Malware is short for malicious software. It is software developed with the intention of gaining access or causing damage to data, computer or network of computers.
Virus: viruses attach themselves to files or programs and infect other files. Viruses can be used to steal information, damage a system’s functionality, and delete or corrupt files.
Trojans: disguises itself as a normal file or program that has been tampered with. Trojans tends to create backdoors in your security to steal data, install more malware, modify files and monitor user activity.
Ransomware: restricts access to the computer by encrypting files on the hard drive or locking down the computer. Messages are displayed on the computer monitor demanding a ransom to remove the restrictions and regain access to the computer.
Spyware: this malware spies on user activity without their knowledge. It hides in the background and takes notes of online activity including account information, login/password, credit card numbers and more.
The very nature of malware depends on being hidden and challenging to remove. Malware is often discovered because of its symptoms, such as a suddenly slower computer, slower internet connection, disappearing files, ad pop-ups without a browser open, or, in extreme cases, a complete takeover of the machine.
If the malware attack is executed via email, carefully reading file extensions is the best way to detect malware. The impact of phishing emails can also be lessened by installing malware reporting extensions to email clients. That way, if a user mistakenly downloads malware, they can notify IT immediately.
1 : Take the infected machine offline, both from the internet and any networks it might be a part of. This precaution will ensure that the malware doesn't spread and safeguard additional information from getting reported back to the hackers.
2 : Perform a scan with your antivirus software. In most cases, your antivirus will not only detect the malware but also take care of safely removing the software. You might need to do this step while in Windows Safe Mode if your initial scan didn't detect anything.
3: If the computer still feels infected, clear temporary files through the Disk Cleanup tool while in Windows Safe Mode.
4:Reach out to the cyber security community for advice and best practices, as others may have experience removing specific malware. Contact your antivirus solution provider as they may have additional tools or services to help you recover from a malware infection.