Virus and Repair Scans
Computer Viruses are a big issues these days. The bigger issue is knowing how to get rid of them when your regular virus software doesn’t catch them as they hit your computer. On this page you will find some of the tools that are out there to prevent and remove viruses and the damage they sometimes leave behind. These are all programs that I have used many many times to fix virus infected computers and other glitches that can and will happen on a windows based computer.
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware Free
Internet Explorer Issues
Tweaking.com Windows Repair Tools
Microsoft Safety Scanner
Do you think your PC has a virus?
The Microsoft Safety Scanner is a free downloadable security tool that provides on-demand scanning and helps remove viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It works with your existing antivirus software but runs externally from it so it is less likely to be detected by a virus as it runs.
Note: The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.
The Microsoft Safety Scanner is not a replacement for using an antivirus software program that provides ongoing protection.
If you're not sure which version to download, see Is my PC running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows?
If you are wanting to download the security scanner and run it on a computer other then the one you are using you will need to verify the version of windows it is running and click the Select A Version link under the Download Now button on the above link.
Windows Disk Cleanup
Cleaning out your PC on a regular basis frees up drive space and helps it run better. One of the easiest ways to clean up files you no longer need is by using Disk Cleanup.
1.Open Disk Cleanup by clicking the Start button. In the search box, type Disk Cleanup, and then, in the list of results, select Disk Cleanup.
2.If prompted, select the drive that you want to clean up, and then select OK.
3.In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, on the Disk Cleanup tab, select the check boxes for the file types that you want to delete, and then select OK. If its listed it's ok to delete. This won't hurt your computer it will only help.
4.In the message that appears, select Delete Files.
Cleaning up these files from time to time will lessen the burden of your computer having to look through all of these files every time you are doing something. This uses up resources and slows a computer down.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Windows Defender
Windows Defender Offline
What is Windows Defender Offline? Sometimes, malicious and other potentially unwanted software, including rootkits, try to install themselves on your PC. This can happen when you connect to the Internet or install some programs from a CD, DVD, or other media. Once on your PC, this software might run immediately, or it might run at unexpected times. Windows Defender Offline can help remove such hard to find malicious and potentially unwanted programs using definitions that recognize threats. Definitions are files that provide an encyclopedia of potential software threats. Because new threats appear daily, it's important to always have the most up-to-date definitions installed in Windows Defender Offline. Armed with definition files, Windows Defender Offline can detect malicious and potentially unwanted software, and then notify you of the risks. To use Windows Defender Offline, you need to follow five basic steps:
Microsoft Security Scam Call;
Avoid tech support phone scams
Cybercriminals don't just send fraudulent email messages and set up fake websites. They might also call you on the telephone and claim to be from Microsoft. They might offer to help solve your computer problems or sell you a software license. Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
- Once they have control of your computer they will direct you to your log files and show you items that look like they are a bad thing but are in fact very normal to see on a windows based computer and are nothing to worry about. (see Photo Below)
- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.
Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.
Telephone tech support scams: What you need to know
Cybercriminals often use publicly available phone directories, so they might know your name and other personal information when they call you. They might even guess what operating system you're using.
Once they've gained your trust, they might ask for your user name and password or ask you to go to a legitimate website (such as www.ammyy.com) to install software that will let them access your computer to fix it. Once you do this, your computer and your personal information are vulnerable.
Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:
- Windows Helpdesk
- Windows Service Center
- Microsoft Tech Support
- Microsoft Support
- Windows Technical Department Support Group
- Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)
Report phone scams
- Help Microsoft stop cybercriminals by reporting information about your phone scam.
- In the United States, use the FTC Complaint Assistant form.
- In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.
- In the United Kingdom, you can report fraud as well as unsolicited calls.
Whenever you receive a phone call or see a pop-up window on your PC and feel uncertain whether it is from someone at Microsoft, don’t take the risk. Reach out directly to one of our technical support experts dedicated to helping you at the Microsoft Answer Desk. Or you can simply call us at 1-800-426-9400 or one of our customer service phone numbers for people located around the world.
How to protect yourself from telephone tech support scams
If someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support calls you:
- Do not purchase any software or services.
- Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer. You may also call a local computer repair or support company to ask if they feel the call is legitimate.
- If you feel it is not a legitimate call take the caller's information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
What to do if you already gave information to a tech support person
If you think that you might have downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, take these steps:
- Change your computer's password, change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card.
- Scan your computer with the Microsoft Safety Scanner to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.
- Install Microsoft Security Essentials. (Microsoft Security Essentials is a free program for Windows 7 based computers. If someone calls you to install this product and then charge you for it, this is also a scam.)
- Even with the most up to date security software installed on your computer it is no guarantee that they will help once they have gained access to your computer. Once they have control of your computer they can add, remove or delete anything on your computer. This is the reason that these scammers are so very dangerous.
Note: In Windows 8, Windows Defender replaces Microsoft Security Essentials. Windows Defender is a fully functional antivirus and malware program (Windows Defender comes standard with Windows 8 Computers) that runs in the background and notifies you when you need to take specific action. However, you can use it anytime to scan for malware if your computer isn’t working properly or you clicked a suspicious link online or in an email message.
Will Microsoft ever call me?
There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions. These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.
For more information about how to recognize a phishing scam, see Avoid scams that use the Microsoft name fraudulently.
If you need help with a virus or other security problem, visit the Microsoft Virus and Security Solution Center.
To help protect against viruses and other malicious software in Windows Vista and 7, download Microsoft Security Essentials.
Windows 8 and 10 include Windows Defender antivirus protection that’s turned on by default.