- 1 PC Virus Removal – Keeping Your Computer Safe from Viruses
- 1.1 What Is a Virus?
- 1.2 How Does a Computer Virus Work?
- 1.3 In What Ways Can a Computer Be Infected?
- 1.4 How Do You Know If Your Computer Has Been Infected by a Virus?
- 1.5 Types of Malware
- 1.6 How to Prevent Viruses?
- 1.7 How to Remove Viruses?
- 1.8 Getting Rid of Viruses or Malware on a Windows PC or Laptop
- 1.9 Removing Viruses or Malware on a Mac
- 1.10 Advantages of Hiring a Professional PC Virus Removal Service
- 1.11 Friendly Reminder
PC Virus Removal – Keeping Your Computer Safe from Viruses
In today’s technological era, our lives are dominated by transactions over the world wide web. From the start of the day when we log into our emails, pay bills online, indulge in online shopping, to interacting with friends over social media, our lives revolve around the Internet. While the Internet is a boon that has simplified our lives beyond recognition, in some ways, it is a bane too.
Loads of data is being transferred across the Internet constantly. The data travels from one computer to another and there is no verification of the source and origin of the data received. This can be a cause of grave concern as it opens you up to the threat of viruses, spyware and malware attacks.
What Is a Virus?
A computer virus is akin to a biological virus that makes you sick, prevents you from working normally and you need some powerful medication and antibiotics to treat it. Similarly, a computer virus affects your machine. A computer virus is essentially an executable program or file that replicates itself and infects the programs and files on your computer and alters the way your machine functions or stops it from working completely.
There are several thousands of viruses and hundreds more are being discovered every day. And, in today’s Internet world, apart from the several thousands of viruses that are threatening the operations of your computer. People often tend to confuse the term virus with the term “malware” or malicious software that include viruses as well as Trojans, worms, spyware, ransomware, scareware, adware, etc.
How Does a Computer Virus Work?
Computer viruses can attack and replicate within the computer’s memory, storage area or the network. The severity of the damage depends on the kind of virus and the part of the computer they are targeted at.
Some viruses may damage certain programs and applications and not allow you to access or operate the programs properly. Some viruses target the data stored on the hard drive of your computer, which may cause the drive to crash. This will require you to reformat your hard drive in order to restore it to its factory condition and get rid of the virus. The viruses may also modify, delete or corrupt your program and system files.
Some viruses can affect your computer’s memory, slowing your system down considerably. Other viruses cannot be easily removed from your system and they reinstall or re-modify themselves into the computer system even after they are removed.
In What Ways Can a Computer Be Infected?
A computer can be infected with viruses, malware and spyware in many ways. Even if you are extremely careful about your activities on the Internet, your computer can easily pick up viruses via normal activities on the web such as:
- Opening an email attachment or accessing any spam mail
- Connecting or inserting an infected drive or disk to your computer
- Sharing files, photos or music with other users
- Accessing a website that is infected or visiting unknown links
- Downloading infected software
- Downloading free games, media players, toolbars, other system utilities, etc. that could potentially be infected
- Installing software applications without reading the complete licensing agreements
- Not running latest updates and keeping your programs and operating software up to date
- Your computer not being protected with the latest virus, malware and spyware protection
How Do You Know If Your Computer Has Been Infected by a Virus?
The question that is probably on your mind is, so how do I know if my computer is infected by a virus? There are several symptoms that can indicate that your computer is infected.
Slowdown: Slowing down of your computer, if the operating system is taking a long time to load, some of the applications and programs are taking too much time to start or your Internet has slowed down considerably.
Pop-ups: Unexpected and frequent appearance of pop-ups on your computer is a sign that your system is infected by malware.
Crashes: If your computer crashes frequently, then it is a warning that your system has a problem and should be looked into.
Excessive Hard Drive Activity: If your computer is showing signs of excessive hard drive usage even if you are not using it currently or not running any program, then it could be a sign of malware.
Hard Drive Space Running Out: If you find that your physical storage space is increasing or your files are disappearing or their names are changed, it may indicate the presence of malware. Sometimes the malware programs fill up all the available space of the hard drive causing your system to crash.
Unusual Error Messages: Seeing error messages that state some of your files are corrupt or files are missing could be a warning that your computer is infected with malware.
Unusual Activity: Some activities of your computer that should make you suspicious are if you see programs open and close automatically, your operating system shuts down automatically or if you see strange windows while booting up your system among other things.
Types of Malware
There are many kinds of malware out there that threaten computer security. While some are pretty harmless, they can be quite annoying, while others are very harmful and can create a lot of destruction. Here are some common types of malware:
- Viruses: A virus is a malicious software that attaches itself to real programs and every time the program runs the virus runs too. It begins to replicate and attach itself to other programs and causes the system to malfunction.
- Trojans: Trojans are computer programs that may claim to be a game and if run, can wipe out your hard disk. Trojans are in fact the most complicated of all computer threats and can steal all your important banking information and even empty out your bank account.
- Email Viruses: An email virus usually is in the form of an attachment to an email message and it replicates itself by mailing itself to various contacts in your address book automatically. Some email viruses do not even require you to click on the attachment and they launch themselves even when you preview the infected message.
- Worms: Worms are small pieces of software that find security holes and computer networks to replicate themselves. The replicated worm searches for another machine on the network with a security hole and copies itself into the new machine and begins to replicate itself again.
- Spyware: This is essentially malware that spies on the activities of your computer and the information of all your activities are used by the person owning the spyware to scam or cheat you.
There are many other types of malware that pose serious security threats to your computer system and cause damage such as boot sector virus, scareware, phishing, keylogger, adware, obfuscated spam, cookies, etc.
How to Prevent Viruses?
When your computer starts slowing down or behaves in an unusual manner, it is quite a possibility that it has been infected by some virus or malware. Some ways in which you can keep your computer safe from virus and malware attacks are:
- Install an antivirus or anti-malware software
- Keep your antivirus software updated
- Set up automatic scheduled scans for viruses and malware by running the antivirus software
- Keep your operating system up-to-date
- Keep your network secure by using passwords
- Do not download suspicious or unsolicited files or emails sent by strangers
- Avoid visiting questionable websites and websites that have pirated material such as music, movies, etc.
- Avoid subscribing to emails from informational websites, groups, etc.
- Keep your personal information safe
- Keep a backup of all your computer files
How to Remove Viruses?
The first step in PC virus removal is to determine if your computer has a virus. If you know that your computer has been infected by a virus or has some malware, then you must run an antivirus software to remove it. If you don’t have an antivirus software on your computer, then it may be a good idea to purchase or download the software and install it on your system immediately.
If your antivirus software finds any virus or malware on your computer, it will list all the viruses and malware it finds. Most antivirus software programs will try and remove or isolate the virus or malware. It may ask you to confirm that you want the antivirus program to remove the malware for you.
Once the antivirus has removed the virus or malware successfully, shut down the computer, reboot it and rerun the antivirus software. If this time, the software results are clear, then your computer has been cleaned successfully. In the case that the software finds different malware, you will have to repeat the above steps again until your system is completely free of all viruses and malware.
Getting Rid of Viruses or Malware on a Windows PC or Laptop
You can perform PC virus removal and remove viruses or malware from your Windows PC or laptop by following these steps:
Removing the Virus
- Enter the Safe Mode by switching your computer off and on again. When you see something on the screen, keep pressing the F8 key. The “Advanced Boot Options” menu comes up on the screen. Choose the Safe Mode with Networking. Do not connect your PC to the Internet.
- Delete all the “Temporary Files” on the computer using the Disk Cleanup tool while you are in Safe Mode. By deleting these files, you can speed up the virus scan and this may even remove the virus if it was programmed to run when the system boots up.
- There are essentially two kinds of scanners that can identify and remove computer viruses and malware – real time and on-demand. A real-time scanner works in the background and scans for viruses when you are using the computer, while, an on-demand operating scanner requires to be run every time you want to scan the system.
- Sometimes, you may require using both the types of scanners (while you can’t run the real-time scanner, it should be turned on) to remove the virus or malware. If you don’t have a virus scanner, you can connect to the Internet and download it.
- You must run the on-demand virus scan and select the full scan mode, if the option exists.
- If required, you should remove the virus manually. You should attempt manual removal of viruses only if you know how to do it. If you are not familiar with the process, then it is a good idea to get an IT expert to do it for you.
At this point you should have completed all the steps above for PC virus removal.
Recovering or Reinstalling Damaged Files or Software
Once any virus or malware is removed, you may require reinstalling some programs or files damaged by the virus.
Keeping your antivirus software updated can help to protect your PC and laptop against viruses and malware and this is extremely important as new viruses are getting created all the time.
You must also make regular backups of your files onto your external hard drive. In the case of a virus attack, taking backups can help to save valuable data from being lost.
Some Proactive Steps to Prevent a Virus Attack
Taking a few steps like installing the latest antivirus software, software updates, backing up data regularly and following safe Internet and email practices can go a long way in preventing virus and malware attacks.
Removing Viruses or Malware on a Mac
It is a widespread misconception that Macs cannot get infected by malware or viruses. That’s not true. Nevertheless, the number of such attacks are much lower than that on Windows PCs or laptops.
Mac computers are commonly targeted by malware such as MacProtector, MacDefender and MacSecurity, which give an impression that they are security or antivirus softwares. But in reality, they are malicious malware.
The two main problems faced by Mac users are: previously installed malware and false alert messages.
If you see the message “a problem has been detected with your Mac”, this is probably some malware. The steps to follow are:
- Ignore the message.
- If you have downloaded anything from the site, then quit Safari or any other browser you are using. From the downloads folder, delete any unknown files you find there.
- If you feel that the malware has already been installed on your Mac and if you are getting messages asking for your credit card details or your Apple ID, then quit the app or software you think is infected, launch the Activity Monitor, locate the particular app or search for the malware. Once you identify the malware, go into the Applications folder and delete the infected app or software permanently.
- The final step is to ensure that all your apps and software are up-to-date and that all the updates and OS fixes are directly downloaded from Apple.
If you need help removing a virus from your Mac, as a friendly reminder, we offer our expert Mac virus removal.
Advantages of Hiring a Professional PC Virus Removal Service
There are newer, more malicious and complex viruses and malware popping up every day. And in spite of taking adequate precautions and installing the latest antivirus and malware software, computer systems and entire computer networks become infected. These viruses cannot be detected by regular antivirus scans and despite taking remedial measure, they may be persistent and not go away.
This is where professional virus removal service professionals have an important role to play. They are equipped with sophisticated and the latest virus analysis and scanning tools, have the capability of detecting and removing the most advanced and serious computer threats and ensure that none of your valuable information is lost. These professionals can also deploy firewalls and other advanced security measures for your computer networks to ensure that you have no virus or malware threats in the future.
We live in a complex and networked environment and the threats from virus and malware attacks don’t really end with a few security program installations. The key is to understand these threats and how to mitigate them successfully. The best way is to prevent the threats from becoming a reality rather than taking remedial actions when it is too late.
If you need PC Virus Removal, please contact us for fast, friendly help.
We serve computer users anywhere in the US that have virus infections using a remote connection over the Internet for immediate service.
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