Congratulations! You now appear clean!
Are things running okay? Do you have any more questions?
System Still Slow?
You may wish to try StartupLite. Simply download this tool to your desktop and run it. It will explain any optional auto-start programs on your system, and offer the option to stop these programs from starting at startup. This will result in fewer programs running when you boot your system, and should improve preformance.
If that does not work, you can try the steps mentioned in Slow Computer/browser? Check Here First; It May Not Be Malware.
We Need to Clean Up Our Mess
- Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
- Click on Uninstall.
- Confirm with yes.
- Download OTC by OldTimer and save it to your desktop.
- Double click icon to start the program. If you are using Vista, please right-click and choose run as administrator
- Then Click the big button.
- You will get a prompt saying "Being Cleanup Process". Please select Yes.
- Restart your computer when prompted.
Now you should Create a New Restore Point to prevent possible reinfection from an old one
. Some of the malware you picked up could have been backed up, renamed and saved in System Restore. Since this is a protected directory your tools cannot access to delete these files, they sometimes can reinfect your system if you accidentally use an old restore point. Setting a new restore point AFTER cleaning your system will help prevent this and enable your computer to "roll-back
" to a clean working state.The easiest and safest way to do this is
- Go to Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools and click "System Restore".
- Choose the radio button marked "Create a Restore Point" on the first screen then click "Next". Give the R.P. a name, then click "Create". The new point will be stamped with the current date and time. Keep a log of this so you can find it easily should you need to use System Restore.
- Then use Disk Cleanup to remove all but the most recently created Restore Point.
- Go to Start > Run and type: Cleanmgr
- Click "Ok". Disk Cleanup will scan your files for several minutes, then open.
- Click the "More Options" tab, then click the "Clean up" button under System Restore.
- Click Ok. You will be prompted with "Are you sure you want to delete all but the most recent restore point?"
- Click Yes, then click Ok.
- Click Yes again when prompted with "Are you sure you want to perform these actions?"
- Disk Cleanup will remove the files and close automatically.
and Windows 7
users can refer to these links: Create a New Restore Point in Vista or Windows 7
and Disk Cleanup in Vista
One of the most common questions found when cleaning malware is "how did my machine get infected?"
There are a variety of reasons, but the most common ones are that you are not practicing Safe Internet, you are not running the proper security software or that your computer's security settings are set too low.
Below I have outlined a series of categories that outline how you can increase the security of your computer to help reduce the chance of being infected again in the future.
Do not use P2P programs
Peer-to-peer or file-sharing programs (such as uTorrent, Limewire and Bitorrent) are probably the primary route of infection nowadays. These programs allow file sharing between users as the name(s) suggest. It is almost impossible to know whether the file you’re downloading through P2P programs is safe.
It is therefore possible to be infected by downloading infected files via peer-to-peer programs and so I recommend that you do not use these programs. Should you wish to use them, they must be used with extreme care. Some further reading on this subject, along with included links, are as follows: "File-Sharing, otherwise known as Peer To Peer" and "Risks of File-Sharing Technology."
In addition, P2P programs facilitate cyber crime and help distribute pirated software, movies and other illegal material.
Practice Safe Internet
Another one of the main reasons people get infected in the first place is that they are not practicing Safe Internet. You practice Safe Internet when you educate yourself on how to properly use the Internet through the use of security tools and good practice. Knowing how you can get infected and what types of files and sites to avoid will be the most crucial step in keeping your computer malware free. The reality is that the majority of people who are infected with malware are ones who click on things they shouldn't be clicking on. Whether these things are files or sites it doesn't really matter. If something is out to get you, and you click on it, it most likely will.
Below are a list of simple precautions to take to keep your computer clean and running securely:
Keep Windows up-to-date
- If you receive an attachment from someone you do not know, DO NOT OPEN IT! Simple as that. Opening attachments from people you do not know is a very common method for viruses or worms to infect your computer.
- If you receive an attachment and it ends with a .exe, .com, .bat, or .pif do not open the attachment unless you know for a fact that it is clean. For the casual computer user, you will almost never receive a valid attachment of this type.
- If you receive an attachment from someone you know, and it looks suspicious, then it probably is. The email could be from someone you know who is themselves infected with malware which is trying to infect everyone in their address book. A key thing to look out for here is: does the email sound as though it’s from the person you know? Often, the email may simply have a web link or a “Run this file to make your PC run fast” message in it.
- If you are browsing the Internet and a popup appears saying that you are infected, ignore it!. These are, as far as I am concerned, scams that are being used to scare you into purchasing a piece of software. For an example of these types of pop-ups, or Foistware, you should read this article: Foistware, And how to avoid it.
There are also programs that disguise themselves as Anti-Spyware or security products but are instead scams. Removal instructions for a lot of these "rogues" can be found here.
- Another tactic to fool you on the web is when a site displays a popup that looks like a normal Windows message or alert. When you click on them, though, they instead bring you to another site that is trying to push a product on you, or will download a file to your PC without your knowledge. You can check to see if it's a real alert by right-clicking on the window. If there is a menu that comes up saying Add to Favorites... you know it's a fake. DO NOT click on these windows, instead close them by finding the open window on your http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taskbar#Screenshots '>Taskbar, right click and chose close.
- Do not visit pornographic websites. I know this may bother some of you, but the fact is that a large amount of malware is pushed through these types of sites. I am not saying all adult sites do this, but a lot do, as this can often form part of their funding.
- When using an Instant Messaging program be cautious about clicking on links people send to you. It is not uncommon for infections to send a message to everyone in the infected person's contact list that contains a link to an infection. Instead when you receive a message that contains a link you should message back to the person asking if it is legit.
- Stay away from Warez and Crack sites! As with Peer-2-Peer programs, in addition to the obvious copyright issues, the downloads from these sites are typically overrun with infections.
- Be careful of what you download off of web sites and Peer-2-Peer networks. Some sites disguise malware as legitimate software to trick you into installing them and Peer-2-Peer networks are crawling with it. If you want to download files from a site, and are not sure if they are legitimate, you can use tools such as BitDefender Traffic Light, Norton Safe Web, or McAfee SiteAdvisor to look up info on the site and stay protected against malicious sites. Please be sure to only choose and install one of those tool bars.
- DO NOT INSTALL any software without first reading the End User License Agreement, otherwise known as the EULA. A tactic that some developers use is to offer their software for free, but have spyware and other programs you do not want bundled with it. This is where they make their money. By reading the agreement there is a good chance you can spot this and not install the software.
Sometimes even legitimate programs will try to bundle extra, unwanted, software with the program you want - this is done to raise money for the program. Be sure to untick any boxes which may indicate that other programs will be downloaded.
Microsoft continually releases security and stability updates for its supported operating systems and you should always apply these to help keep your PC secure.
Keep your browser secure
- Windows XP users
You should visit Windows Update to check for the latest updates to your system. The latest service pack (SP3) can be obtained directly from Microsoft here.
- Windows Vista users
You should run the Windows Update program from your start menu to access the latest updates to your operating system (information can be found here). The latest service pack (SP2) can be obtained directly from Microsoft here.
- Windows 7 users
You should run the Windows Update program from your start menu to access the latest updates to your operating system (information can be found here). The latest service pack (SP1) can be obtained directly from Microsoft here
Most modern browsers have come on in leaps and bounds with their inbuilt, default security. The best way to keep your browser secure nowadays is simply to keep it up-to-date.
The latest versions of the three common browsers can be found below:Use an AntiVirus Software
It is very important that your computer has an up-to-date anti-virus software on it which has a real-time agent running. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future.
See this link for a listing of some online & their stand-alone antivirus programs: Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection and Removal Resources
, a couple of free Anti-Virus programs
you may be interested in are Microsoft Security Essentials
It is imperative that you update your Antivirus software at least once a week (even more if you wish). If you do not update your antivirus software then it will not be able to catch any of the new variants that may come out. If you use a commercial antivirus program you must make sure you keep renewing your subscription. Otherwise, once your subscription runs out, you may not be able to update the programs virus definitions.Use a Firewall
I can not stress how important it is that you use a Firewall on your computer. Without a firewall your computer is susceptible to being hacked and taken over. Simply using a Firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly.
All versions of Windows starting from XP have an in-built firewall. With Windows XP this firewall will protect you from incoming traffic (i.e. hackers). Starting with Windows Vista, the firewall was beefed up to also protect you against outgoing traffic (i.e. malicious programs installed on your machine should be blocked from sending data, such as your bank details and passwords, out).
In addition, if you connect to the internet via a router, this will normally have a firewall in-built.
Some people will recommend installing a different firewall (instead of the Windows’ built one), this is personal choice, but the message is to definitely have one! For a tutorial on Firewalls and a listing of some available ones see this link: Understanding and Using FirewallsInstall an Anti-Malware program
Recommended, and free, Anti-Malware programs are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
You should regularly (perhaps once a week) scan your computer with an Anti-Malware program just as you would with an antivirus software.Make sure your applications have all of their updates
It is also possible for other programs on your computer to have security vulnerability that can allow malware to infect you. Therefore, it is very important to check for the latest versions of commonly installed applications that are regularly patched to fix vulnerabilities (such as Adobe Reader and Java). You can check these by visiting Secunia Software Inspector
Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.