Malware can show you pop up ads, hijack your searches, and slow your computer down to a crawl.
If you’re noticing your computer is acting kind of strange, whether you’re seeing pop up ads, sluggish activity, or your search engine is suddenly different, your PC could be riddled with malware.
This is software you might have installed on your computer by accident. Sometimes it’s included in free downloads but there are lots of ways it can make it’s way onto your system.
Here are three tools to help you avoid malware.
Malwarebytes browser extension comes from the same folks who make the popular desktop app. This protects you as you browse the web. It blocks visits to malicious websites, makes it so scam artists can’t hijack your browser or lock it up with a tech support scam. It also blocks third party ad trackers to protect your privacy.
Windows defender browser protection is from Microsoft. It’s main purpose is to protect you from malicious links that try to trick you into installing bad software on your computer. The links you click are checked for security in real time. If you stumble upon a site that wants to steal your personal information, like your bank account info or login and password, you’ll see a big red warning screen.
Finally, if you’re computer is already acting funky, try the tool that’s built into the google chrome web browser. On a PC click the three dots, then settings and scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and find clean up computer. Hit the find button to look for unwanted software that hogs your processor and injects ads and other annoyances into your web browsing. A few more clicks will uninstall the programs and clear them out.
Just keep in mind you’ll probably have to restart your computer when it’s finished.
One more piece of software to tell you about is called “should i remove it.” It's a free program that’ll scan your computer and show you a list of all the programs on your computer that you might not need and can uninstall that way they aren’t hogging up your resources.