Computers have made our lives a whole lot easier. It’s a simple, undeniable fact. Using these devices, however, also means dealing with another undeniable fact: malicious software, a.k.a. malware. Viruses, Trojans, computer worms and other sorts of malware can infect your device any time, and they can be a hassle to get rid of.
If you think your computer is infected with malware, here’s how to handle it.
Step 1: Use a reliable antivirus program
If you already have antivirus software installed on your computer and it still got infected with a virus, the software you were using is most likely unreliable. Uninstall it, and get a new one. You can download one online or buy an installer from your local tech shop. Either way, it’s best to get the paid version of your preferred program rather than its free counterpart, so that you can get access to its full host of features.
Step 2: Scan your computer
A wide variety of malicious programs exist today, and some of the most common include trojans, viruses, worms, and ransomware. In order to check if your computer is actually infected with any of these (as well as identify which of them may have infected your computer), perform a full scan of your computer using your new antivirus software, and make sure that the antivirus is fully updated before you start the scan.
This may take a while, depending on the number of files on your computer and the number of drives on it, so be patient. Once it’s done, you’ll know exactly which file on which drive is infected.
Step 3: Remove the malware
Once your software identifies the infection, it will provide you with prompts on how to treat it. Antivirus programs all have different methods, but some of the most common options include permanent deletion of the virus or storing it in a secure folder (a.k.a. “quarantine”) where it won’t be able to cause more damage.
Step 4: Stop future infections
When it comes to virus protection, prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent your computer from getting infected by taking these precautionary measures:
- Perform scans using your antivirus software at regular intervals. Most programs have the option to schedule automatic scans based on your preferred degree of frequency: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, and so on.
- Do not open suspicious-looking emails. They could be infected with spyware.
- Only visit secure websites. (URLs beginning with https://)
- Download Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. You’re probably wondering: “Does VPN protect against viruses?” A VPN encrypts your online traffic, which means hackers won’t be able to inject malware into your systems through an insecure connection.
Follow all of the aforementioned steps, and won’t have to worry about computer viruses again.
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If you want complete computer and internet security, pair your antivirus software with a high-quality VPN like Hotspot Shield. Our VPN uses the toughest security protocols, such as TLS 1.2 with perfect forward secrecy and 128-bit AES data encryption, to make sure hackers won’t be able to access and infect your device.