However despite all the preventative steps you take your anti-malware solution may notify you that there is some malware that it detected. While many malware solutions can detect malware they are actually bad at completely removing all traces of the malware. This is like how cancer can be detected but it is harder to remove completely.
What can you do to remove malware?
Clean-up your computer today
You can follow the malware solution’s prompts to allow it to cleanup the infection. However the solution might not completely detect all instances of the infection and further cleanup may be necessary. You may continue to see excessive disk activity or strange popups.
This is where Mirekusoft Install Monitor can help. It is not a security solution but the comprehensive and intelligent monitoring capabilities it provides can improve the cleanup process. Just like you would not want to dump garbage in a garbage can without a liner you would not want to run without Install Monitor. It provides an additional defense-in-depth measure.
How do I begin?
The first thing is to stop the malicious code from running. You can use Find Program By Window tool to identify the program. You may need to turn on “Show hidden programs” in options. You can then use Program Process Viewer to stop the program from running and then uninstall and cleanup the program.
Screenshot of Install Monitor Program Process Viewer
However if the program shows up as part of some other program you may have to use Task Manager or Process Explorer to stop the program. Next you have to stop the program from starting again. The Sysinternals Autoruns utility can help in this regard. It shows all startup software and can make it easy to detect unverified software. Once you find the startup entries instead of simply deleting them search for the items in Install Monitor. This will allow you to remove any remaining traces.
How to find a file
|The Find tool can make it possible to find information on any item
The search results will show at the bottom of the window. From here you can right-click and select “Goto Program.” This will navigate to the program. You will also want to switch to File History mode to see the history of file/registry activity of the program. Once you look at the file tree you will be able to see how the malware got installed on your computer. From the Contents pane you can delete all the related malware items. You may also want to do another search and sort by date to see all other activity that happened at the same time.
Without Install Monitor most of the malware traces would remain till the next time you reinstall Window. The ability to fully remove all traces is another example of how Install Monitor is more than just an uninstaller.
Malware is a general expression used for malicious software that includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, rootkits, spyware, and adware. The effects can range from annoying popups to stolen financial information. The best way to deal with malware is to avoid it.
How Do I Avoid Malware?
How to get rid of malware
To avoid malware it is a good idea to have a reputable anti-malware solution with real-time protection. It is essential the malware definitions are kept up to date. You should also make sure all the software is kept up to date especially browsers and plugins.
A firewall is another important tool to help reduce the attack surface of your computer. It makes it harder for your computer to be remotely accessed by an external computer.
These protective measures are known as defense-in-depth. A way to illustrate defense-in-depth is with the safety features of a car. You have airbags and seat-belts to protect you in an accident. But you also have safety glass and crumple zones to prevent the car from injuring you. You also have features like anti-lock brakes, mirrors, and electronic stability control to avoid an accident from happening. In a similar way using all these security measures helps to avoid and reduce the effects of malware.
What is User Account Control?
User Account Control of Windows 7
User account control (UAC) is another feature that helps in Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8. It uses the principal of least privilege and works by reducing the amount of privileges you need to run most of your programs. It makes it harder to download and run a piece of malware. It also makes it easier to fix malware infections. Another way to think of least privilege is if you’re going on a vacation and need your neighbor to check your mail. You probably don’t give him your keychain that has your house, car, and office keys. You will only give him the mailbox key since it gives him the least amount of access he needs. Likewise UAC makes it easier for programs to run with reduced access to the system.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The better way to start-up programs
One of the unique features of Mirekusoft Install Monitor is the ability to show startup items by installed program. Startup items are generally executable programs that are configured to run during system startup or login or browser startup. There are several different startup locations that are used by Windows like the startup folder and Run key. Of course you can also use the Startup Monitor to prevent programs from starting automatically.
Ability to See Start-up Items
What makes Install Monitor unique is the ability to only see the startup items for the program you are viewing. Whenever you install a program you can then switch to the Startup tab to see what startup items it added. Generally it is better to have a program that does not add startup items. Most programs should not need to add startup items. This means it will have less impact on your system. For instance if you were looking for a PDF viewer it would be better to have one that had an empty Startup tab as opposed to the one below. However, at times startup items can offer additional functionality that my be useful.
Image on top from Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
|Install Monitor showing startup items for a program
One of the most frustrating things for computer users can be when the software asks them the answer to the question they do not know the answer to. Users simply want to accomplish their task in the most efficient manner possible. As a result most users get in the habit of dismissing dialogs or choosing the default option. In an attempt to get users to read the dialog some software will try to increase the amount of words in the dialog or locate the dialog on a different parts of the screen. This only leads to user annoyance.
The Smarter Software – Avoids Asking Unnecessary Questions
When you use a car you do not want it asking you several different questions. You just want it to work. Unfortunately most software tends to be more complicated and require more information from the user. Software is capable of being smarter. One way to avoid unnecessary dialogs is for the software to avoid asking question where it knows the answer or can figure out the answer. Also if a question may only affect a few users it should be moved out of a common workflow and to a specialized workflow. In general as a piece of software evolves it should get smarter and require even less prompting from the user. (Image on right courtesy of stockimage / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Simplifying Application Management using Smarter Software
The idea behind Mirekusoft Install Monitor is to simplify application management. It will try not to ask questions the software can answer on its own. However there is a fine line between powerful and easy to use and not frustrating to the user. One example is cleanup of programs that are uninstalled. This involves removing any unnecessary files and registry that are left behind when a program is uninstalled.
The Simplified Clean-up Process
Cleanup is one of the instances where Install Monitor is forced to ask the user a question. Install Monitor will do the best it can given the information it has but there are times where the user may know more. The general cleanup process leave user files alone and removes application data and program files. This relies on the default user and program locations being used. For most users the defaults will simply work.
Uninstaller programs tend to give you a long list of things which they present to you for deletion. Install Monitor does not do this however it is possible to see details by looking into the contents pane. This view is possible at all times and not just when uninstalling and you can also selectively remove items this way. In Install Monitor 126.96.36.199 the dialog has been tweaked to put a link to the documentation and also allow you to review the contents pane.
|Previous Cleanup warning dialog
|New Cleanup warning dialog
This post is a summary of some useful shortcut keys and tips for Mirekusoft Install Monitor.
Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles from freedigitalphotos.net
- CTRL-B: Open Program Tree
- CTRL-right click in file tree: Display shell menu
- CTRL-click + Uninstall on an installed program: Cleanup program
- CTRL-click + Cleanup on an uninstalled program: Remove program without cleanup
- CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE: Open Program Process Viewer
- ALT-ENTER: Show program properties
Holding down CTRL in program process viewer pauses the display.
With the checkboxes in the contents pane you can hold shift down to select multiple items.
Tip of the Day
There is also a Tip of the Day that displays if no program is selected.
What is Software Rot?