We all know how frustrating it can be when our computers are infected with these pesky bugs, causing havoc and disrupting our lives online. But fear not, as we’re here to shed some light on three practical ways to help you bid farewell to those malicious programs.
Cybercriminals and hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated with the types of viruses, and malware programs they create. It’s essential to understand the various methods by which computer viruses can be eradicated, that way you can better arm yourselves against these malicious programs, and how to recover in the event you are an unfortunate victim of an attack.
Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or simply someone looking for practical solutions, this article will provide insightful knowledge on how these threats can be eliminated from your computer and devices.
Understanding Computer Viruses and Their Impact
Computer viruses have become an increasingly common threat these days.
These malicious software programs can wreak havoc on our computers, and do some serious harm to not only our devices but also our sensitive information. So understanding how computer viruses work and the impact they can have on our devices is to our benefit.
These malicious software programs are designed with one specific intent…to cause harm to your computer, steal personal information, or disrupt normal operations. And of course, this is much to the hacker or cybercriminal’s advantage.
Computer viruses can be created for various reasons, but the most common motive is financial gain.
Many cybercriminals design viruses with the intention of stealing sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or login credentials, which they can then use or sell on the black market. By infecting countless computers worldwide, these hackers aim to make significant unlawful profits at the expense of innocent users.
Some individuals, on the other hand, create and distribute viruses simply for fun or as a form of digital vandalism, and just want to mess with people. They get some kind of ego boost from it or something.
These individuals have nothing better to do with their time, other than to see if they can create a piece of code that can create problems for users online.
Regardless of the nature behind the creation of one computer virus over another, they’re all created to harm. So let’s get in these tips on getting rid of any computer virus, or how to stop them in their tracks.
Antivirus Software – First Line of Defense
One of the most effective ways to safeguard against viruses is by installing reliable antivirus software. By doing so, you establish a strong shield that can detect and eliminate malicious programs before they happen in real-time.
Computer viruses may seem like an inevitable part of our online existence, but with the right precautions, they can go away just as easily as they appeared.
Anytime I write about this subject, I always suggest prevention is better than cure.
Having an antivirus installed allows you to prevent the attack from happening, at least most of the time. Antivirus software works in the background, constantly scanning your files and incoming data for any signs of malware or malicious code.
It acts as a vigilant gatekeeper, preventing unauthorized access and safeguarding against potential threats. Some provide more security than others, and can sometimes be more annoying because of the many prompts they give. But this is a user preference that can always be modified or improved as needed.
I believe so strongly in having antivirus software installed on your computer to the point that I think it should be a prerequisite before you can get access to the internet. In other words, your computer won’t allow you access to the internet unless there is some sort of active antivirus or security software installed on your machine.
Although this is my opinion if most users adhere to this principle, the number of online victim attacks would be reduced drastically.
Go Back in Time Using System Restore
This is one of the many tools that I have in my toolbox when I’m troubleshooting a virus infection.
System Restore is a built-in feature in the Windows operating system that allows you to revert your computer’s settings to a previous time. Think of it as a time machine for your PC. Windows periodically takes snapshots of your system files, registry settings, and program installations, and create what’s called restore points.
Sometimes it’s good to create a restore point manually, just to have a point of reference to revert back to, when your computer was working perfectly. Below are the instructions on how to create a restore point in Windows 10.
- Type in Control Panel in the search bar next to the Start menu.
- When Control Panel Opens, click on System and Security in the top left.
- Then select System.
- This will open the Settings window for the Systems option.
- Look for Advanced systems settings over to the right and click that option.
- The System Property windows will open.
- Select the System Protection tab at the top.
- This will bring you into the system restore settings.
- Towards the bottom of that window, you will see a button titled Create. That’s the button you want to use to create a restore point.
You now have that restore point that you can use to restore, in the event your computer starts acting erratic or gets infected by a virus. As I said, Windows usually creates them automatically. But in the event it doesn’t you will have the one you created manually to use.
So if you wanted to restore your computer to a time it was working if you suspect you have a virus, you would use the same instructions I provided above. Except this time, instead of clicking the “Create” button, you will click the System Restore button.
When you do so, you will notice the dates of restore points that were created either by Windows or any you have manually created. Once you confirm your selection, sit back and relax and let the magic happens!
This can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how bad the damages are that it needs to repair and restore back.
Starting Fresh with Format and Re-install
This is one of the last resorts to removing hard-to-remove viruses and malware but it’s one of the best ways to get your computer back up and running with no remnants of computer viruses left over.
A format and re-install is a process that involves wiping your computer’s hard drive clean and reinstalling the operating system from scratch. This can be quite a tedious and time-consuming process, particularly if you’re not familiar with doing it yourself.
However, it’s highly effective in completely removing any traces of viruses or malware that might have infected your system. It provides you with an opportunity to start over without worrying about lingering threats that may have compromised the integrity of your files or compromised your privacy.
Most people can pull this off, but if you’re not a savvy person and would prefer to have a tech pro to help, that’s fine too.
But we’ll provide you with some fundamental steps on how to get this done.
Formatting is the first step towards re-installing Windows.
The next step is to boot your computer from the installation media that Windows (or any other OS you’re using) is installed on. This can either be a CD disc or a bootable USB drive with the necessary software.
Restart your computer and boot from the installation media.
Follow the on-screen prompts to reach the formatting options. You will be notified that all your data will be wiped clean once the format is complete. This is what you want, so you can start a fresh install of Windows.
Here’s a video showing how to format and re-install Windows 10 for visual learners.
Conclusion: Safeguard Your Computer Against Viruses
Protecting your computer against viruses is essential in today’s advanced digital age. It’s an absolute must.
With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats, it is crucial to take proactive measures to safeguard your personal and sensitive information. By installing reliable antivirus software, regularly updating your operating system and installed software, and practicing safe browsing habits, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to viruses.
Additionally, being cautious about downloading files or clicking on suspicious links can further enhance your computer’s security. So be careful about what you’re downloading from the internet, and the source (website), you’re downloading from.
Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to computer viruses. So take the necessary steps and follow the tips that we’ve provided you with in this article to stay one step ahead of hackers and cybercriminals.
If you happen to fall victim to an attack, doing a system restore can be very helpful, however, if your computer is damaged beyond repair, performing a format and OS re-installation will definitely get your system back to normal again for sure.
These tips are great ways to how computer viruses go away. Stay vigilant and keep your computer virus-free!