Short on time? Here’s how to remove IDP.Generic:
1. Scan Device — Because Avast and AVG are the only malware scanners that issue the IDP.Generic notification, and because the IDP.Generic is often a false positive, you first need to run a full system scan with another antivirus program to determine if your system is indeed infected with a virus. I recommend you install Norton.
2. Whitelist False Positive or Remove Virus — If the second antivirus doesn’t flag any viruses, then the IDP.Generic notification issued by Avast/AVG was a false positive. In this case, you need to whitelist the file in your Avast/AVG settings. But if your second antivirus finds a virus, then let it remove all instances of the file associated with the IDP.Generic warning.
3. Stay Protected — Protect yourself from further infections with a high-quality internet security package (Norton is the best).
IDP.Generic is a threat name given to a suspicious process or application detected by Avast and AVG’s malware scanners. IDP is short for Identity Protection, whereas Generic means the threat was found in a standard file (such as an .EXE file).
If your Avast/AVG software is issuing the IDP.Generic notification, it could be a false positive, which means you need to update your software and whitelist the flagged file. But sometimes, IDP.Generic is an indication that you have malware on your device — so you’re going to need a second opinion to determine whether or not you have malware on your system.
Honestly, Avast and AVG have a pretty bad reputation in the cybersecurity community after they were accused of selling user data (you can read more about the scandal they were involved in here). So, you have a couple of options: You can cancel your Avast/AVG subscription and get a high-quality internet security suite, or you can download a free antivirus like Avira to give you a second opinion on the IDP.Generic malware notification.
Step 1. Run a Full System Scan With Your Second Antivirus
Make sure your USB, cell phone, and any other devices that can store files are disconnected from your computer’s USB slots. If you do have a virus, it can easily replicate onto your external storage devices.
Once you’re sure all storage devices are disconnected, you need to get a second antivirus program to give you a second opinion about the IDP.Generic notification. If you’ve read about Avast and AVG’s data collection scandal and decided you want a new security suite, I recommend Norton. If you just want a free anti-malware scanner to double-check Avast/AVG’s scanner, Avira’s free antivirus is a great option.
Once you’ve installed a new antivirus, your system will give you a notification asking you which antivirus should be running — select your new antivirus (or even uninstall AVG/Avast to be safe), and only run a full disk scan once you’re 100% sure that you only have one active antivirus on your device. The reason for this is that the real-time scanners from various antivirus applications can actually interfere with one another and prevent the scanners from detecting malware.
Once the antivirus is up and running, run a full disk scan. A full disk scan will go through every file and folder on your computer, flagging any malicious files it finds — including the file causing the IDP.Generic notification (if it’s genuinely malicious).
The full disk scan can take between 3-4 hours, but in this instance, it’s a better choice than a quick or custom scan since it’s the most thorough option. Your antivirus needs to check every single file on your computer, so depending on the size of your hard drive and how many applications you have installed, it may take even longer.
However, once the scan is finished, you’ll receive a notification alerting you to any threats your antivirus uncovered. Your next job is to go through these flagged threats and whitelist any that you trust.
Step 2. Whitelist False Positives and Delete Any Infected Files
If your second opinion antivirus scanner didn’t flag the file which Avast/AVG identified as an IDP.Generic threat, then it’s probably not a dangerous file. If you’ve cancelled your Avast/AVG subscription, then you don’t need to do anything. But if you’re keeping your subscription, then you will need to go into the quarantine list and follow these instructions:
- Click Menu > Settings.
- Select General > Exceptions.
- Type in the file path you want to whitelist.
Once you’ve identified whether or not IDP.Generic is a false positive, you can now delete any other malware files that your scanner has identified.
When everything is either whitelisted or deleted, you should restart your PC. It’s always a good idea to restart your computer after removing viruses, as malware can boot into Windows’ memory and keep running even if the associated file is uninstalled.
Once you’ve restarted your PC, you need to rerun the full scan. The scan shouldn’t take as long this time, but if the scan finds more malware, you will have to restart your PC again and keep repeating steps 1 and 2 until no more malware files are detected.
Once you reach this point, you can move onto step 3. The IDP.Generic warning may be gone, but your PC is still at risk of infection.
Step 3. Keep Your Device From Getting Re-Infected
Keep Your Software, OS, and Drivers Up-To-Date
Since developers drop support for obsolete products, outdated software, operating systems, and drivers become vulnerable to exploit attacks fairly quickly. In short: when new threats are released, the obsolete product is no longer protected.
It’s vital you keep everything on your PC updated to the latest version. This can be difficult to do without the right tools, especially on computers with a larger hard drive and hundreds of applications. That’s why antiviruses such as Avira come with a vulnerability scanner. Vulnerability scanners can check every application and driver on your computer for vulnerabilities and patch them. A vulnerability scanner can also check your operating system.
However, another way to ensure you’re always on the latest version of the software is to enable its auto-update option. You’re often asked to do this when you first install an application, but this setting is also typically available in the individual application’s settings (usually a simple check box). For Windows, you can go to the “Update and Security” center to enable/check for updates.
Don’t Download Suspicious Files
A key attack vector for malware is through suspicious files and emails, so you have to be really careful when opening these. An antivirus with real-time protection can scan emails and mark unsafe ones, but you should also use a bit of common sense. If you don’t recognize an email sender or weren’t expecting an attachment from a sender you trust, then don’t open the attachment. Don’t click on any suspicious links either, since you can get hit by a drive-by download (malware that downloads the second you click a link).
An antivirus can protect you from suspicious emails, but it can also intercept drive-by downloads if you do click on a malicious link. A comprehensive antivirus suite such as Norton will also block access to dangerous websites.
Secure Your Wireless Network and IoT Devices
Wi-Fi networks are an often overlooked area when securing your PC. Since Wi-Fi networks operate in the background, it’s easy to trust them. However, unsecured wireless networks can be dangerous. You can usually recognize an unsecured network by a shield icon in your available WiFi list. You should never connect to these unsecured networks.
If you have no choice but to connect to an unsecured network, you need to be running a virtual private network (VPN) to help maintain privacy, as hackers often spy on users in open networks.
Also, to secure your wireless network, you need to log into your router and set a password. To do this, look up your router online or check in the instruction manual. Whatever you do, don’t set a basic password like “Password1.”
An unsecured internet of things (IoT) device is just as dangerous as an unsecured network. While a hacker can’t transfer malware through an IoT device, they can easily invade your privacy. For example, if you have an unsecured IoT thermostat in your home, a hacker can change your home’s temperature. Again, to secure IoT devices, you will need to look up the model online or check the manual if you still have it.
The best way to secure both your home network and your IoT devices is to use a secure password manager like Dashlane or LastPass. Such password managers can instantly generate secure passwords with different character lengths that include special characters or symbols. They then store them in a vault that you can access from both your computer and phone — meaning you’ll never forget a password.
Download a Secure Antivirus Program
It’s important you download an antivirus program to all of your devices. But you need to make sureF your antivirus is a secure one. Many vendors put out fake antiviruses that are actually PUPs (potentially unwanted programs). To see which antiviruses you can trust, check out our top 10 list of 2022 best antiviruses here.
That said, Norton is my favorite antivirus on this list. It has:
- Firewall — Stops cyber criminals from entering your network.
- Anti-phishing protection — Scans emails for threats and stops dangerous downloads.
- Virtual private network (VPN) — Hides your real IP address and makes sure you stay anonymous online.
- Password manager — Generates strong passwords stored in a vault using AES-256 encryption (impossible to break).
- System cleanup — Optimizes your PC to increase overall performance.
- Parental controls — Monitors a child’s screen time and allows you to block what apps or websites they can access through strict filters.
- Identity theft protection (US only) — Looks for credit card discrepancies and alerts you to them.
Frequently Asked Questions about IDP.Generic
What is IDP.Generic?
IDP.Generic is a notification from Avast and AVG that indicates their malware scanners have flagged a file as malicious. IDP.Generic is triggered by an app communicating personally identifying information (PII) to an unknown server, which can be a sign that you have spyware or other malware on your device — but IDP.Generic is usually a false positive, which means you need to update or replace your antivirus (or at least whitelist the file that’s been flagged).
Users have reported legitimate apps like Spotify being flagged and quarantined by Avast and AVG’s IDP.Generic warning. Competitors like Norton and McAfee return less false positives, while also boasting impressive 100% malware detection rates.
Is IDP.Generic harmful?
In most cases, IDP.Generic isn’t harmful. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. IDP.Generic either indicates that a file on your computer is communicating personally identifying information (PII) to an unknown server, or it’s a sign that your antivirus is out-of-date.
Either way, you need to get a second opinion from another scanner. I recommend most users simply switch subscriptions to a security solution like Norton (which doesn’t have a problematic history of selling user data) or get a free antivirus like Avira for a quick second opinion scan.
How can I remove the IDP.Generic virus?
In most cases, IDP.Generic is a false positive, so you won’t need to remove anything. Instead, you should update to the latest versions of AVG and Avast and download an antivirus suite such as Norton for a second opinion.
Norton can scan your PC and will remove all traces of malware it finds, even the file associated with IDP.Generic if it’s a real threat to your system. Follow our above steps to learn how to do this.