Knowledge Base

Protect Your Computer or Remove Virus, Spyware or Other Malware in Microsoft Windows

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Malware and How Do I Know if I My Computer Is Infected?
  2. Determine if Security Software is on Your Dell Computer and Get Support
  3. Register Your Dell Factory Installed Security Software
  4. Run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT)
  5. Ensure Your Microsoft Security Features Are Enabled
  6. Install the Latest Anti-Malware Software to Protect Your Computer

This article describes what viruses, spyware and malware are, how to remove a suspected malware infection and ways to protect your system against attack.

1. What is Malware and How Do I Know if I My Computer Is Infected?

Malware has become the name for any type of malicious software such as spyware, adware, or viruses that harms your computer's performance or security. Most malware infections stem from Internet activity which include downloading files or even just browsing Internet sites. Most measures for protecting against malware focus on ways to make Internet browsing more secure. Various symptoms can be associated with malware, so any one (or a combination) of the following symptoms could be good indicators of malware infection.

  • Browser Redirects, Popups, Homepage Changes: The browser may suddenly redirect to an unknown website, or a previously set homepage may change without warning or input.
  • Slow Computer Response: The computer may seem to "lock up" or run slow during regular use. It is also not uncommon to experience delays in the operating system loading to the desktop.
  • Processor Utilization at 100% in Task Manager: The processor seems to be working overtime and/or slowly. To check the processor utilization or the Kernel Memory status, press the CTRL + ALT + DEL keys at the same time. Then click the Performance tab. Processor utilization is indicated by the CPU Usage gauge.
  • Virtual Memory Low Message: This message will keep appearing no matter what changes are made to resolve the issue.

For more information about the systems and indicators of an infected system, refer to the article below:

For detailed information on Malware, refer to the Wikipedia entry on Malware:

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2. Determine if Security Software is on Your Dell Computer and Get Support

Determine if you have security software already installed on your computer. If so, refer to your vendor for information on removal of malware. A list of security software vendors' contact information can be found in the Security Software section of the Dell Third-Party Software Contacts page.

One simple way to determine if you have security software is to check the System Tray in the bottom right corner of your screen for a security icon. McAfee icons typically are red in color with a large letter "M" in the center of the icon.

Microsoft Security Essentials to preview, download and get support.

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3. Register your McAfee LiveSafe security software

Dell computers can ship with McAfee Security Center or McAfee LiveSafe, either as a 30 day trial version or subscriptions of up to 36 months. Registration of the product is part of the Windows first-time startup process for your PC. Simply accept the End-User License Agreement (EULA) and supply your email address for registration. No further action is required.

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4. Run the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT)

The Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool accurately detects and removes about 80% of known viruses and spyware from your system.

  1. Navigate to the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool download page.

  2. Click Download to start the download process.

  3. Click Run to download and run the program.

  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to initiate the scan and remove any malicious software, if found.

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5. Ensure your Microsoft security features are enabled

Learn more about updating your built-in Windows security features!

6. Install the latest anti-malware software to protect your computer

You can find many home security products available for download at the Dell Store Anti-Virus and Security Center.

If you do not have or do not wish to purchase any Internet security software, Microsoft has created free security software built specifically for your operating system. Visit Microsoft Security Essentials to preview, download and get support.

There are best practices and guidelines that can minimise your exposure to infection. You can refer to the article below for more information on these.

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If this article hasn't answered your question, then refer to the article below for a list of further articles on this particular subject:

Article ID: SLN128053

Last Date Modified: 03/30/2015 07:39 AM

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