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5 things you can if you detect a computer virus

In this article, you will learn what to do if you detect a computer/software virus, and how to deal with it effectively.
Photographic image of a computer screen with a notification saying Virus Detected

Here are 5 things you can do to help.

1. Update your antivirus if you’re able to

Some viruses will knock out your antivirus the first chance it gets. But if it’s still running and you’re able to update it, try to update your antivirus.

2. Get the newest skin engine

This goes back to making sure your antivirus updates on a regular basis. If for whatever reason, that virus knocks out your update capability, your antivirus should be up to date already. Or it may be one version behind.

3. Disconnect your computer from the network

Unplug your patch cable and turn off your Wi-Fi. That’s going to help prevent the virus from potentially spreading into the network. Delete and empty the infected file. If you’re able to identify the file that was infected, go ahead and delete it, and empty it from the trash.

The exception here is ransomware. If you have ransomware, Cryptoware, you may need a file for decryption. So, do not delete that file. If your antivirus is working, run a full scan on your computer. Check every file. It’s probably going to take a while, especially if you got a lot of data on there.

But you do want to run a full scan. Once it has found some anomalies, have the antivirus scanner clean it, reboot your computer, and then do a full scan again. Run a full scan again as some viruses are a little bit more persistent and can re-appear.

4. Check your computer

Even if you’re able to clean your computer, check to verify if anything was changed. For example, check your firewall settings. Certain viruses will put exceptions in the antivirus, or in your firewall, so they can re-appear.

5. Check if there are additional programs on your computer

Check your browser, to see if it changed any of your browser settings, such as redirecting your webpages.

If you’re not able to scan your computer, an alternative is to pull out the hard drive and put it on a computer that is able to scan. If all else fails, you may need to wipe your computer and start over.

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