How to Get Rid of a Virus

How to Get Rid of a Virus

Is your computer constantly dragging and lagging? Do you keep seeing strange messages appear on your screen or software programs you do not remember downloading?

If you answered “yes” to one or both questions, you might be dealing with a computer virus. Viruses can sneakily creep into your computer and wreak havoc on its internal system in no time. It is important to know how to recognize these malware and learn how to get rid of a virus once and for all.

What is a Virus?

Computer Virus Overview

computer virus
Photo credit by: ictworks.org

Before you can learn how to get rid of a virus on your computer, it is important to understand what a virus is. A computer virus could be compared to the kind many of us come down with during cold and flu season. The illness variety causes you to feel sick, lingers on, inhibits you from working and playing as normal, and usually requires you to take something strong to root it out.

Well, a computer virus is much like this. It is manufactured and created to copy itself repeatedly, spread throughout your computer files and programs, inhibit your device from achieving its regular function, or cause it to stop running completely.

How They Spread

how virus spread
Photo credit by: ipa.go.jp

Computer viruses are spread through many malware mediums like fraudulent programs and websites, worms, ransom ware, and Trojans. You can gather viruses going about your daily business on your computer and not even know it.

Things like entering a virus-ridden website, clicking “open” on an email or attachment containing spam, and sharing photos, files, or music or a few ways a virus can enter your computer. Other methods that may open you up to a virus include downloading media players, toolbars, and “free” games, or installing software programs but failing to take a careful look at the license to ensure legitimacy.
 
In learning how to get rid of a virus, it is crucial to know these invaders are designed to damage your computer by impairing programs, removing files, or making alternations to your hard drive. Some viruses reproduce like wildfire, filling your network and impeding any actions you try to take on the internet. Less potent viruses can still wreak havoc on your computer function, inhibiting optimal performance, reducing memory ability, and leading to consistent web and hard drive crashes.

Signs to Watch For

Signs to Watch For​
Photo credit by:heimdalsecurity.com

There are key signs to watch for when learning how to get rid of a virus. You may notice your computer functioning slowly or identify unexplained, inconsistent computer activity. You might see mysterious loss of computer data and have constant crashes whenever you try to use your device.

Another sign that a virus may be present is when pop-up messages appear on your screen suddenly and you find them difficult to close out of. You could hear the hard drive running loudly for no particular reason or notice computer programs pop up you have never seen before or did not run on your own.

The Danger of Viruses

They are Not One Size Fits All

As you have likely gathered by now, viruses are dangerous invaders to your computer system in its entirety. It is important to learn how to get rid of a virus on your computer because it not only harms and disrupts your files but can extract your identity and personal information.

One of the most dangerous aspects of viruses is they vary in shape, size, severity, and nature. They are clever invaders that will always look for loopholes and vulnerable areas to sneak into your computer. Common virus types include key loggers, trojans, spy-ware, and ransom ware.

Arming Your Computer

Before you even learn how to get rid of a virus, there are key steps you need to take to arm your computer. Make the investment to purchase anti-virus computer software, which helps to build a barrier between computer viruses and your device.

If a virus were to squeeze through the barrier, the anti-virus software can still check your computer and usually eradicate the problem. Always make sure your anti-virus computer software is completely updated to fight new viruses that pop up constantly. You will also want to install firewalls, heighten the security settings in your browsers, and make sure you install any updates for your computer’s operating system often.
 
Stay away from websites that seem suspicious and never download anything unless you know you can trust the site. Even if you find free software applications, check them closely and analyze any relevant license agreements to make sure everything is copacetic. Finally, never open emails or other messages if you do not know who the sender is and always delete messages you think could be spam.

How to Get Rid of a Virus

Enact Safe Mode

Enact Safe Mode​
Photo credit by:thewindowsclub.com

The first step you need to take when learning how to get rid of a virus is to disconnect the internet on your computer and leave it off until you clean it completely. This could help you keep any current malware from delving deeper into your computer and stealing your identity. With a PC, enact Safe Mode in Microsoft. This can help prevent further malware from spreading and make it easier to eradicate the virus down the line.

Remove Temporary Files

Remove Temporary Files​
Photo credit by: wikihow.com

The next step in learning how to get rid of a virus is to remove temporary files. With Safe Mode on, you will want to scan your computer for viruses. However, you need any temporary files removed first. This makes it easier for your computer to detect viruses, will open more space on your computer, and could even kick out some malware.

Boot Malware Detection

Boot Malware Detection​
Photo credit by: bleepincomputer.com

At this stage in identifying how to get rid of a virus, you need to boot your malware detection scanner. If you have purchased and downloaded antivirus software, use a different program in case the old one was not strong enough to notice the virus. No one program suffices to ward off all viruses, so you want to use all the resources at your disposal you can.

You can choose from a couple different malware detection programs. There are the programs that operate in real time, always checking in the back of your computer for viruses. The other are known as on-demand scanners, which look for viruses only when you physically activate the program and start a scan.
 
With real-time scanners, you ought to only use one at a time, but you can have multiple on-demand on at once. The latter increases your chance of detecting an array of malware types considerably. Start by using an on-demand malware detection program, followed by a complete scan with your real-time software.

Check Your Web Browser

Check Your Web Browser​
Photo credit by: malwaretips.com

Once you have used on-demand and real-time scanners to run a thorough check and clean out your computer, it is time to check your web browser. At this step of learning how to get rid of a virus, you need to make sure that the malware did not harm your files or web settings.

Viruses commonly change the homepage of your web browser to make it easier to spread the infection, show advertisements, and stop you from browsing properly. Before you check and open a new web browser, look at the settings for your homepage and connection. Make sure the site is known to you and safe to open.

Start File Recovery

Start File Recovery​
Photo credit by: bleepincomputer.com

If you have trouble starting your web browser or these initial steps regarding how to get rid of a virus do not resolve the issue, you may need to reinstall Windows and start file recovery. If you have to wipe the hard drive and start over again, put your files on a flash drive or USB to preserve them for later.

Export and save your settings for email programs and make sure your device is backed up so you do not lose any important information. Once you have saved and recovered all your files, you can reboot the hard drive and reinstall Windows.

Clean Your PC or Laptop

Clean Your PC or Laptop​
Photo credit by: howtogeek.com

The final step for how to get rid of a virus is to make sure you clean your PC or laptop device. Keep your real-time antivirus software updated at all times and install a program that wards off suspicious websites.

Always pay close attention to your online email, bank, or social media accounts once you have dealt with a virus, to make sure nothing is out of order and the infection did not spread. Change your passwords to be safe and always have a solid plan to backup your files in case of further issues.

Conclusion

 

Learning how to get rid of a virus on your computer and keeping malware at bay takes time and a certain amount of financial investment. You need to make sure you have the right programs scanning your computer, keeping it clean from infection and reducing risk of further viruses down the road. Always backup and save your files, abstain from opening suspicious emails or webpages, and change your important passwords regularly to ensure you are not susceptible to hackers.

Leave a Reply

comment-avatar

*