How To Remove Viruses From Your Computer

Computer viruses can be rather frustrating when they successfully infect your device and other installed programs or stored files. Plus, malicious software could take various forms, making it a bit challenging to instantly identify, isolate, and address such threats. Like in human bodies, a virus spreads rapidly in computers, and in most cases, it’s too late by the time people realize their devices are compromised. 

Removing or preventing viruses from penetrating your computer could steer you away from a long list of troubles. More than corruption and loss of files, you could end up facing data breaches, identity theft, hacking of confidential accounts such as banks and social media, permanent damages to your hard disk, and so much. So, be sure to have preventive measures in place and learn how to remove viruses from your computer.

What Is A Computer Virus? 

So what is a virus? In layman’s terms, a computer virus is a program whose codes are designed to infect and damage a certain device or server when run or triggered. A virus is only one of the many forms of malicious software.

Generally, computer viruses need host programs where their codes could be written. Through the help of such hosts, the malicious codes automatically replicate themselves, modifying other computer programs and taking control over computer servers. 

Developers of viruses mainly aim to exploit security loopholes and vulnerabilities. Through social engineering deceptions, they utilize such loopholes and vulnerabilities as gateways to further infect systems. Not all viruses, however, are created for malicious intentions. Some are created for ethical hacking which primarily seeks for ways to further enhance certain programs, software, devices, or servers. 

Nevertheless, like most malware, here are the common reasons why someone would design a virus.

  • Make monetary gains.

  • Steal valuable data.

  • Sabotage an organization, institution, or agency.

  • Send a political message or make a statement.

  • Specifically attack the owner for personal reasons.

  • Take revenge.

  • Satisfy personal curiosity or amusement.

How To Get Rid of a Virus On Your Computer

Viruses can take many forms such as email attachments, sales advertisements, system upgrades, and more. Hence, it could get a bit challenging to keep your computer virus-free. Depending on the damages, you could bid farewell to important files or confidential data and just move on, or you could end up needing professional help for malware removal which could cost you a hefty sum.

Nevertheless, it never hurts to learn and stick with the basics. Here are some efficient and effective ways on how to get rid of a virus.

  • Regular Checkup

The first step to keeping your computer clean is to conduct a virus check regularly. Unfortunately, this basic troubleshooting step is often overlooked. Remember that the first phase of malware protection is malware identification. After all, you can’t address something you’re not aware of.

When conducting regular checkups and/or disk cleanups, permanently delete unused apps and unknown files. It also helps to clear your web browser and app cache. Then in case a virus or any possible threat is detected, immediately go offline and/or use your computer in safe mode. 

  • Built-in Security Protocols and Controls

Computers, especially the newer models, are designed with built-in safety protocols and security controls. Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials, for instance, are pre-installed to provide basic protection from malware. Mac is also packed with similar rigid protocols, so be sure to enable or activate these for added real-time protection.

  • Third-Party Antivirus Program

Probably the most recommended precautionary measure is to install antivirus software. Such programs are specifically designed to automatically scan, quarantine, and fix computer viruses.

Depending on the antivirus program you utilize, removing a virus comprises a series of steps. For instance, a Trojan Virus removal would include installation of software, offline and advanced scanning, isolating all detected threats, providing recommendations, and initiating the prompted commands. 

  • Reset or Restore Your Computer

Resetting or restoring your computer to the default factory settings could also aid in getting rid of unwanted and/or malicious software. Be sure, however, to backup all important files and valuable data before initiating a reset or restore. 

  • Update Your Operating System (OS), Browsers, and Login Credentials

Updating your systems, browsers, and accounts could go a long way before and after your computer is compromised by a virus. One of the main purposes of software updates is to patch security loopholes and vulnerabilities. Hence, an outdated system is more likely to get infiltrated.

It also helps to change your login credentials especially on sensitive or confidential accounts such as those for online banking and social networking. This is because most viruses are designed to record keystrokes and/or take full control of other computer programs.

The Different Types of Computer Viruses To Avoid

Another vital step in removing a virus is acquiring enough knowledge about it, including its types and forms. In the same way that there are various types of malware or malicious software, a virus has sub-categories as well. 

Computer worms or viruses can be categorized into three major types depending on the methods of attack. 

  1. Macro Virus

Macro viruses utilize built-in programming codes and scripts wherein when opened or clicked, they automatically replicate, causing rapid widespread infections.

  1. Boot Record Infector

Also known as boot or system viruses, boot record infectors utilize hard disks to penetrate and infect. As the name implies, when the user boots up utilizing the infected disk, it could open access and give control to hackers. 

  1. File Infector

File infectors utilize files, typically .exe or .com, to compromise computer programs. Such viruses could remain inactive and undetected until the infected file is opened. It can be easily transmitted over wireless or remote networks, through the Internet, or by using unprotected hard disks or flash drives.

Properly taking care of your computer systems will keep your device running at optimum condition. Being on top of your device security can greatly aid in keeping your personal data private and secure.