When you purchase a new computer it comes with pre installed software. You assume that your new PC is secure and has been properly vetted by the manufacturer. This is the case 99 percent of the time. Unfortunately, an exception has recently been discovered with the Superfish app. This app came installed on new Lenovo computers sold between September and December of 2014. How can you protect your PC from this fishy security threat?
If you have Superfish on any of your devices, whether it is a new Lenovo computer or other, you should cease using the app. The shopping-search app has been deemed to be a security threat by Errata Security, who reports that it’s capable of providing hackers with a user’s encrypted Web data, including online passwords.
This risk applies to you whether you actually use the Superfish app or not. The app’s presence on your device is enough to warrant its removal. As soon as Lenovo learned of the threat, they disabled the app on systems that already had it installed. Despite this you will still need to take action to aide in the removal process.
One way to remove Superfish from your PC is to go to Windows Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a Program. Now, locate Superfish on the list of programs > select it > and click Uninstall.
However, going through the Windows Control Panel isn’t enough to remove all traces of Superfish from your computer. If you’ve tried previously to remove preinstalled software on your PC (known as bloatware), you know from experience that it can be stubborn to remove–we’re looking at you AOL.
To fully remove all traces of the Superfish app, Lenovo offers users a removal tool and instructions on their support page: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/product_security/superfish_uninstall
This removal tool is thorough enough to completely rid your device of the threat posed by Superfish. But, do not think that you’re totally in the clear just because you’ve removed the app. You should now go into damage control mode and clean up from the effects of this rotten fish. Use best practices when learning about any known threat on your computer and immediately perform a virus scan, and make sure that your anti-virus software has its definitions up to date–better safe than sorry.
An additional security measure that we recommend is to change the passwords for any online account you’ve accessed on the device from before Superfish was installed. This may feel like a bit of an inconvenience, but it’s the best way to protect your sensitive information in the event that a hacker has stolen your password. It should be noted that regularly changing your online passwords is a security best practice, so get in the habit of doing this every few months. In light of the growing number of unforeseen threats like Superfish, which seem to be prevalent these days it is in your best interest to stay alert and guard your information.
By doing business with a managed services provider like Quikteks you can be sure that we remove all the bloatware and other unnecessary applications before installing any machine onto your company’s network.
For assistance removing Superfish from your company’s computers, and to take advantage of a free IT assessment to make sure that your network is safe from hidden threats such as this, contact the IT security professionals at Quikteks.