Back to Top

How to get rid of computer viruses

computer virusesComputer viruses can be very dangerous! Gone are the days when a simple system scan was guaranteed to fix any problem, provided that you had a top-of-the-line antivirus installed. These days, cyber criminals create all sorts of malicious applications, which can intercept our keyboards' keystrokes and send them to their creators, capture the content of our screens and upload it to their makers' servers, and even encrypt all our personal data, rendering it useless. Still, there are several effective things that you can do to get rid of computer viruses.

Begin by installing an antivirus, of course. Microsoft Windows has included its own product starting with the 7th version of the operating system, and now that Windows 10 is out, we can confidently say that Windows Defender, the antivirus that is bundled with the popular OS, is good enough to face most cyber threats. Still, we can't ignore the fact that, despite having the needed financial resources, Microsoft is still a young player in the security field. So, if you want to be 100% confident that your computer can face any cyber security incident, head over to this site, and then pick one of the top ranking antivirus applications.

Once that the antivirus is installed, run a deep computers can, which is often called a "full system scan". The operation may take many hours and even days, especially if you've got lots of files stored on your computer. If you are in a hurry, just run a "system scan"; it will help you determine if the operating system is infected, but it will not scan other files for potential threats. It's not the ideal solution, but it will work if you can't afford to keep your computer powered on for days in a row.

If the antivirus tells you that the computer is infected, it will give you two options: disinfect a damaged file, or delete it for good. Choose the latter version whenever it is possible to do so; the antivirus may be able to disinfect some files, but it will irreversibly destroy others while trying to remove the viruses that have been planted inside them. Hopefully, you've already gotten your data backed up on an external hard drive, so you won't lose a lot of precious information.

You may discover that some files can't be disinfected, and can't be deleted either, because they are in use. In this case, most antiviruses will ask you to restart the computer. Still, some stubborn viruses will refuse to die even after a computer restart! The only functional solution is to download an antivirus rescue disk and boot your computer using it; this way, the viruses won't have the chance to load in the computer memory at startup.

Sometimes your computer may be infected with a rootkit, a piece of malware that can't be removed using a regular antivirus, because it installs and runs before the operating system itself is loaded, so it can bypass your antivirus' security checks. Fortunately, there are several applications that can help you determine if your computer is infected with a rootkit or not.

Sadly, if your PC is a victim of ransomware, there aren't too many things that you can do about it. Head over to this site and see if their tutorial can help you get rid of the malware; otherwise, you will have to format the hard drive and reinstall the operating system and all your applications. Don't ever send cyber criminals the requested ransom money; they won't email you the data decryption key anyway. Hopefully, if you have backed up a full system image of your operating system, you will be able to restore every application within an hour or so.