ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to get Rid of a Computer Virus - Remove Malware Spyware and Trojan Horses

Updated on January 9, 2017

I wrote this article to show you how to get rid of a computer virus and also avoid future ones. Please read the entire article before attempting what it suggest.

How to Know if your Computer has a virus

The much greater majority of computers have viruses. But most of the time the owner is not aware; that is until he/she finds their credit cards are being used via some sort of spyware, or important files start disappearing!

So how to know when your computer has a virus? Below are some of the symptoms of a virus infected computer.

  • Computer performance is slower than normal.
  • Various websites popping up automatically.
  • Money being used from credit cards.
  • Unknown processes running in task manager (you should Google your processes to find out if they are legit). Access task manager by pressing Alt, Ctrl and delete at the same time and click the 'processes' tab.
  • Spam emails.
  • Applications opening by themselves.
  • Anything unusual that really has nothing related to something you did can be a virus.

Diagnose
Diagnose

Steps to take before removing Viruses

If you believe or know you have a virus, here are the first steps you should take.

  • Disconnect your computer from the internet. IMPORTANT! Sometimes viruses download more virus by themselves eg Trojan horse. Try to update you existing antivirus virus definitions if any before disconnecting from the internet.
  • Do not take files off your computer when it has a virus. This will spread it. Virus normally affect multiple files.
  • Do not enter any private information such as credit card numbers etc into computer.

How to get rid of viruses

  • Use System restore to restore your system to a date before you installed, download or opened the virus infected file.
  • Download an Antivirus or update an existing one.
  • Sweep hard drive and reinstall operating system.
  • You should try these steps in the order listed above preceding onto the next step if the previous one doesn't work.

NB A computer should always have and antivirus. And the virus definitions should always be kept up to date.

Use System Restore

Boot you computer in safe mode. Do this by pressing F8 repeatedly as soon as you turn on your PC. Then select 'Safe mode' from the options available.

You can access this feature by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System tools > System restore.

Use this setting to restore you computer to the date before you got the virus. It will require you to restart your computer.

computer virus
computer virus

Antivirus

First step is to download a free software called spybot. It will scan an eliminate spyware from your PC. It is best if you can download the software from a friend or colleague. If you download it from your PC, you will have to use the internet, and remember the virus might be able to download more viruses if you connect. But if its impossible to download from a friend, you will have to take your chances. Just download as quick as possible then disconnect from the internet. Scan and delete the viruses that are found.

NB This is not a guarantied way to remove all your virus. For this you might need more powerful software.

Below is a list of some of the top antiviruses.

There are also some free antiviruses. One of the best of the lot being AVG free edition.

Once you have an antivirus installed. Set it to do a full system scan. When finished, delete or quarantine the detected threats.

NB Antivirus software might not always find all of your viruses. There is still a chance of viruses remaining on your computer. That is why I suggested using spybot alongside your chosen antivirus. If the virus still persists move onto the step below

Reinstall OS

To ensure that your computer is absolutely virus free . Sweep your hard drive of all files and reinstall your operating system. The Windows CD has a hard drive sweeping feature that it uses before installing if set to do so. All of your files will be lost.

If you are forced to use this method to remove a virus or viruses do not back up your files unless somehow you are absolutely sure that the virus doesn't not affect the files you want. I should add a virus can spread like wildfire, it will attach itself to any of your files and you will have no clue. That is why it is essential to scan your computer often.

How many times has your computer been affected by viruses?

See results

How to Avoid Viruses

Of Course the hassle above can easily be avoided. The suggestions listed below should help reduce if not eliminate the chances of you receiving a virus:

  • Only download from trustworthy sites such as Microsoft, apple, Firefox, etc.
  • Download programs from their original official sites.
  • Try not to torrent, this is a sure way to get virus because many torrent ARE viruses!
  • Be careful opening email, only open email from a known or trustworthy source.
  • Set up a good firewall. All of the antiviruses listed before have this feature including spybot. Also windows has its own firewall make sure it is enabled if you chose to use it. A firewall is like a wall your computer puts up that blocks suspicious queries from the internet. DO NOT run more than one firewall at time because they will conflict and, well they kind of cancel out each other. Not good!
  • Integrate your antivirus with your browser.
  • Scan files before opening.
  • Backup files before you get a virus and not after!
  • Be careful of some video sites, because in order to watch a video sites will have to download additional information. Sometimes this information can be a virus. Sites like YouTube are safe though.
  • Use the immunize option in spybot. It fixes security issues with your browser to make browsing safer for you.
  • Also be careful of what files you accept via instant messaging services. Sometimes a virus from another persons computer can send you links or file transfers options, that will lead you to a virus! Normally the owner of the computer doesn't know that their computer is sending you these messages. So tell them.


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      thebosconian 

      4 years ago

      great hub... From stealing information to making our computer do weird things, viruses are a nuisance. You can check out my new hub on "Top 10 Viruses That Wrecked Havoc In History" to look back into history...

    • jojo29 profile image

      Jane Boucheirre 

      5 years ago from CA

      useful hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)