Avoiding and preventing malware on a computer is far simpler than removing it from an infected machine. Nevertheless, once a machine has been infected with malware, it is imperative to remove it immediately. Clear signs like lowered speed, popups, disabled functionality and more, indicate the presence of malware on a machine.
However, what does one do after malware has actually been removed from the machine? Here we will tell you about a few steps that you should take in order to seamlessly recover from a malware infection.
First ensure that the malware is entirely removed
In order to achieve this, boot your machine in ‘Safe Mode with Networking’. When your computer is booting up, press the F8 key to enter the ‘Advanced Boot Options’ menu. Now choose the ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ option to enable the machine to start with only the bare minimum programs needed by the OS. Since Networking is enabled, one can connect to the web and update the antivirus program present on the machine.
Now run a full machine scan with Quick Heal Total Security to ensure that any last remnants of the malware are detected and removed.
Get rid of all temporary files
Deleting all temporary files from your machine is also highly advisable. This frees up disk space, speeds up virus scans and eliminates malware that exists on these temporary files. You can use the Disk Cleanup utility that is available on Windows by clicking on the Start menu and then typing Disk Cleanup. Once the window opens, you can start the cleanup process and remove all temporary files.
Reinstall your OS on the machine
If your system does not function properly even after the malware removal, the OS needs to be reinstalled. This can be achieved with the help of the disc that came along with your PC or by restoring your PC to Factory Settings. Not all PC’s have the ‘Restore to Factory Settings’ option though. To check if your PC has this option, enter the ‘Advanced Boot Options’ menu by pressing the F8 key upon system boot up.
Keep in mind though, that reinstalling the OS implies that all data will be lost. So any important data that is present on the machine should be copied to an external drive for preservation. Once the reinstallation is complete, all corrupted Windows files will be fixed.
Change all your existing account passwords
This is one of the most important things to do after a malware infection, especially for users who keep their passwords saved in their browsers to enable auto form-filling. Several malware types target passwords and other saved data at a high frequency and relay that information back to their hosts. If your machine has recently been infected, it is possible that your passwords are already in the wrong hands.
Remove old system restore points
Every PC stores critical system restore points on a regular basis. These points allow the machine to revert to the state it was when the restore point was created. This is dangerous because by reverting to a previous restore point, crucial data may be lost. Moreover, if the restore point was created when malware was present on the machine, reverting to that restore point once the malware has been removed can cause more harm than good.
So it is advisable to remove all system restore points once malware has been dealt with. To access the System Restore interface, go to the Start menu and type System Restore.
Dealing with malware infection can be very stressful, especially for users who do not regularly follow the dos and don’ts of Internet safety. By following the aforementioned steps, you can ensure that your PC runs smoothly after malware has been removed.
Moreover, it is wise to remember that prevention is better than cure. Running an updated antivirus on your PC will help prevent several threats before they arise and save you a lot of trouble in the future.