What should I do if I get a computer virus?
There are a number of ways a computer virus can infect your PC. Many of the most common methods tend to involve some form of human error.
One widespread cause is users opening an infected email. This is still a problem despite years of people being told they should be wary of opening e-mails from people they don’t know.
Another commonplace mistake is users declining or delaying a system update and leaving themselves exposed.
Users who surf unsafe sites and don’t keep their antivirus software up-to-date is also an issue we encounter regularly.
Our Step by Step guide
But what should you do in the unfortunate event you get a virus on your computer? Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Identify the machine with the virus and where possible remove it from the network to prevent the virus spreading to other terminals. This can be tricky as the machine will still need to access the Internet in order to update virus definitions.
- You must now scan all other PCs and servers to find out whether the virus has spread. Although you may have acted quickly to remove the machine from the network viruses can spread quickly, so you must check for other possible infections.
- Run a full system scan on the infected machine using an antivirus program that has been updated with the latest definitions.
- Remove any detected viruses, normally the full system scan will do this for you automatically.
- Reboot your PC in Safe Mode – this is a version of Windows that runs without many of the programs and processes required by full Windows. It will allow you to use your PC without doing any more damage because Malware won’t generally run in Safe Mode.
- Run a scan again in Safe Mode, as viruses can reinstall themselves after a PC has been restarted.
- Once you are sure the machine is clean you can then put it back on the network.
If you would like further advice on antivirus protection or any other aspect of your IT security, contact the team at Arc Systems who will be only too pleased to talk you through the topic.
You can find our contact details, right here.