What is Malware? How to Remove Malware?

As an end-user, I think, things like Malware, viruses, etc. shouldn't really be a concern for me. I mean, every piece of software running on my devices are made by people who are supposed to know what they're doing, right?

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Like, It's their responsibility to make those apps, operating systems and other things I don't really care about neat and immune to Malware so that I can post my meal on Instagram and watch that like counter increase, and send shy monkey emojis to my friends in enjoyment; without having my private photos leaked on the Internet, right? Right. But that's not the case.

As their software grows and enriches with advanced features, it gets harder and harder to keep their security tight and Malware away. Even coders have a life (pun intended), they might have had a bad day and written bad code, and the team -assuming there is a team for that- responsible for the security might somehow overlook it and it might open the doors for malicious software.

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Yeah, that shouldn't happen so often, like software companies are waaay more experienced nowadays, but still, it's a possibility. So, we -non-techies- should at least be informed about Malwares, How to avoid them, and if possible, how to get rid of them?

So, What Exactly is a Malware?

First things first, What is a Malware? Well, in layman's terms, it is a piece of software written by weirdos who dwell in their mothers' basements, or by a promising engineering student who took a wrong turn and ended up at gunpoint writing Malware for drug-dealers etc; with the intent of stealing your private information, or money; or harming your computer, mobile phone, shaving machine (pun intended), etc. 

Like, some do this for money and other benefits, some do for annoying people, and some for collecting data for training their SkyNet and what not, I don't really know, they have their reasons. The severity of the damage a Malware might cause varies; for instance, you probably heard about that CryptoLock incident, where a group of hackers unleashed a Malware that encrypts your files and then they demanded money from users whose computers were infected to get their files back. 

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I don't really remember how much they made out of that, or what happened to those guys; but from an end-user's point of view, that was pretty serious. And there was one that is even worse, where a hospital's computers were hijacked and the manager was given seven days to pay a ransom of a million dollars to get the control back. Even though FBI was involved, due to the urgency, they paid not a million dollars but a lot of money.

I mean, WoW; that would really hurt. I guess you all heard about some others that infect your computer and wait for orders from their creators, possibly for conducting mass attacks on big corporations, etc. So, basically, a Malware is an evil software; one that somehow harms or uses your devices, yeah. I guess that's enough for a definition.

What Are the Types of Malware?


We know that there are many Malware created for any operating system. Even the PSP I used in 2006 had a virus. Can you imagine?

Now I want to introduce the most dangerous of these Malware. You can't imagine what they can do!


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1-) Trojan

It usually comes in the installation package, in view of a software that is famous for downloading. It places the system file and monitors all activity of the user.

2-) Worms

It is the most easily propagated type because it uses simple network communication. Everyone dont play games, but everyone send E-Mail.

3-) Scareware

It will convince you that you have come to protect them from the virus. promises to protect your private passwords but saves and transmits them all.

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4-) Ransomware

Suddenly, you lose access to your system and documents. you are charged a certain fee for the active again. of course, the person to be asked must be monitored for a sufficient time before the system is locked.

5-) Adware and Spyware

It targets your web browser and directs you to irrelevant pages until you get tired of it. It does this by monitoring your activities.


What is the Difference Between Malware and Virus?


Viruses are a generic term for Malware. The basic mission is to spread and multiply. For Malware, we can say that the virus came to life.

Through Which Channels Malware Infect Devices? How Do I Avoid Malware?

Well, the creators of such harmful software mostly target unexperienced Internet users and their weak points. Like, you all should have seen those ads claiming they have pills for enlarging your reproductive organs, getting your manlyhood back after an old age, etc. 

Some of these are just for deceiving you and get your hardly-earned money, and some for spreading Malware. For the latter, if the malware is advanced enough, once it infects a single computer, it can copy itself to other machines on the same local network; which means, by clicking such ads, you can contaminate the whole department's, and even your boss' computer, etc. Jokes aside, just avoid those ads; you know they're not real.

- WEB

Even though it's illegal in most countries, some of you might still use torrents through VPNs to pirate propietary software, or movies, or the last episode of Shameless, etc. I don't recommend pirating, or encourage it, but yeah, you might be doing it, it's none of my business to judge you. 

But you should be warned about the dangers of pirating content from shady, untrustful sources. The
content you've just downloaded might be contaminated with extremely harmful Malwares, and if somehow, your operating system's firewall, or your antivirus software lets them pass, you might be subject to great harm. So, if you *have to* use torrents, beware for your own good.

- USB

You sould also be careful about what you shove up your computer's USB socket. Some data storage units; such as thumb drives, portable hard disks, etc. might as well be infected with or designed to spread malware; even some Chinese manufacturers do that and sell those drivers really cheap on the Internet. You shouldn't fall for that for your safety; don't take USB drives from strangers, don't trust low-priced disks (or even other computer parts) sold over Internet.

- E-Mail

And lastly, I assume we all know about scam emails and How to avoid them. Most email services (like Yandex, GMail, etc.) and desktop/mobile clients already have reliable mechanism for filtering them, thus we might say they're not a big problem nowadays.
           
My Computer Got Infected with Malware Anyways, What am I Gonna Do?

A degradation in your computer's performance, internet connection, longer than usual boot time, random ads popping up out of the blue, heavy usage of RAM even on idle state, and similar anomalies  are common indicators of a Malware infection. 

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If you're dealing with such nuisance, as most Anti-Malware providers suggest, the first thing to do is to disconnect from the Internet so that the malware will not be able to interact with outer world; it won't spread to other machines, and it will not be able to receive orders or updates from a foreign source.

- First Step

The first step of removing a malware is to restart your computer in *safe mode*; don't worry, both MacOS and Windows have it.

If the Malware that plagued your computer starts running at the startup, this way it will not be able to initiate, so you'll be able to track down and remove it in a safe environment.

- Second Step

The second step is to purge temporary data (such as browsing history, cached resources, etc.) from your system, so that the possibility of the Malware respawning from its remnants is eliminated.  You have to use PC Cleaner.


- Third Step

Thirdly, if you already have an anti-Malware program installed on your computer, perform a Malware-scan. If you don't have one, you can go to OutByte Anti-Malware.  I'd say it's the best. You can buy in a only 1 min and you can fire Malware. 

If the Malware was already identified by the providers of your anti-Malware software, odds are high that this step will be the last in the removal process, otherwise, you'll probably need to contact with an IT expert specializing on Malwares.

Upon successful removal of the Malware, you can start reverting the harm (if any) done on your computer.

Conclusion

To speak generally, the best way of protecting your computers from Malware is to have an up-to-update anti-Malware Software, to avoid downloading files from untrustful sources, and to avoid clicking shady ads on the Internet.

Thank you very much for reading. I hope it was useful.