Malware: How to Detect, Remove and Report Malware and viruses in Emails and Attachments You Receive

If you think you may have erecived and opened an email that contains malware, such as a viirus, trojan or zombie package, here's what to do:

The steps are simple:

  1. Scan to detect any malware
  2. Remove the malware
  3. Report the malware
  4. Take steps to prevent future malware.

How to detect if your device has malware

Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. Your computer may be infected with malware if it:

  • slows down, crashes, or displays repeated error messages
  • won't shut down or restart
  • serves a barrage of pop-ups
  • serves inappropriate ads or ads that interfere with page content
  • won't let you remove unwanted software
  • injects ads in places you typically wouldn't see them, such as government websites
  • displays web pages you didn't intend to visit, or sends emails you didn't write
  • Other warning signs of malware include:
  • new and unexpected toolbars or icons in your browser or on your desktop
  • unexpected changes in your browser, like using a new default search engine or displaying new tabs you didn't open
  • a sudden or repeated change in your computer's internet home page
  • a laptop battery that drains more quickly than it should

How to get rid of the malware

If you suspect there is malware on your computer, take these steps:

  1. Immediately stop shopping, banking, and doing other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
  2. Update your security software, and then scan your computer for viruses and spyware. If you do not have any security software, see this page for free and paid options.
    Malwarebytes is an excellent package to clean a cimputer and other devices of malware.
  3. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  4. Check your browser to see if it has tools to delete malware or reset the browser to its original settings.
    Google Chrome does.
  5. If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer. Before you call, write down the model and serial number of your computer, the name of any software you've installed, and a short description of the problem.
  6. Many companies - including some affiliated with retail stores - offer tech support. Telephone and online help usually are less expensive, but online search results might not be the best way to find help. Tech support scammers pay to boost their ranking in search results so their websites and phone numbers appear above those of legitimate companies. If you want tech support, look for a company's contact information on their software package or on your receipt.

Reporting Malware

If you think your computer has malware, the Federal Trade Commission wants to know. File a complaint online here..

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