The Internet can make our lives easier and faster, but it comes with a few risks. Malware (malicious software) is a risk that can expose our private information to cybercriminals.
So how to get rid of malware? Although different breeds of malware impact computers differently, certain general steps can be taken to remove them effectively. For example, disconnecting your device from the Internet can prevent some advanced malware from communicating with its command & control server and downloading more malicious components.
Application allowlisting is a superior cybersecurity method that prevents malware, scripts, downloads, and other cyberattacks from executing on endpoints, mobile devices, PCs, Macs, network servers, and more. This approach blocks the execution of all programs except those specifically approved for use. This control prevents cybersecurity incidents, improves system performance, and decreases IT management costs.
Using an application allowlist can help enterprises thwart ransomware and other malware attacks and protect sensitive information. This process involves creating a list of allowed applications and periodically checking them for malicious attributes.
Ideally, an application allowlist is based on a combination of attributes, including file path, digital signature, and more. For example, a file name attribute may be insufficient since any executable can change its filename to make it appear as an authorized application. However, combined with other attribute checks, this can be a powerful tool for identifying unauthorized applications.
It’s important to note that a comprehensive allowlist must be updated frequently to keep up with application development and avoid workflow disruptions. This can be a time-consuming task, especially for organizations with multiple systems that need to be protected. Combining an application allowlist with other cybersecurity methods is important to ensure complete protection against dynamic threats.
Suppose inexplicable slowdowns, obnoxious pop-up ads, or other computer behavior changes indicate a malware infection. In that case, you can use system restore to revert the computer’s operating patterns to a prior point. Using this feature in conjunction with a quality antivirus scanner can help eradicate malware from the computer and restore the system to normal function.
Malware is often buried within various places on a computer, making it difficult to remove completely. Because of this, it’s important to unplug your computer from the Internet if you suspect it is infected. This will prevent the malware from sending your data to its host or downloading additional malicious components.
To start a computer in safe mode, hold down the Shift key while you click “Start.” Then, select the numbered startup option corresponding to your computer’s operating system (for example, Windows 8, press 4). In this mode, only the minimum required software and programs will load. This can prevent malware from loading automatically and make it easier to remove.
When you create a system restore point, it archives the files on your computer, including any malware. Because of this, it may not be easy to clean your computer from malware if you restore a previously saved restore point. However, any viruses or malware archived in the restore point will be deleted if you turn off the system protection feature.
Disabling Unwanted Programs
Programs that aren’t used get left on a computer and collect cyber dust. Eventually, these programs can cause problems or slow down the device. One way to stop this is by turning off these programs or software. This would prevent them from appearing in the list of programs and appearing in search. It also would make them impossible to launch or use.
Potentially unwanted programs (PUP) are downloadable software programs that are not malware because the user consented to download them. These include spyware, adware, and dialers that can negatively impact the performance of a device. PUPs are often downloaded in conjunction with programs that the user wants and can be difficult to remove.
Bloatware is an additional program that isn’t necessary for the operation of a device and usually comes from third-party web pages or software bundles. They can significantly slow down a device and eat up system resources. Some bloatware can even show pop-up ads or spy on the user.
To avoid bloatware and other unnecessary programs, users should read the end-user license agreement (EULA) when downloading a program and choose the custom installation settings instead of the standard or default options. They should also install software from trustworthy websites or companies and use antimalware security tools to detect suspicious programs that aren’t needed.
Aside from antivirus software, safe mode is one of computer users’ most useful tools. It provides access to diagnostic programs and utilities that are not usually available when Windows operates normally. Moreover, it helps isolate the source of problems and pinpoints whether a faulty hardware driver, third-party application, or malware causes them.
A version of the operating system called Safe Mode, which operates with a minimal set of drivers and services, is available in Windows, macOS, Android, and Linux systems. It is often employed when there’s a problem with the operating system or certain hardware components, preventing it from booting into normal operation.
It also allows you to install or update drivers, scan for viruses, use System Restore, and reinstall applications. You can also access the Internet through safe mode. However, some security protections are disabled in this mode.
You can easily activate safe mode on your Android phone or tablet. The process is different for each device, but it’s mostly the same: press and hold the power button until a menu appears on the screen. Select the option to reboot into safe mode and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also use the quick-start function, which is enabled by swiping down twice from the notification bar on your Android smartphone or tablet.