Is your computer infected with malware? Whether it’s a virus, trojan, ransomware or any other form of malicious software, you’ll need to remove it. Allowing malware to go unchecked can result in data loss or even identity theft. While removing malware may sound simple enough, however, there are several mistakes you should avoid making. Here are five common mistakes to avoid when removing malware.
#1) Keeping the Infected Computer Connected to Your Network
After discovering the infection, you should immediately disconnect the computer from your network. Depending on the type of malware, it may spread to other computers on your network. Viruses, for example, may replicate themselves while spreading to other computers on the same network. Failure to disconnect the infected computer from your network will only increase the risk of transmission such as this.
#2) Trusting Rogue Security Software
You shouldn’t trust rogue security software. Rogue security software consists of fake antivirus software. It’s designed to trick users into thinking their computers or devices are infected with malware. If you unknowingly download rogue security software, you may receive a pop-up warning indicating that your computer is infected with malware. The pop-up warning will then tell you to purchase antivirus software to remove the infection. The infection, of course, isn’t real. Therefore, purchasing the promoted antivirus software is a waste of money.
#3) Typing Sensitive Information
Another mistake to avoid when removing malware is typing sensitive information. Whether it’s your credit card numbers or passwords, you shouldn’t type sensitive information such as this if your computer is infected with malware. Some forms of malware come with keyloggers. Keyloggers will log and record your keystrokes. Anything that you type, including sensitive information, will become compromised.
#4) Not Using Safe Mode
Upon discovering the infection, you should reboot your computer in safe mode. Safe mode is a Windows feature. It’s designed to limit processes so that only essential, critically important software is allowed to run. If you start up your computer in normal mode, the malware may continue to perform its malicious activities. Safe mode can keep malware in check by placing restrictions on which processes your computer can run.
#5) Only Deleting Visible Files
You can’t always remove malware by deleting the visible files. Malware may consist of computer files that, like other files, you can view and access on your computer’s computer drive. But others may contain hidden files or even hidden pieces of malicious code. The malware may persist unless you remove all of these components. This is why you should typically use antivirus software to remove malware rather than trying to remove it manually.