At some point or another almost everyone with a Windows PC will become infected by some form of malware infection, perhaps the most annoying of these of late is the fake Privacy Protection software which looks genuine, but it is in fact part of a scam where hackers gain your money and credit card details so beware!
Before we get started let’s quickly state a few things, firstly if you receive messages reading “Security Warning – Malicious program has been detected. Click here to protect your computer” or “Firewall Warning – Hidden file transfers to remote host has been detected” ignore them, these are fake alerts. Secondly, if you fell for the scam and entered your credit card details you should call your credit card company immediately. Thirdly, don’t panic as we will now show you how to remove this nasty infection, however we can’t take any responsibility if this doesn’t work for you (so do it at your own risk), that said you would be very unlucky if something was to go wrong.
Below we have embedded an image which shows just what this fake software looks like, so if you have seen this on your PC we can confirm that this is infact the Privacy Protection virus.
The best way of removing this infection is to use another computer to download a few files, you can then burn them to CD or copy them to a USB drive. If you have no access to another PC don’t worry just shut down the infected PC, turn it back on whilst repeatedly pressing ‘F8’ and then choosing ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ from the boot menu. If you are struggling with this step check out our previous guide.
Once booted into ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ you must now download a few tools, or preferably download these on a separate computer and copy them to CD or a Flash drive. Click on the names of the tools to download them:
The first tool to install is CCleaner, install this on the infected PC (very simple – just click next, next and continue etc) and then open the application up. Once open click ‘Run Cleaner’ which is located in the bottom right hand corner and it will clear unnecessary file build up, this may take a while, but will speed up the rest of the removal process. Now you must run RKill, this may look like it does nothing, but it does end some processes which are running in the background and stopping the infections from being removed.
The final step is to install Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware, once installed open it up and click on the update tab, here click on ‘Check for Updates’ and the latest definitions will be installed. Now click on the scanner tab, click ‘Perform Full Scan’ and then select ‘Scan’ MBAM will now scan your entire PC for infections, this may take a while. When the scan finished click ‘OK’ to see the results and then click remove selected – this will remove the infections from your PC and force your PC to reboot.
Once your PC starts back up you should no longer see any signs of the Privacy Protection virus, you should now ensure that you have antivirus protection installed and all of the latest Windows Updates downloaded. Microsoft Security Essentials is great for Windows Vista and Windows 7 and it’s free! Download it here.
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