Help, I think I have a virus

A 3-step cleanup plan to remove malware and help prevent future infections

3-step clean-up plan

Once you have a virus or malware it can act like a beacon for other bad things, signaling “I found a way in, come join me.” So, take these three steps as soon as you suspect you may have a virus:

Run our free scan to check for viruses and malware on your devices.

Use our free virus and malware removal tool to help destroy what’s there.
If you prefer trained trouble-shooting over the self-help route, a Norton tech can access your computer remotely to track down and eliminate most viruses.

Install up-to-date security software to help prevent future breaches.

If you’ve been using a free or low-end security solution, it’s probably not robust enough to keep up with the volume and increasing sophistication of the threats cybercriminals are creating today.

What is malware?

Malware (short for malicious software) is a program specifically engineered to compromise the security features on your computer or mobile device, allowing cybercriminals to comb through your personal data and, in some cases, commit identify theft.

How did malware get in?

Anytime you go online, your device is downloading data. Malware can sneak in with that data stream in a variety of ways: through a hole in a popular software program, hidden in an online ad (this is called malvertising) or disguised as a legitimate app that you download.

Malware can hide without producing any tell-tale symptoms as it hacks your email or captures your data, which is why it’s so important to have antivirus software that recognizes and destroys malicious software.

How do I know if my devices are infected?

Be on the lookout for these red flags:

  • Your device slows down or gets glitchy
  • Pop-up windows appear when you’re surfing
  • Friends tell you they got a suspicious email from you that you definitely didn’t send
  • Your smartphone battery drains quickly, or shows call/text messages you didn’t send
  • Your data usage has spiked (spyware sends audio or video from your smartphone)

How Norton Security catches even brand new malware

Antivirus software keeps track of known malware, recognizes it on your network, and stops it before it even gets to your devices. The more known threats your security solution keeps track of, the better your protection.

Stopping brand new malware (also called a zero-day threat because security companies haven’t even had one day to identify and track it), requires smart security that recognizes suspicious activity. Malware does things that legitimate software won’t, like set up a communications channel with an overseas IP address. So, Norton Security watches.

Recognizing Known Threats
Signature-based detection

Malware writers frequently recycle pieces of code from previous attacks. Antivirus software recognizes the “signature” of dangerous code and blocks it on your network, before it can get to your device.

Norton Security comprehensive intelligence

Our global threat monitoring systems operate 24-hours a day, sending new signatures to one of the largest threat intelligence databases in the world.

Catching Red-Flag Activity
Behavior-based detection

To catch brand new threats with no defined signature, high-performance antivirus software will recognize suspicious behavior, like an attempt to change your firewall, and shut down any harmful activity.

Norton Security smart monitoring

Exclusive SONAR™ technology monitors more than 1,300 processes for signs of bad behavior.

Norton Security covers PCs, Macs, Androids, iPads and iPhones. Some features are not available on iPad and iPhone.

Norton AntiVirus Basic covers a single PC.

Auto-scan of apps on Google Play is supported on Android 4.0 or later, except for Samsung devices. Samsung devices running Android 4.2 or later are supported. For earlier versions of Android, the Google Play “Share” function must be used to scan apps on Google Play.

Norton Family and Norton Family Premier features are not supported on Mac.

2 Virus Protection Promise: To be eligible for the Virus Protection Promise, you must have a qualifying Norton subscription and unless you have Norton Small Business, you must also have purchased, renewed or upgraded that Norton subscription directly from Symantec, or activate automatic renewal with Symantec. If a Norton expert is unable to remove the virus from your device, then you may receive a refund based on the actual price paid for the current term of your qualifying Norton subscription. If you purchase a Norton bundle (a qualifying Norton subscription purchased with another Norton offering), your refund will be limited to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of your qualifying Norton subscription for the current term, not to exceed the total bundled price paid. Or, if your bundled purchase contains a qualifying Norton subscription with a non-Norton product, your refund will be limited to the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of only your Norton qualifying subscription for the current term, not to exceed the total bundled price paid. Any refund will be net of any discounts or refunds received and less any shipping, handling and applicable taxes, except in certain states and countries where shipping, handling and taxes are refundable. The refund does not apply to any damages incurred as a result of viruses. See for details including qualifying Norton subscriptions.