You just don’t know when malware will strike. Oftentimes, the most devastating are the ones that catch you unprepared. These nasty bugs corrupt files, kill network access, or totally cripple your operating system. They not only get in the way of your computer’s operations but often sets up hurdles so you cannot fix the problem. The first solution is to do routine data backups. Next, always keep external countermeasures to malware always ready. This means you should install a stand-alone antimalware product on a handy clean USB flash drive or stick drive.
There are many great portable malware protection solutions. One good free one is the Emergency Kit from Emsisoft. This solution runs entirely from a flash drive. Just stick it into an infected computer and it will scan the drive. It will clean up the unit by removing in excess of 4 million known software parasites, adware, spyware, dialers, worms, keyloggers, trojans, and, of course, viruses. If you can still open your Windows OS, it will run off a GUI, graphical user interface. If your Windows is nuked, the software will still run, but from a command prompt.
This emergency solution also comes with HiJackFree and BlitzBlank. These two tools help you manually detect and eliminate malware. These also help you manage all Windows services, active processes, your computer’s drivers, monitor open ports, check autorun files, and a lot more. While these features are available for more experienced computer users, they are at your disposal should the need arise.
Another form of threat to computer systems kills by a thousand cuts. Instead of quickly paralyzing your system, they clog up your system until your PC crawls to a halt. In this situation, run routine scans and be always vigilant for any changes to your computer’s behavior. Be on the lookout for speed changes or inability to do certain functions it did before. While these, in of themselves, are no indications that you have a malware infestation at hand, they are definitely warning flags to get you to look under the hood of your PC’s system.
Finally, one of the biggest threats currently wreaking lots of grief from one end of the computing globe to the other is the ever-present threat of phishing. These are spammed official looking unsolicited mail that hooks you with a good deal or a fake warning that scares you. Oftentimes, the phishing email comes from official bodies or banks. Once you open them and think they are official emails and click through, they lead you to an official looking financial site where you can enter your login information.
Of course, the site does not work since it is a fake copy. By then, it is too late, the thieves have captured your login information and will use it to login and clean you out. In addition to this technique, they also use keyloggers or trojans which automatically install on your computer when you click on a link to an attack site. The basic way to avoid this is to never click on a link from an unknown source and never open a strange attachment.