Viruses have become a serious threat to businesses and personal computer users. There are countless strains and types of viruses on the web and any one of them could spell disaster. Thankfully, there are proven methods of removing viruses and a few steps that could be taken to avoid future infections. Computer users should take the time to educate themselves and learn about the many threats lurking on the internet and how they can be avoided.
If a virus has been detected the first thing to do is isolate the infected computer from the rest of the network. Physical network connections should be disengaged and wireless adapters should be shut off. Disconnecting from the rest of the network will prevent the virus from spreading to other computers or shared drives.
Security software can help remove the virus and clean the infected files. In some cases, the software itself may be infected. It’s best to use an external set of tools such as a live boot of Linux. Some types of security software can be installed on portable devices just for this purpose. Stubborn viruses may require the help of a professional. For ransomware, it might be necessary to download an encryption key to unlock files and folders.
Any files that have been deleted or infected should be easily replaced with a backup. Downloads shouldn’t be replaced since they could have been the source of the infection. System files may need to be replaced using the original software disk or downloads from the developer. Having an external drive is a good way to keep a safe copy of files on hand. Cloud drives and other external storage should also be scanned with security software before restoring data.
Keeping security software up to date should help avoid infections in the future. Users should also think twice before they download files they aren’t sure about. Unsafe downloads are the leading cause of virus infections. It’s also a good idea to double check network settings and make sure the network is safe from hackers or other malicious software attacks. Tutorials on how to secure networks can be found on reputable websites and from security service providers.