The biggest threat to a computer’s security and its performance comes in the form of malicious programs, such as viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and adware. Such programs are designed to disrupt the performance of a stable computer, causing frequent system or software crashes.
To make matter worse, certain malware is adept in stealing confidential data and surreptitiously passing it on to the program’s creator for unscrupulous activities.
Any computer connected to the Internet is susceptible to malware infection. To keep your computer protected from malicious programs, apply constant vigilance and practice safe computing habits.
In this tutorial we discuss the following topics:
- Symptoms of malware infection
- Examples of malware-related processes
- How to get rid of malware
- Why it is necessary to clean the registry post malware infection
- Essential safe computing habits
Symptoms of malware infection
A malware infection is often preceded by the following symptoms:
- Slow system startup and shutdown.
- Delay in loading of an application.
- Frequent system freeze ups.
- Frequent application errors.
- Deletion of important system or application files.
- Frequent system or software crashes.
- Changes in Web browser settings.
Examples of malware related processes
- d.exe – This process is recorded as a trojan, designed to steal your confidential data.
- smss.exe – Many malicious programs disguise themselves as the genuine smss.exe file – which is an important part of the Windows operating system – causing frequent system crashes.
- alg.exe – Malware such as W32.Kueigh masquerade as the genuine alg.exe – which is associated with a core Windows process – and steals confidential data and also affects other computers in the network.
How to get rid of malware
If you notice any of the symptoms of malware present in your Windows computer, perform the following two tasks:
- Update your anti-malware software with the latest anti-malware definitions.
- Detach your computer from any network that it is attached to and disconnect the PC from the Internet.
Next, reboot Windows in Safe Mode by performing the following steps and run a complete malware scan twice.
- Close all running applications
- Restart Windows.
- Press and hold the F8 key as Windows reloads.
- Select the Safe Mode option in the Advanced Windows Boot Option Menu.
- Press the Enter key.
Clean the registry after removing threats from your PC
The registry is perhaps the most important component of a Windows PC and malware programs invariably attempt to corrupt the registry by injecting innumerable invalid and corrupt entries into it. After you have removed malware from your computer, also take steps to remove malware-related entries from your registry.
Cleaning the registry is safe and easy providing you use the right tools! The sad fact is that the effectiveness of many Registry cleaners ranges from relatively useless to downright dangerous.
Our favorite Registry cleaner is RegistryBooster from Uniblue. We have thoroughly tested RegistryBooster and confidently recommend it as the best and safest Registry cleaner available today. The best way to obtain RegistryBooster is as a component part of the Uniblue PowerSuite package, which also includes the very useful CleanupMyPC and DriverScanner programs.
Safe computing habits
Don’t loosen your guard after removing malware, instead back it up with constant vigil and practice safe computing habits to prevent re-infection.
Here are a few computing habits that you will find it very wise to follow:
- Regularly update your anti-malware software and perform regular malware scans.
- Always scan email attachments before opening them.
- Read the EULA (end user license agreement) before installing new software to ensure no spyware or adware programs are being installed along with the software.
- Never download software from dubious websites.