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So You SNAFU’d Your Computer? What Now?

Software Before and After

Moving forward, For starters if you are using an anti virus already and you have an infection, it is clearly compromised, remove it.

I like to visit, to see how the latest products are standing. I start with Avast, it is a good FREE* all around antivirus with a decent on access scanner. The real reason I start with it though is because it has an effective boot time scanner that also catches some spyware.   After you install the software, and it removes what it can, I recommend Installing Chrome or Firefox, if you haven’t already.  Next in the list is definitely anti-spyware software, for this I use malware bytes. You should always select the thorough scans within archives, to cover all of your bases. These are time consuming, but well worth the effort.

Most minor nuisances will be gone at this point. I take this opportunity to remove all suspicious programs, tool bars, bloat-ware, and the like. I take this opportunity to explain the dangers of p2p networks and torrenting to the computer patsy behind me.  As any good doctor would I get a second opinion, I install additional software, process viewers such as Hijack this. Additional anti-spyware suites such as spybot s&d, and I usually install a firewall for good measure. Lately I have been favoring Comodo.

Nothing will work all the time, I have found that usually, (assuming you can install software) if you hit a system with two anti-virus, and two trusted anti-spyware tools. You can feel moderately comfortable that it’s as clean as it is going to get.  Nothing will compare to keeping regular backups of your files, and reinstalling the operating system.  And sometimes you have no choice but to bite the bullet and wipe a drive to reinstall. Programmers are getting more sophisticated with their code. Even the best preventative measures don’t always work.

Before the fact:

  • Use a secure browser (IE is evil)
  • Anti virus software only works when up to date
  • Firewalls only work when Enabled and when you read the warning, blindly clicking the ok button is BAD
  • Addons like noscript and ad blocker are lifesavers

After the fact:

  • Anti-Virus software
  • Anti Spyware
  • Process viewer
  • Prejudiced removal of suspicious files and software
  • And Always retest, as long as you remove extra software two or three different software’s are better than one (for cleaning purposes)

Best of Luck in your cleaning endeavors.

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