According to the Pew Research, a little more than 70 percent of Americans own a desktop or laptop computer. While most computer users are aware of the reality of getting a computer virus, many of us may think that our computers are safe when they aren’t.
While a computer virus can often be fixed relatively easily (if caught in time), other security breaches to your computer can lead to bigger issues such as identity theft and spread viruses to the computers of your family, friends, and work colleagues.
Although a computer virus can leave you feeling powerless, stressed, and even a little embarrassed, there are some steps you can take and some things to do to prevent it from
How To Tell If Your Computer Is Infected
The fear of getting a computer virus can make you second guess everything your computer does that seems out of the ordinary. Before you call up an IT team or take your computer to the nearest computer repair shop, it’s important to be able to identify some of the basic signs that are often associated with a computer virus.
If your computer is running slower than usual, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a hidden virus but you should definitely start paying attention. If a reboot doesn’t fix a glitch, your problems may be bigger than you expect. Getting pop-up ads or if you’re accused of sending a message you know you didn’t send, they could indicate a virus.
Your Computer Has a Virus, Now What?
Your computer has a virus. It’s frustrating and maybe a little scary but most of the time it can be fixed, depending on how much you know about your computer and how much damage the virus has already done.
If your computer knowledge is very limited and you don’t feel comfortable take steps to resolve the issue, call a professional. They can either guide you through certain steps or take a look at your computer. Want to give it a try yourself? The steps may be different depending on the type of computer you have but for this example, we’ll just focus on a PC.
First, you’ll remove the virus by entering “safe mode” and keep your computer disconnected from the Internet. The next step is to delete any temporary files using your Disk Cleanup tool (which should be in your ‘accessories’).
Even if you have antivirus software, it may not be working properly and it may not be able to keep all malware and viruses out. A virus scanner can help you determine whether the virus can be fixed or needs to removed manually. Check out the Scanguard review for an in-depth look at what the software can do as a virus scanner.
Remember, if you aren’t sure as to whether or not you’re doing the right thing, you can always call a tech-savvy friend or an IT pro.
Tips For Preventing Another Virus
While many computer viruses can be fixed almost as quickly as they showed up on your computer, you definitely want to avoid getting another virus. Here are some tips for preventing the headache and stress of another computer virus:
- Stay up-to- date with all software
- Have good antivirus protection
- Learn how to identify a secure webpage
- Browse the web wisely
- Always have original and “strong” passwords for every account
- Keep your information locked up
- Backup your files frequently
- Download adblocking software
- Think twice about responding or opening unknown emails or links
A computer virus isn’t the end of the world and for many computer users, it makes them wiser because of the inconvenient experience. With taking extra precautions and preventative measures, you can greatly reduce your risk of a computer virus.
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