A computer virus is a malicious program that is designed to keep the computer from normal functioning. It infects programs and files in a computer, maliciously altering the way they respond to commands. Some of these programs are designed to stop the system from working altogether. Worst of all, all of them are designed to infect as many files and programs in computing systems or network as they can.
How do these malicious software applications find you?
Computer viruses find their way into computers in a number of different ways, with the leading one being through normal web activities such as:
• Opening email attachments or spam mail
• Installing mainstream software applications without fully reading license agreements
• Sharing photos, files or music with other users
• Downloading free toolbars, games, and other seemingly harmless system utilities
• Visiting infected websites
What are the common symptoms that your computer has been infected?
Your computer might be infected if you recognize any of the following symptoms:
• Erratic system behaviour
• Frequent unexplainable crashes
• Slow than normal performance
• Unexplained data loss
Safe removal of computer viruses
If you suspect that your computer is infected with a virus, the best way to detect and remove it is to run an antivirus scan. Perform a full system scan to help detect the viruses that are slowing or making your system to be erratic. If you are unable to boot into your operating system, boot into Safe Mode and run the scan from within the Safe Mode. If a virus is detected, a prompt to delete, quarantine or move the infected files to the virus vault will be given.
There are multiple antivirus software applications that are available in the market today. Some of these are free for use while others are paid, though you can still install them to help protect your computer. In addition, there are firewalls that come with the operating system that offer basic protection against the viruses. However, it should be noted that there are instances where the viruses are stronger than the antivirus installed in a system.
Here is what to do if you discover that your system is infected with a computer virus:
Respond to the alert
A premium and regularly updated version of antivirus software will immediately alert the user about any kind of a threat it faces. If correctly configured, the antivirus software will attempt to isolate or remove the virus from the infected computing system. It is recommended to configure the software to remove the viruses automatically.
Once the virus has been successfully removed, the user is prompted about its execution. It is advisable to turn off the computer, reboot and scan once again. This way, you can be able to confidently tell if the virus has been removed or is still residing in your system. If the software gives a clear result, then this means that the computer free from the virus threat. If it is still detecting a threat, then you will have to re-run the scan all over again.
Removing computer viruses manually
For this option to work, the user must be knowledgeable about the operating system registry, how to access the program files, and how to get into the system, and then manually delete the offending program and system files. This done, the user must run a complete antivirus scan.
Many of the today’s viruses are aimed to target the user’s personal details. If notice your system is performing sluggishly, then it is most likely infected. That said, if programs are running in an unexpected way, then the most recommended thing to do is to disconnect system from the internet so that no personal info is sent to third parties in case of an attack. This done, an antivirus program needs to be run from the computer or directly from an appropriate disc to remove the virus.
However, note that this option won’t work if you are using an online virus scanner as this tool might not be able to detect the threat. And if it doesn’t, then the risk is significantly increased as you might perceive that there are no threats while in actual sense the system is completely compromised.
Should you format the hard disk to try and remove viruses?
A computer owner should refrain from formatting the hard disk as an option of virus removal, and for a good reason. Formatting the disk is not always the solution as there are no guarantees that the virus won’t show its ugly face again. So unless and until you have tried all of the available options where virus removal is concerned, you must never format your system. After successfully getting rid of the virus, ensure to install the best and most updated antivirus software so that you remain protected. Last but not least, make sure to run regular scans so as to stay fully protected.
If you are unable to remove the threat, either manually or though the help of reliable antivirus software, then it is recommended that you contact Birmingham computer support experts to help you out. These professionals have the knowledge and the most updated tools to help remove any viruses from different computing systems.