There is a continuum among computer users when it comes to security knowledge and dealing with malware issues on a PC. From outright novices, up toward those who are proficient through business or school usage, and ultimately into the land of true security professionals.
No matter where you fit on such a spectrum, having a personal computing device get compromised will happen to you. The issue is, how equipped are you to manage it when it occurs?
As someone who is a user somewhere beyond proficient due to business use and approaching a security professional, I’m often called upon (and very happy) to assist friends and family in these situations. I know, as anyone mitigating a piece of malware or virus knows, there is a general playbook to step through to assess, identify, and clean a device. There are always unexpected issues, it can be a pain, but more so, if you don’t take care and do things in the correct order, your efforts may be ineffective. Malware is sneaky and clever.
Malwarebytes recent published an awesome playbook – “10 Easy Steps to Clean Your Infected Computer“. Of course it also includes advice to use their Malwarebytes AntiMalware tool (which is free). But they smartly also advise you validate the malware removal using some other virus or malware software. I’d recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for PC users and Sophos Antivirus for Mac.
The bad guys are out there, active and it’s not a matter of if, but when your device will be compromised.
This is a resource I’ll gladly refer friends and family to, and I encourage you to reference it as well.