If your laptop has suddenly been taken over with malware and is running slower than a go-cart with flat tires, you need to figure out how to get rid of it.
A virus can come in many forms, but the common element in all computer viruses is that they do damage to your system.
They are designed for malicious reasons and usually enter a system without the user’s knowledge or permission.
In this article, I will provide you some information about what a virus is and how it affects your computer, and how to clean your laptop.
What is a computer virus?
A typical computer virus is a malicious software program that employs methods to cause a computer system to unknowingly carry out malicious actions on the infected system. The virus can infect files and executable programs, often without the user’s knowledge.
It also can launch unwanted programs, delete files, gather personal data without your consent, or even destroy hardware. The objectives of the virus usually are to seek out and transmit information, disrupt a computer system or cause a crash.
The main reasons for using malware are to cause inconvenience to the user, steal confidential data, spam email accounts and redirect web browser traffic.
How do computer viruses work?
Computer viruses often enter a computer through an infected document or program. Once inserted, the virus scrambles the other software and waits for something to do.
When activated by a user action, such as opening an attachment, downloading a file from the Internet, or running a macro-enabled application, it triggers its payload and does anything that is programmed into it.
An antivirus has to specify known virus signatures in order to detect malicious code on startup and prevent further damage. If a computer virus is unknown or new, the antivirus will not be able to detect it.
Can your computer become infected with a virus via email?
No, your computer cannot become infected If you only read an e-mail message. But If you download, run, double click, save, or open any attachment, the message can contain a virus or other malware that will infect your computer.
So be careful about what you do when reading an e-mail message.
How can You tell if your laptop is infected?
You can’t start or update your antivirus software
If you are experiencing difficulties in starting or updating your antivirus software, it may be due to a virus. There is a potential that the virus is inhibiting the antivirus software from starting or updating. This is also a sign that there are threats ongoing within your system.
You’ve lost access to admin privileges or other system settings
One way that the virus is able to cause damage to your system is by disabling many of the administrative tools that you might need. This means that when you think about how wide-ranging this virus can be, it could cause a great deal of trouble for your system. It locks out many parts of your operating system, including Task Manager and Admin Tools.
The reason why viruses want to lockout these tools is them wanting to minimize their own exposure and access to other things on the computer when they are able to get in (into) a higher part of the system or into different files where there might be information on them.
Apps crash or your computer freezes unexpectedly
One of the most common issues that Microsoft Windows users face is system crashes. If your system keeps crashing unexpectedly, it’s time to investigate your PC for malware and other vulnerabilities.
Your computer uses a lot of resources when it shouldn’t
If you notice that the laptop is using more memory, CPU, and disk space than usual when it’s supposed to be idle. If your lappy also has fans whirring at a higher speed or making unusual noises then that is another clue you can use to find out what may be wrong.
You notice software that you did not download or install
When you download software for free, it is important that you be cautious about the software. Just because a website says they are giving away software does not mean that it is true. It could also be malware or in fact, a virus itself. In this case, the user has unknowingly received malicious code into their machine.
More sign you may notice:
- Endless pop-ups and spam
- You’re locked out of your computer
- Changes to your homepage
- Unknown programs starting on your computer
- Mass emails sent from your email account
- Security software disable
- Battery drains quickly
- Multiple windows start popping up
How to protect your Laptop from viruses
1. Get in touch with a service professional
This is my first recommendation, If you don’t know how to deal with malware, It’s the best idea to contact with an real expert. They will take care of it.
2. Download and install antivirus software
If you have a Windows desktop or laptop, the built-in antivirus software that is installed by default on your computer is Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender.
However, if you want to switch to a different antivirus program you can Download and install the package.
You must be sure that there is no conflict of interest before using third-party antivirus packages: some antivirus packages will interfere with or interfere with functions of other software while others may take priority over certain functions in the OS.
It’s up to you which programs get priority when they’re both active on your machine.
3. Disconnect from the internet
Basically, turning off your internet connection will cause your computers and other devices to be disconnected from the internet. This can sometimes be a solution for fixing a virus.
To do this, Turn on Airplane Mode and turn off Wi-Fi:
From the iOS Control Center: Swipe up from the bottom of your device and tap the Airplane Mode slider.
On the other hand, If you are using a wireless connection, Unplug your modem or router and turn it back on.
4. Reboot into safe mode
This is one of the most protective modes available to you. It provides a virtually impenetrable barrier between your computer and malware, as long as the malware doesn’t disable Safe Mode.
There are two ways to enter Safe Mode. First, press the F8 key while your computer is booting up and you’ll have the option of selecting Safe Mode in the small window that pops up on your screen.
Alternatively, power down your computer completely and when you turn it back on, hold down the key “F4” to select Safe Mode on startup. Make sure there is a key nearby to find this function.
Safe Mode is not a substitute for regular virus protection software. For this reason, it does not remove existing malware from your computer. You must leave your normal anti-virus software running while you use Safe Mode.
5. Run a full scan, delete the virus or put it in quarantine
A full scan is the best way of detecting malware. Run an anti-virus. It scans for files and folders that are malicious or harmful.
This will help you identify if your device has been infected with any threats. If so, you should then eliminate the threat by deleting or quarantining it depending on what the program suggests and what you know about how important the file in question is for you.
6. Delete temporary files and clear browser cache
Temporary files are created in the course of day-to-day operations. Their purpose is to hold information temporarily. They use storage space on your memory until they are needed.
If you delete these temporary files, they’re gone forever, but of course, that’s not a problem if you do it before the end of its usefulness.
For some viruses, temporary files can contain critical pieces of information that can be used for security attacks against you and your computer system.
Regularly clearing the browser cache will also help keep them safe as well as reduce unwanted popups and advertising.
7. Update your browser and OS
One way to avoid exploits and vulnerabilities is to make sure the computer is running on the latest version of your web browser. This means that you should update it according to the timeline provided on their website.
Windows updates often contain fixes for exploits and vulnerabilities, so updating them is very important as well.
8. Reset the passwords to all of your accounts
To protect yourself from malware attacks and hackers, use a strong password and make sure to update the passwords periodically.
A password should be at least 12 characters long and include numbers, upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and special characters.
Password managers are software applications that let you store many passwords without being required to remember each one separately. They require one master password to access the others which makes it much harder for hackers to get access to all your passwords at once.
9. Use a pop-up blocker
A pop-up is basically a webpage that suddenly pops up while you are browsing the internet. Pop-ups are usually advertising a product or service and they’re designed to convince you to buy them.
Pop-ups may be harmless, but they can also come with viruses that can harm your laptop if pop-ups continue to appear. A pop-up blocker will stop these advertisements from appearing on your screen and they don’t have any malicious files.
It’s recommended that you use a popup blocker for protection from these harmful advertisements and viruses so that you don’t have to worry about losing personal information or downloading important software later on in life.
10. Only download from sites you trust
In order to protect your laptop from viruses, it is important that you download software only from trusted sites.
There are some spammy sites out there that will try to make you download free games or other software that may be harmful.
Downloading from a trusted site such as Apple’s App Store, Microsoft’s Windows Store, or Google Play will ensure that you are downloading software that is safe.
Moreover, Don’t use any nulled, and cracked themes, and plugins that may contain malicious code.
Buy paid themes and plugins from reputable marketplace and developer own sites.
Guidelines for preventing a future infection
If you’re an extensive internet researcher or use public wifi networks, it might be wise to turn on your antivirus software.
Make sure you keep an up-to-date antivirus program. Additionally, only download and install software from trusted sources.
Never downloading a suspicious file without looking into where it came from first.
Avoid using outdated operating systems and browsers because they may contain viruses or security exploits that hackers could take advantage of as well as tracking cookies and beacons that could lead back to your IP address and identity information without your knowledge.
How to get rid of a virus on a Mac?
To get rid of the virus, open Finder on your Dock and click on Applications in the Finder left pane. Find and remove the malicious app, then click Empty Trash to check for malicious files.
You can also use the Mac App Store to find and download antivirus software. Popular Mac antivirus options include ClamXav, Malwarebytes for Mac, and Sophos Antivirus.