I have virus on my machine!

Malware, short for malicious software, is any software used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems.

Malware programs can range from being simple annoyances (pop-up advertising) to causing serious computer invasion and damage (e.g., stealing passwords and data or infecting other machines on the network).

Types of malware include viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, ransomware, etc. Viruses require the spreading of an infected host file and replicate themselves to cause havoc on a computer’s hard drive by deleting files or directory information. In contrast worms are standalone software and do not require a host program or human help to propagate. Trojan horse is any program that invites the user to run it, concealing harmful or malicious code. Spyware can gather data from a user’s system like the Web pages a user visits or personal information, such as credit card numbers without user knowledge. Ransomware is a type of malicious software installed by a cybercriminal that denies access to your files or system until you pay a ransom. Ransomware usually either encrypts your personal files/folders or locks the screen of your system.

Top Recovery Tips

1. First things first – clean up your machine!

Make sure you scan your devices with antivirus software to detect any malicious content.

Update the security software, web browser, 3rd party software (like Java and Adobe) and operating system to protect against viruses, malware, and other online threats and automate updates if the option is available. Format if necessary, advised in case of rootkits.

2. Change all your passwords from all websites and/or applications.

Ensure you change your passwords for all online accounts. Use a password that is long, strong and unique, with a combination of upper and lowercase alphabets, numbers and symbols.

Don’t use information that could be easily linked to you (such as name, date of birth, family member names, phone numbers, the names of pets or hobbies, etc.).

3. Identify any unauthorized withdrawals.

Verify with your bank, online payment institutions (Paypal for example) and CC provider to check no unauthorized withdrawal has been made.

If any such transactions are identified contact your bank and other financial institutions to freeze your accounts. In any case, make sure you change your PIN numbers and secure codes.

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