You may not think of it on a regular basis but protecting your computer from virtual threats is one of the most important things you can be doing. Identity and personal information theft are on the rise, especially when it comes to that information being stored and easily accessible on your computer.
If you’re not protecting your personal computer and mobile devices, you are more likely to get infected with malware than not. It’s just the truth in today’s world. You may even get infected with malware with the appropriate security precautions. Malware is constantly evolving, and hackers are finding new ways to get your data.
So, how do you remove malware from your computer? If you’ve ever had a computer virus, you know just how difficult it can be to operate your computer normally when infected, let alone remove problems.
In this post, we examine the best ways to get rid of malware and get your computer back in shape.
How Does Malware Work?
First, it’s valuable to understand how malware works. In its most basic form, malware tricks you into putting the virus onto your computer. Malware tricks you by disguising itself as a part of seemingly normal software or emails. Once inside your system, there are a variety of different things it can try to accomplish, including:
- Installing keylogger applications
- Blocking access to your files and personal information
- Overloading the system with pop-up ads
- Damaging essential pieces of your operating system, rending the computer unusable
Due to its hidden nature, malware can sometimes be really difficult to remove entirely from your system. Many people have no idea where to start when it comes to repair. Luckily there are tons of resources available for you to use to remove the malware from your computer.
Prevention is the Best Repair
Easily the best way to remove malware from your computer is to prevent it from ever infecting you. When you get ahead of the ball, you save yourself the headache and cost of curing your computer.
Some of the best prevention techniques include:
- Installing antivirus software – antivirus software is one of the best prevention techniques because it is developed by companies who are dedicated to protecting computers. Antivirus tools run quietly in the background, scanning your computer for external threats and quarantining suspicious items immediately.If you don’t already have some form of protection installed on your computer, you should consider getting the best antivirus as soon as possible. There are lots of free options, along with more comprehensive paid options.
- Avoiding suspicious items online – the difference between a professionally-created website and one whose sole purpose is to give you a virus is clear. Legitimate websites are clean and work well, while malicious websites are often poorly created and buggy.Exercise common sense when browsing online or checking your email. If something raises red flags in your mind, it’s best to back out to a more reliable website. Most paid versions of antivirus software gives you added security online, blocking websites or warning you if something seems suspicious.
Malware Removal Techniques
If you get infected with a computer virus, it’s not the end of the world. The nature of most malware makes it seem like all hope is lost. That’s simply not true, and it’s a tactic employed by hackers to get you to give up more information.
Act immediately when you get infected. Here’s what you should do if you suspect you’ve been infected by a piece of malware:
- Back up your data – malware targets data, and you don’t want to lose any of yours. If you think you have a virus, make a backup of your data as soon as possible. Start with your most important documents and files, then work through everything else as needed.It’s possible that your backup data replicated the virus. There are tons of specialized tools online that can evaluate your backup file and prevent you from re-infecting yourself during the restore.
- Use your antivirus software – antivirus software often includes tools that can help you recover from a virus infection. Sometimes, a simple update is all you need. Once updated, the software catches the virus and quarantines it before it can do any damage.On the more expensive antivirus software plans, you get the option of employing dedicated resources from the company to remove the virus. If you have this option available, use it! The people who do the removal are trained professionals who typically do a good job.
- Restore your system to a previous point – use your operating system’s system restore options to revert back to an uninfected state. Doing this can be quick and easy, but it does erase any files that were added after the restore point. If you’ve backed up your data, you’ll be fine, but make sure you have a backup in place before doing your system restore.
- Hire a computer repair company – if you’re feeling especially overwhelmed with all the options available to you, it might be time to hire a professional to do the virus removal for you. These are trained professionals who know what they’re doing, which makes it less stressful for you overall.If you decide to hire someone to repair your computer, make sure to do your research beforehand! It can be just as dangerous hiring someone unskilled to perform the repair. Ask trusted friends and family members for recommendations, and don’t forget about online reviews.
- Reset to factory settings – erasing all the content on your computer and reverting to factory settings should be your last resort, but sometimes, it’s the only option. This usually takes care of most types of malware, but there are some persistent types that will resist the reformatting. If that’s the case, you may need to hire a professional repair company to take care of the problem.
Getting infected with malware is scary, but there are ways you can both prevent it from happening and fix it if it does happen. Even though the advance of technology has created more opportunities for bad people to take advantage of you, it has also created ways of protecting you.