What should I do if I think I have been hit by malware or a virus?

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I wonder if you can advise me.  My pc seems to be running OK, but yesterday while browsing a You Tube clip, I stupidly clicked on an ‘interesting’ box which said Ivana Trump was filing for divorce!  As if.  Big mistake, the computer froze up and I couldn’t get rid of the page.  I got a dialogue box (presumably courtesy of my AVG antivirus? or something similar) that told me both in writing and in an American voice that I had just been infected with a virus  that could harvest personal information and credit card numbers etc.  The only way I could get rid of the page was to kill the computer, which I did in a panic, too quickly before I had properly taken in the details that were there on the page.

The first thing I did when I turned back on was to

  • run the Spy Bot programme and AVG antivirus free editions.
  • I made sure they were both up to date first.
  • I did a full computer scan with both.
  • AVG didn’t find any threats and
  • Spy Bot picked up a list the usual sort of things, and I understand that those things were ‘fixed’.

The computer seems to be working OK, but I am nervous of doing anything like buying on line or going into a bank account.  Basically anything that needs me to enter a password or pin.

Is there anything else I should do?  When I go on to a site I always check for the padlock and https on the address line.

I think there are about three choices at this time:

You can choose to trust that your anti-virus and anti-malware got on top of the problem

Scan the machine using a special set up detailed on this page linked below:

“If that doesn’t work, you may need to step completely outside of Windows and use a bootable anti-virus tool. This type of anti-virus tool boots into a clean environment–entirely outside Windows–to find and remove stubborn malware you may not be able to see or remove from within Windows itself.” http://www.howtogeek.com/126911/what-to-do-if-you-get-a-virus-on-your-computer/

But the most thorough way is to:

  • back up you data only from machine
  • wipe it & restore it back to factory
  • scan the backup files for viruses
    • you’ve left the more susceptible windows system files behind at this stage
  • restore the backup files
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