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Seven steps to take to if you think you’ve been compromised.
Malware can be used to monitor your online activity or impersonate your online persona. This unwanted, malicious software may be used to steal sensitive information, send spam, or commit fraud. Symptoms may include unusual activity by your computer such as strange or repeated pop-ups and sending emails that pose to come from you. Identifying and removing malware helps ensure that your identity and privacy are protected. At SVB Private, we have compiled a list of tips and best practices from recognized sources to help you navigate a suspected malware attack.
Actions to take:
- Do not give out sensitive information. Stop any activities that involve divulging sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, etc. Avoid online shopping, banking, and other activities with suspected malware on your computer.
- Scan with legitimate anti-virus software. We suggest updating your anti-virus software and scanning your computer. You may need to restart before changes take effect. If you don’t have anti-virus software already installed, be wary of scammers selling illegitimate anti-virus software.
- Disconnect from the Internet. Disconnecting can prevent malware from either spreading or leaking any data. You might consider entering Safe Mode, which uses only the bare minimum programs, before scanning your computer.
- Try your browser’s security tools. Some browsers have tools to delete malware or reset the browser to its original settings.
- Seek professional support. Be wary of technical support scammers and consider obtaining contact information directly from a reputable company’s website. Some retailers offer technical support.
- Check your computer’s warranty. If your warranty includes free technical support, your computer’s manufacturer can be a resource for removing malware. Note your computer’s model and serial number before calling your manufacturer.
- Consider reporting the incident to a government organization. Government organizations including the United States Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT), the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have hotlines or websites for reporting cybercrime.
If you suspect malware on your computer, we strongly urge you to seek professional assistance to aid in the cleansing of your computer or system. We have also included additional links and resources to provide more detail on how to respond to malware attacks.
Additional Links and Resources
- Federal Trade Comission—Malware Consumer Info
- Dept of Homeland Security—Malware Tip Card
- United States Computer Emergency Response Team —Malware Protection
For more information on preventing threats visit our Security & Fraud Prevention center.