017: Viruses, Spyware and Malwarebytes

This week we are talking about Computer Viruses, Spyware, Worms and Rootkits. All the nasty things that can get into your computer and make your life miserable. While all the different names do have specific meanings, the people who really care about those sort of things aren’t watching, So I’m going to bring all these different concepts together under the name of Malware, which is short for Malicious Software, and described on Wikipedia as any software intentionally designed to cause damage to a computer, server or computer network.

Not that we want to get Malware, but it is worth knowing how it can get on your computer because prevention is much better than cure. Malware exists for a couple of reasons, programmers showing off and to make money. There is a dark side to the internet, and there are people that are willing to do nasty things just to make a buck.

Most of the ways average people get exposed to malware is by stumbling into some of the darker areas, either by accident or looking for something like illegal software or movie downloads. It is also possible for legitimate sites to either be hacked or accidentally serve bad advertisements that can take you across to the dark side.

As I said, prevention is best, so I always recommend keeping up to date antivirus and antimalware software running on your PC. For Windows, I recommend Kaspersky Internet Security.

The main point of this video though is to introduce you to another great piece of software that acts both as a preventative and as a cleanup tool. That software is called Malwarebytes. If you aren’t ready to buy Malwarebytes straight away, there is a link at the bottom of that page to a 14-day free trial to get you started.

If you aren’t sure how to install the software, I have a video to help you with Installing.

Running it is as simple as double-clicking on the icon and clicking the “Scan now” button. It will check for and install the latest updates and begin to scan your computer. When it’s complete it will either give you the good news that your system is clean or provide you with a list of all the items it has found.

I simply always pick “Select all” and then “Clean”. The system will churn away for a while and either present you with a clean bill of health or request a reboot. If you are asked to reboot, I strongly encourage you to do another scan after the reboot. I’ve known a few cases where you have to peel off layers of malware on particularly badly infected systems.

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