What Is A Computer Virus? An Overview

o Windows Task Manager (common target of malicious software)

o Anti-virus application (scans and updates both fail)

o Internet browser (stops working or directs to wrong pages)

<li>Rebooting does not work.</li>
<li>You spot unanticipated popups that you don't recognise at any time. The popups may make suggestions to buy a service or product and frequently tell you that your computer is infected with numerous viruses.</li>
<li>A friend or colleague informs you that they've received emails from you that you just didn't send.</li>
<li>A computer that's not a part of your network produces an alert as soon as digital media from your computer is inserted.</li>

TIP Anti-malware products only provide you with so much safety - not anywhere near 100%, so viruses could slip past and sit on the hard drive.

First steps

Consider first the possible magnitude of the outbreak.

In the case of one computer infected you can apply these steps to only the one. If you believe it's more than one you need to apply them to each and every system.

Step 1

<li>Firstly - always try to up-date the virus software on the infected system.</li>
<li>If the anti-virus picks up and deletes viruses - no further actions should really be necessary.</li>
<li>If the concern emerged because of malware alert which removed the infection and absolutely nothing else is discovered-no more action is needed.</li>
<li>If threats are located and eliminated-no further action required.</li>

TIP If after a successful clean up you eventually see further evidence of infection start off the entire process again, and also do a boot time scan if available.

Step 2

If threats are located and removal is impossible.

<li>Carry out the procedures advised by your anti-virus product. Most programs are able to lead you to information regarding removal of particular infections.</li>
<li>If you need to look manually, try searching McAfee's threat data base as it is highly extensive and often includes techniques for deletion.</li>
<li>Run System Restore while in Safe Mode. This will often run in Safe Mode when it wouldn't have in normal mode. This will reset Windows back to a point in time of your choosing, so select a time before things went wrong. Your data should be safe but you should have it backed up anyway. All application install after the point in time will be removed, along with any data stored inside of them (not likely these days, but you never know).</li>
<li>You cannot interrupt System Restore while it's running</li>
<li>Once complete perform all the previous steps again. System Restore has a good chance of removing malware as it effectively uninstalls any program installed between now and your chosen point in time. If it runs and completes you have around 75% chance of success.</li>

Step 5

If all the previous steps fail then you must make a decision

<li>Carry on trying to dis-infect.</li>
<li>Format the hard disk and install a fresh copy of Windows?</li>

If the hard drive is wiped and Windows re-installed then is the machine is 100% clean as no malware can survive this, just ensure that your anti-virus is installed and updated immediately.

Sometimes you simply cannot remove the infection and a re-install is the only way. computervirus

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