While proper computer safety includes using a reputable antivirus program, there are several areas where antivirus will not be enough to solve your problems. If your computer is already infected, some malware is sophisticated enough to prevent you from running or installing an antivirus program. Even worse, it might interfere with the antivirus install or otherwise give you the impression that things are fine while slowing down your machine or stealing your data.

It’s no secret that cyber security tools and programs are unable to completely protect from malware. There is a constant arms race between cyber security experts and hackers. Unfortunately, the hackers have several advantages. Because they can design malware to circumvent existing software, they can take the initiative in designing viruses which will get through existing systems designed to protect against intrusion. On the flip side, when a new type of attack is discovered, cybersecurity experts must react to it, and can only devise countermeasures once in reaction to the attacks once they have been perpetrated.

This often leaves a vulnerability window, where between the time that a piece of malware is discovered and analyzed and the security updates meant to guard against it are pushed through, the malware can wreak havoc unrestricted. Additionally, if malware can successfully stay hidden, no antivirus programs will be able to pick up on it, as they rely on their database of known viruses to keep your computer safe.

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Unfortunately, as noted, sometimes viruses will infect even a well-guarded computer. And once they have taken hold of a computer, it can be incredibly difficult to get them out without experience and the specialized knowledge of a virus removal technician. Most laypeople will not be able to do much more than attempt to run an antivirus scan, or try uninstalling an unfamiliar program. Therefore, in the situation that your computer is infected, or may have been infected by a virus, there is no shame in bringing it to the experts to cleanse your computer of any unwanted pieces of code.

Once a computer expert has the computer, they will typically be able to quickly isolate the problem and have the tools to resolve it. Thankfully, viruses are limited by the constraints of the machine, and there are several steps that can be taken to escalate the cleaning of the computer if needed. The more persistent and powerful a virus is, the more important it is that you remove it from your machine.