One of the biggest concerns people have when using their PC is trying to avoid getting any harmful software. Whether that be viruses or malware, these things are best kept as far away from your computer as possible. Unfortunately, that is not always easy, and sometimes, you will get a stray virus. From this point, how do you deal with viruses already on your computer?
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Prepare your computer for virus removal
Before you do this, put your computer into safe mode and disconnect from the Internet. By doing this, you prevent the virus from being able to propagate over the Internet, as well as prevent the virus from doing any further damage to your computer. To put your computer into safe mode, power off your computer and power it back on. Once the screen lights up, push F8 on your keyboard, which will bring you to the ‘Advanced boost options’ menu. In this menu, select ‘Safe Mode with Networking, while disconnected from the Internet. After this, perform disk clean up to deal with any temporary files. You do this by clicking the Search icon on the taskbar, then typing ‘Temporary Files’ and selecting ‘Delete temporary files’. This will open your Settings, at which point you can select what files you want to delete. You may also want to download a free PC cleaner as an alternative.
Use (or download) a virus scanner
Once you have done the above steps, you can move onto the next step of setting up your virus scanner. If you have a virus scanner program, you should scan your computer. Usually, people will use the Windows Defender program to protect their computer, though things may still slip by if they are not careful. It is also possible for the Windows Defender program to be disabled, which means that your computer is vulnerable to viruses being downloaded. There are very few situations where you need to turn it off, so only do so as a last resort.
Once the scan begins and the scanner detects the virus, the next step is that the virus will be quarantined and removed from your system to avoid it from causing any more harm than it already may have. Once the file is quarantined, reboot your computer back into the normal boot mode instead of safe mode.
While Windows Defender is a decent enough virus scanner, there are superior paid options out there. For example, one of the best virus scanners is Kaspersky Internet Security, noted for having a greater catalog of known viruses and malware to protect you from. There are other virus scanners you can try besides Windows Defender and Kaspersky, such as Malware Bytes.
Plan for the future
If you got a virus, that would suggest that you have made a mistake that lead to it being downloaded. However, there are things you can do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Change all your passwords
One of the things that leaves people most vulnerable is if one or more of their passwords are compromised. This becomes all the more likely if you use the same password for multiple websites, and especially so if you only have one password for everything. Change all of your passwords, and make sure that they are all secure passwords. No common words, no easily guessed numbers, no simple letter/number combinations. You could create a purely randomized password, which can be done using a program like LastPass, which also helps secure your passwords and keep you locked in on your devices. As an extra measure to keep you secure, get a notebook and write down every password for every website so that you don’t forget any of your passwords.
Update your software
Another major security hole is if you are using outdated software. For example, an Internet browser may have a major security vulnerability in an old update that has since been addressed in a more recent update. This is good not just for preventing viruses from downloading, but also prevent malicious actors from getting access to your computer.
Be cautious of people and websites
While there is such a thing as paranoia, you should look at things on the Internet with a more skeptical eye. Do you see a website that seems to be suggesting it is offering you the moon? Did someone add you on Facebook whom you’ve never met? Is one of your friends sending you a message that sounds nothing like them and showing you a link?
These are all significant risk factors that you should be mindful of, and ones that trick even the most cautious of people. A YouTuber named Jim Browning, who discusses and targets scammers, was himself affected by an incredibly clever scam, so you should never think that you cannot be made vulnerable. If anything, thinking you can’t get scammed or compromised is the best way to be affected.