What to do if your computer is infected

Here is a step by step guide and some tips on how to approach your computer if it is infected:

  • Disable your computer’s Internet connection.
  • Disconnect the computer from a Local Area Network to avoid further infection of other computers.
  • Boot the computer from the boot disk or restart it using the Safe Mode if an error occurs during startup.
  • Create backups of all your important data and save the information in an external drive (such as floppy disks, CDs, DVDs, flash drives, or external hard drives).
  • Procure reputable antivirus software and install according to the instructions.
  • If your system already has an installed antivirus program, get the most recent updates for its database. Avoid using the infected computer for gathering updates. Instead, use another computer. This is vital as an Internet connection can transmit your data to other parties or forward itself to all entries in your email’s address book. You can also get updated antivirus programs from official vendors or dealers.
  • Execute a scan of your entire system. Antivirus solutions can inform you of any viruses encountered in a scan, and give you choices on how to quarantine and eliminate the infections. These programs can also produce reports on what viruses managed to infiltrate your system.
  • Corrupted data may necessitate specialized tools for recovery. Information can be found at your antivirus’ website. Use the information from the last step to download the recommended utilities.
  • The virus may have infiltrated your computer through weak points in Microsoft Outlook. In this case, clean the computer by erasing the infected objects. Scan and clean the client databases. The result? The malicious code will not reactivate and re-instate itself when infected messages are accessed. Gather the requisite updates or patches and install these.
  • Some viruses may prove difficult to remove. A virus can potentially corrupt your data while it infects the system. The corrupted data is not always recoverable, so delete the infected file if the virus cannot be eliminated.
  • If the symptoms of infection still occur after scanning the computer and testing its hardware and software with the proper tools, technical support is your last hope. Send your vendor a message detailing your problem as soon as possible.
  • Scan all storage media and disks that may have been infiltrated by the virus. Do this after cleaning up the infection. Check if your antivirus software has been properly installed and configured.
  • Above all, practice common sense and ‘defensive’ computing. These tips will aid you in securing your computer against any infections.

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Posted in Viruses

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