Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Do You Think Your PC Has a Virus

My Recommendation, Remove Third-party Antivirus
If You Are Having Issues With Chrome Browser, Try the Chrome Cleanup Tool
Five Tools I Recommend for Malware Scanning
Legally Download a Clean Version of Windows Directly From Microsoft

A computer virus is a malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document and changes how a computer works. The virus requires someone to knowingly or unknowingly spread the infection without the knowledge or permission of a user. A computer worm is programming that does not require human interaction to spread. Viruses and worms may also be known as malware. 

Browser hijacking is a form of unwanted software that modifies a web browser's settings without a user's permission, to insert unsolicited advertising into the user's browser. A browser hijacker may replace the existing home page, error page, or search engine with its own.

My Recommendation, Remove Third-party Antivirus

Most computer users have one of the highly advertised 3rd party security suites Norton, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky, or AVG Internet Security. A new computer may have security software installed by the manufacturer (usually a trial version), or as a subscription from your Internet provider (Verizon or Comcast) or perhaps you bought it in a store.

However you came to have one of these products installed on your machine, I recommend you uninstall any 3rd party Antivirus by following these removal instructions, doing so will allow the free built-in Windows Defender in Windows 10 to activate automatically. You will save money and more importantly let your computer operate faster with less warning messages and pop-ups.

Note: Usually uninstall is available in the All Programs folders if not use the add/remove feature built into Windows.  If this uninstall doesn't wholly remove McAfee or Norton Security then you use one of the tools below.

Learn to use your system: Getting Started Tutorials for Windows.

If You Are Having Issues With Chrome Browser Try the Chrome Cleanup Tool:

The Chrome Cleanup Tool is a program that seeks out and attempts to remove harmful programs from your hard drive.

Indications of the presence of these dangerous programs can vary frequent browser crashes, slower than usual page loads, abnormal advertisements, unexpected start pages, search engines you hadn't chosen, browser toolbars and add-ons that you didn't install.

The Chrome Cleanup Tool will also get rid of malicious software that affects other popular browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Chrome Cleanup Tool is available only for Windows operating systems

How to Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool

Visit the official download page for the Chrome Cleanup Tool. The application supports Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 it should be downloaded from this specific web page only.

There is malware that causes messages to appear in your Chrome browser with a button to link labeled "Get Chrome Cleanup Tool" or similar message these unexpected links should never be clicked or followed.  Do not click buttons or link that suddenly appear under any circumstances.

Once you've reached the correct page, follow these steps.

  • Click on the Download Now button.
  • The Terms of Service will be displayed, if you agree to these terms, select the button labeled Accept and Download.
  • The file chrome_cleanup_tool.exe should now be downloaded to your Download folder. The file chrome_cleanup_tool.exe, shown towards the bottom of your main browser window when the time remaining disappears, click on the file name.
  • You may be prompted whether or not you'd like to open this file, if so click on the Run or Yes button, this may be different depending on your operating system or version.
  • A window will appear labeled Chrome Cleanup Tool, the search for unwanted software will begin.
  • If your system is clean from any of the known bad programs that the tool targets, you'll get the following message: No programs found. Click on the Continue button.
  • If something is detected, a list of the suspect software will be displayed with a button labeled Remove suspicious programs. Click on this button to remove the malware.
  • Even is no problem programs are found you'll be taken to a page prompting you to reset Chrome's settings. This will reset your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your bookmarks, history, and saved passwords will not be cleared. Choose cancel or Reset. Resetting Chrome's settings is recommended, even if the tool did not discover any suspicious programs it will give your Chrome install a fresh start. If you do not want to reset Chrome, choose Cancel.    

Note: If you've run the Chrome Cleanup Tool and are still encountering problems, you may want to consider trying the steps below.

Here Are Five Tools I Recommend for Malware Scanning:
  1. Windows Defender is built into Windows 10 and 8.1 it uses real-time protection to scan everything you download or run on your PC. 
    • To force an immediate scan in Windows 10 click the Start button, and then selecting Settings > Update & security > Choose Windows Defender from the left menu list. Click the "Open Windows Defender" button, click Virus & Threat protection shield choose Quick Scan or Advanced scan to select options. Be patient the scan will take quite a while; you can continue to use your computer during the scan.
    • In Win 7 if you have installed Microsoft Security Essentials open the control window, at the Home tab select "Scan option Full" and click Scan Now.  This process can take several hours so be patient.  If it finds malware it can often remove it, look at the History tab to see scan results and remedies.
  2. Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool helps remove specific, prevalent malicious software from computers that are running Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. If you have Windows 7 and do Windows updates the latest version of  Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MRT) is already downloaded on your computer.  Click the Start Orb and type MRT hit the Enter key, answer yes to the popup window. This will bring up the Welcome to Malicious Software Removal Tool window click the "Next" button and choose the "Full Scan" option.  The scanner will check every file on your hard drive the process will take some time (an hour or more) so start it when you are finished using your computer for a while.
  3. Windows Defender Offline: The Microsoft Windows Defender Offline is a free utility built into Windows 10. Windows Defender Offline is a powerful offline scanning tool that runs from a trusted environment, without starting your operating system.
    • When should I use Windows Defender Offline? Run Windows Defender Offline if:
      • Windows Defender Security Center detects rootkits or other highly persistent malware on your PC and alerts you to use Windows Defender Offline. You might see a message saying that malware was found on your device, or a message in Windows Defender Security Center notifying you that additional cleaning is required.
      • You suspect your PC has malware that might be hiding on your PC, but your security software doesn’t detect anything. In this case, you can start a Windows Defender Offline scan from Windows Security settings. Here's how:
        1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Security  > Virus & threat protection .
        2. On the Virus & threat protection screen, under Threat history, select Run a new advanced scan.
        3. On the Advanced scans screen, select Windows Defender Offline scan, and then select Scan now.
  4. Microsoft Safety Scanner: The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software. The Microsoft Safety Scanner is not a replacement for using an antivirus software program that provides ongoing protection.
    • Note:  The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires ten days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and rerun the Microsoft Safety Scanner.
  5. Sophos Virus Removal Tool – Infected with a virus? Unsure whether your existing antivirus software has detected and removed it? Still having problems and unsure where to turn to next? Sophos Virus Removal Tool can help.

How to determine whether a computer is running a 32-bit version or 64-bit version of the Windows operating system.

  • Stop Trying to Clean Your Infected Computer! Just Nuke it and Reinstall Windows by How-To-Geek – Trying to clean an infected Windows system and ensuring it’s clean and safe afterward. It’s usually not a good idea to do this — reinstall Windows and start over.
  • How to do a Clean Install of Windows 10, the Easy Way by How-To-Geek – The Windows 10 upgrade process drags old files, settings, and programs from your previous Windows system to your new one. If you want a completely fresh system, though, you have a couple options. This is particularly useful if you’ve purchased a new Windows 10 PC and it includes manufacturer-installed bloatware you don’t want.
  • How to Reinstall Windows on Your Computer by How-To-Geek – Reinstalling Windows is one of the easiest ways to fix software problems on your computer, whether it’s running slow or infected by viruses. You should also reinstall Windows before you get rid of an old PC.

Real-time protection for Windows 7 or 8.1 that helps to guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, download Microsoft Security Essentials. If you are using Windows 10, this is called Windows Defender and is pre-installed.

Legally Download a Clean Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 Iso Directly From Microsoft 

Use this link to download an ISO file to do a clean reinstall of Windows on a machine that has currently been running Windows 10 without a license key. Reinstall of Win 7 and 8.1 will require a valid Windows key. With all the recent discussions about the junkware infecting new computers, it looks like Microsoft is stepping up their game to help Windows users be able to install a clean version of the operating system.

This site also has downloads for reinstalling Office. 20102013 – Office 365 or Office 2016
Note: Office 2007 went out of support Oct17 and MS has since removed the installation file from the Office Backup site. You need original install media/disk.

Do I have a virus? by TWIT.TV

Paul got a notice through Malware bytes that he a virus, but he can't seem to get rid of it. It keeps coming back. What gives? Leo says that it may not be malware…













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