While we work hard to keep our users safe, it’s always best for you to take control of your own online safety. In this article, you’ll learn some tips and best practices for detecting and avoiding malware.

Following all the general electronic security guidelines, especially running a virus scanner to protect your computer and your information, can be the best defense against malware.

Between scans, keep an eye on your computer for changes in behavior, like:

  • Sluggish processing speed for no apparent reason
  • Not responding to your commands to shutdown or restart
  • Intrusive ads appearing in places where you didn’t see them before
  • Sending you to websites you weren’t trying to visit
  • Sending emails without your consent
  • Your browser homepage changes without your consent
  • Device battery suddenly, and repeatedly, drains unusually fast
  • Unexpected new icons or toolbars appear on your desktop or in your browser

Expert tip:

If you suspect your computer has been infected with malware, run a trusted antivirus program immediately. If you don’t currently have one, two options are Avast Free Antivirus or Malwarebytes.

If you have any suspicion your device might be infected with malware, immediately stop all online activities that involve usernames, passwords, or other sensitive information. This includes banking and shopping activities, accessing private work files, etc. Doing so can prevent further harm.

Want to learn more about identifying a malware attack?

Click here to read the Federal Trade Commission’s detailed advice.

Discovered you’ve fallen victim to a scammer’s malware attack?

Continue reading in Get Rid of Malware.

For an overview of online safety and security best practices, please visit our Security Center or check out our complete online security series below:

  1. General Electronic Security
  2. Staying Safe on Upwork
  3. Detect Malware — You are here
  4. Get Rid of Malware
  5. Secure a Compromised Account

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