Recognize

Is your computer or tablet running slower than usual? Have you noticed new icons you don’t recognize, toolbar changes or camera activation? Is your Internet connection constantly dropping? You may have clicked on an email or website link that has placed a virus, malware or spyware/adware on your computer or tablet.

  • A computer virus is a program that can corrupt your computer and/or destroy data. It can go by many names: Malware, virus, worm, trojan, rootkit and keylogger.
  • Spyware/Adware is malicious software that takes control of a computer or tablet to “spy” on your online activity. Pop-up ads can show up and redirect your online search requests to advertising websites that collect marketing data about you.

Note that some viruses, malware, spyware or adware can affect your computer or device with no immediate or noticeable symptoms.

If you think your computer or tablet is infected by a virus, malware or spyware/adware, we recommend that you act immediately, by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Disconnect the computer/tablet from the Internet immediately.
  • Turn off your Internet by unplugging the router and/or the modem from the wall.
  • Restart your computer/tablet in Safe Mode
    • How to restart Windows in Safe Mode.
    • How to restart Mac in Safe Mode.
  • Remove any new or suspicious programs from your device.

* If you still believe you have problems after following these steps or don’t feel comfortable completing these steps, take your device to a professional.

Report

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected, and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside FightCybercrime.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity, using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventative Measures

  • Run an antivirus check and reinstall your operating system if necessary.
  • Clear your browser’s cache and cookies.
  • Back up, Back up, Back up. Have more than one clean back up of your data.
  • Download our Six Steps to Better Security PDF.

Community Resources