Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers or computer systems. Sometimes a computer can become infected by malware, and as a result programs on your computer, or the computer itself can run slowly, or perform erratically. If you feel that your computer may have been infected with a virus or other malware you can attempt to detect and remove it by using an antivirus program, such as McAfee Internet Security.
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Common symptoms displayed by a computer that has been infected by malware include some of the following:
- Computer programs not operating normally
- Email client not responding
- Computer processing slowdown
- Internet browser issues
- Other strange and abnormal behaviour
As an example, If you are using an email client, such as Outlook 2007, and you find that it has suddenly begun to behave in an abnormal way such as operating slowly, not loading or not allowing you to send your emails, there is a chance that malware may have infected your system.
If you feel as though you may have malware on your computer, you can attempt to detect it by running a virus scan through an antivirus program, such as McAfee Internet Security, AVG, Norton, MalwareBytes and more. Below, you will find a few examples of popular free antivirus software. Please be aware, many of these programs offer both a free version and paid version.
Example antivirus programs with free or trial version:
Once you have an antivirus program installed on your computer, you can run a virus scan in an attempt to identify potential malware. If given the option, choose to run a "full scan" and not a "quick scan" or "selective scan".
After the antivirus program has run its virus scan on your computer it will present you with a report which displays any potential malware found on your computer. At this point you can determine how the program deals with these threats (i.e. quarantine them, delete them or ignore them). In most cases you will want to quarantine or delete any malware that the antivirus program has identified. After this, you can reboot your computer and see if the issues you were experiencing before have been corrected.
See advanced removal techniques below if you continue to experience issues.
If your virus scan is unable to detect any malware, or your computer is functioning in a way that prevents you from installing, loading or running a virus scan, you may need to restart your computer in safe mode. Rebooting your computer into safe mode will prevent non-essential programs from running on your computer, and should limit the effect that malware and viruses have on your computer temporarily so that you can effectively and safely remove them.
While in safe mode, follow the instructions in the "How to Detect and Remove Malware" section above to run a virus scan and remove any threats from your PC. When you are ready to leave safe mode, simply restart your computer.
If you are still experiencing problems after running a virus scan in safe mode you will need to contact a computer repair professional for additional assistance. Customers with McAfee Internet Security installed on their PC can Contact Us for more information.
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