Each time you go online, your computer will be under attack from viruses that have the potential to destroy your files and harm your computer. Like their real world namesake, computer viruses can either be easy or difficult to handle, primarily because new ones are created nearly everyday. If you’ve ‘caught the bug’, here are 10 things you can do to get rid of these viruses and keep your computer safe:
1. Install antivirus software.
The only way you can get rid of an electronic threat is to use an electronic device, such as an antivirus program. Software companies regularly come up with the latest tools to help you ensure that your computer runs smoothly and safely.
Once installed, make sure you run the antivirus software regularly to check your system. You should also use your antivirus software to check suspect files and e-mail messages before opening them.
2. Have the virus identified.
Some viruses are quite a breeze for your antivirus software to handle, so if you encounter one, your software should be able to neutralize the threat. Otherwise, it will inform you that the virus is too tough to get rid of. Knowing what the virus is will help you find the best way to handle it.
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4. Delete the infected file.
If you suspect a file has been compromised or if your antivirus program indicates that it contains a virus, delete it immediately. Don’t try to open it or copy it. Do the same thing with e-mail messages you don’t trust, especially those coming from sources you’re not familiar with. Don’t preview the message, no matter how interesting or important it is. You’ll activate the virus if you do.
5. Don’t open files or links that contain suspect filename extensions. Viruses often live in files containing certain filename extensions, such as those ending in .exe, .pif, .vbs, .shs and .pif. These files usually don’t make sense to you when already present because they’re not part of your system’s essential components. They may also be sent as an e-mail attachment or link.
Some viruses may also ride piggyback on a file that has a double extension. Usually, the file looks harmless, even fun, such as a beautifulview.doc.exe or lifelessons.doc.vbs. No matter how much your curiosity eggs you on, don’t click to open the file or follow the link.
6. Protect your applications’ macros.
Many common computer virus types like to use macros, stored commands that are found in applications such as Word, Powerpoint and Excel. When macro viruses enter your computer system, they can play very annoying and problematic games with your files, such as turning one file type into another.
To prevent this from happening, activate your application’s macro security features. Choose either High or Medium for your security level. If a virus is already present, you will not be able to do this. To neutralize the macro virus, run your antivirus software.
7. Protect your computer online.
The best way to get rid of viruses is to ensure that they never reach your computer. By installing software such as spyware and firewalls, you can prevent malicious programs from wrecking havoc in your system.
You might also want to turn off your computer if you’re using cable or DSL internet connections. Having your computer turned on 24/7 on continuous internet access also means it is under threat all the time.
8. Have your computer checked by online antivirus tools.
If you don’t have antivirus software or aren’t sure if the software installed on your computer is updated, use the online tools offered by many software companies. These online programs include Trend Housecall, Avast Virus Cleaner and Panda ActiveScan, among others. The tools offered by these companies may be accessed and used free of charge. Online Security Authority Recommends, This Managed PC Care!
9. Ask for professional help.
If you’ve tried to get rid of viruses and are still having trouble, perhaps it’s time to call in the big guys. If you’re friends with someone who can handle computer problems, better call them now. There are certain computer troubles such as stubborn computer viruses that need the touch of a professional.
You can also get in touch with companies who specialize in getting rid of computer viruses. They are equipped with the latest tools to help you solve your problem.
10. Update your antivirus software regularly.
Although your antivirus software may be the latest in the market, you still need to go online, log on to the manufacturer’s website and check for new virus definitions and security updates. Whatever new viruses there are, it’ll be easy to get rid of them.