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A Guide to Computer Viruses: Ways to Detect & Remove Them

Computer viruses are highly contagious, so everyone must take good care of their devices. With new variations of the virus malicious virus programs emerging frequently, your data and devices become even more susceptible to infection and data loss. 

A system virus interrupts the computer performance by replicating itself, multiplying, and spreading unstoppably throughout the operating system. 

While spreading quickly, it erases the files, reformats the hard drive, and results in frequent system crashes. 

As we are becoming tech-dependent, it is important to learn and understand the tips to safely navigate the internet.

This article is an ultimate guide to navigating the internet securely. Let’s first learn how your computer gets infected with a virus. 

How Do Computers Get Viruses

Not just one, but multiple ways exist that make your computer virus infected – downloading being the most prevalent one. When you download pirated movies, songs, games, photos, or free plugins, your computer starts to behave abnormally. 

Moreover, malicious and illegitimate websites and apps are among other reasons that result in virus intrusion. When you accidentally click a link or download an attachment intentionally or unintentionally, your device becomes the culprit. 

In addition, the files that you download from the internet are not necessarily safe. If you ever notice that there are duplicates or other suspicious occurences with the data, applications to detect such files are a good investment.

More often than not, connecting virus-infected external devices like an HDD or USB to the computer introduces malicious programs to the system as well.

Ways to Spot a Computer Virus

Ways to Spot a Computer Virus

Your computer is infected with a virus if you notice any one or combination of issues mentioned below:

  • Autonomous email messages sent from your account
  • Text errors followed by sudden system shutdowns or abrupt crashes
  • A new app that you are sure that you haven’t downloaded on the computer
  • Frequent pop-up windows or messages appear on the computer screen
  • Issues in shutting down or restarting the computer as it won’t boot properly
  • Hard drive getting full without you adding data to your computer in any form
  • Missing files or unresponsive documents that won’t open even after multiple clicks
  • Slow performance of your browser and redirect to other websites or search engines

Ways to Prevent Your Computer Against Virus Attacks

While cybercriminals are developing new versions of malicious programs that are smarter and more disruptive, there are ways to protect your computer and files from online attacks. 

No single solution provides you full protection against virus intrusion; the best way to protect yourself is to prevent virus intrusion in the first place. But how would you do that? 

Install Antivirus App

Get an antivirus application or antispyware software installation as soon as you set up your computer. After you download an antivirus, keep it up to date with the latest available version.

Apart from that, you need to keep your operating system and all other apps up to date. Make sure to keep the browser’s security settings latest. 

Back up your files regularly to the external hard drive or the cloud storage to ensure you can easily restore them in the event of data loss. 

Avoid Malicious Links

Do not click any questionable pop-ups or links, and avoid visiting any illegitimate websites. You might see a red unlocked lock sign displayed on the left side of the URL as it indicates that the website is not secure. 

On entering a URL, if your browser displays an error message or a pop-up window, read the message carefully as it might be an alert message that the website is dangerous. 

Never open an email message or attachment if it appears malicious or delivered from an untrusted sender. The hackers may use any known email address or may use a ‘Re:’ in the email’s subject line to trick the recipients. 

Never Connect to Public WiFi

Avoid connecting your digital devices, including laptops, tablets, or smartphones, to public WiFi. Unsecured networks can make the devices susceptible to viruses. Use a personal hotspot instead to connect your device to the internet. 

However, if you need to connect to the public WiFi for some unavoidable reason, try to use a VPN to protect the device from online security threats. 

If your computer is infected with the virus somehow, the first thing that you should do is scan the system completely using an antivirus application. Deleting a virus can be a tricky task; try to restore your Mac from the earlier version of the backup. 

Delete Temporary Files

Besides, delete all the temporary files stored in other storage on your computer. The method to delete these files depends upon the operating system that your computer operates on. 

If the computer is not working appropriately due to the virus, try to start your computer in Safe Mode. Sometimes, you may need to reinstall the operating system to remove the virus from your computer. 

To sum up, education and prevention from viruses are the best and most effective ways to ensure a healthy computer. A little consideration while browsing the web will give you an unmatched internet experience.

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