Oh no, your computer is infected by a virus! This isn’t the rosiest of situations to be in. What do you do now? Your data is under threat, not to mention your hard drives and other portable devices. As if that weren’t bad enough, there is always a distinct possibility of someone controlling your computer from thousands of miles away. No matter what form it takes, a virus is bad business … and since there are more than a million types of viruses at last count, it may be only a matter of time before you fall prey to a virus attack.

The most important advice we can give anyone who believes he or she has a virus-infected computer is this – DON’T PANIC! Also, don’t assume that you need to wipe your computer clean and start from scratch. You may lose some data in the end, but you don’t have to lose everything!

Steps to Remove a Virus

First things first – you need to determine if your computer is infected by a virus at all. You might suspect your computer of having a virus if it seems sluggish. If your browser suddenly looks different or automatically goes to a site you don’t recognise, that’s a good indication that you’ve got a virus. If your computer is unstable and crashes fairly often, you may have a problem. In addition, if you try to access files but receive a message saying they’re corrupted, that’s another sign.

The basic steps to remove a virus are:

  • Buy or download a reliable antivirus software
  • Install the antivirus software
  • Update the antivirus software with the latest virus definitions
  • Perform a complete system scan

Methods of Eliminating a Virus

Usually, an antivirus programme uses one of two methods to eliminate the virus:

  • When the virus can be easily identified and can be removed without affecting other files, the antivirus programme removes it from the host place.
  • Quarantine is deployed when the virus cannot be easily identified and removed from the file, and removal of the virus means removal of the complete file.

Even after the virus is removed from your system, the next step is to scan the whole system to ensure that no infected files remain. We recommend using the latest antivirus software and firewall, to prevent viruses from infecting your computer in the first place. If you have any concerns regarding viruses, ask for help from a security professional. Stay tuned to this section as we bring you next week’s information on how to avoid being infected by a virus!