it turned out to be a malware infection that was sending spam. The main symptom was extremely slow Internet access. That incident led me to a search for a good, easy-to-understand guide about recognizing and cleaning up malware infections.

I am happy to report that I found what I was looking for at MakeUseOf.com. This handy guide, entitled “Operation Cleanup: Complete Malware Recovery Guide” by Brian Meyer, is just what the Geek ordered for his clients, family and friends. Here’s an excerpt, giving the symptoms of possible malware infection:

  • Your computer shows strange error messages or popups.
  • Your computer takes longer to start and runs more slowly than usual.
  • Your computer freezes or crashes randomly.
  • The homepage of your web browser has changed.
  • Strange or unexpected toolbars appear in your web browser.
  • Your search results are being redirected.
  • You start ending up at websites you didn’t intend to go to.
  • You cannot access security related websites.
  • New icons and programs appear on the desktop that you did not put there.
  • Your desktop background has changed without your knowledge.
  • Your programs won’t start.
  • Your security protection have been disabled for no apparent reason.
  • You cannot connect to the internet or it runs very slowly.
  • Your programs and files are suddenly missing.
  • Your computer is performing actions on its own.

You’ll have to sign up (it’s free) to get the download password, but you won’t regret it. This is clearly one of the best sites I have seen for easy-to-follow, user-oriented information. (Don’t worry, Geeks, there’s a Geeky Stuff section, too!) There are more than 50 guides covering just about everything PC, Mac and SmartPhone, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. You’ll love the “Best Of” section, too.

Check it out.

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