10/23/2014: If you suspect malware is on your computer – Stop, Confirm, Scan

Malware, short for “malicious software,” includes viruses and spyware designed to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. If you suspect malware is on your computer —

  • Stop shopping, banking, or any online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
  • Confirm that your security software is working and up-to-date. At a minimum, your computer should have anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a two-way firewall.
  • Once your security software is up-to-date, scan your computer for viruses and spyware, deleting or quarantining anything the program identifies as a problem.
  • If you suspect your computer is still infected, you may want to run a second anti-virus or anti-spyware program – or call in professional help.
  • Once your computer is back up and running, think about how malware could have been downloaded to your machine, and what you could do to avoid it in the future.

Visit http://www.onguardonline.gov/articles/0011-malware for more information.