How to Get Rid of a Computer Virus?

Worm, Trojan horse, malware or even ransomware: all these terms refer to computer viruses. When the computer is infected, these malicious programs run without your knowledge. Some only slow down the PC, but others can lead to much more serious consequences. Don’t panic, with the right tools, solving problems related to computer viruses is accessible to everyone.

What is a computer virus?

Viruses are malicious programs (malware) intended either to have chaotic destructive behavior (delete data, make files unusable), or to extract information useful to computer hackers (Trojan horse or ransomware). As their name suggests, viruses are designed to replicate. They spread from one computer to another , most often via the Internet, then run underwater without the user’s knowledge.

The problems caused by a virus are not the same depending on the category to which it belongs. There are three main types of computer viruses :

1. “Chaotic” viruses

less frequent today, delete data and/or cause computers to malfunction:

Classic symptoms: error messages or blue screen at startup, unstable system, crashes. In the best case, you can restore and reinstall your system sounds. In the worst case, you risk losing important files (and very often, time too…).

2. “Value-added” viruses use host computers to generate revenue:

Some display unsolicited advertising, for example. Each view brings a small profit which, multiplied on a large scale, can quickly grow. Others, more discreet, rely on data theft. They “scan” the computer to find interesting information. This type of malware, for example, scans spreadsheets or text files looking for syntax resembling bank statements or telephone numbers. The data is then sold. The careless user is then exposed to banking risk, spam, or even unsolicited calls.

3. “Hostage-taking” viruses block access to the system or files, and demand payment of a ransom.

Also called “ransomware”, cryptovirus, ransomware, ransomware or ransomware, this type of virus seeks to trap the user. Computer infection often results from risky behavior: opening a questionable attachment, clicking on a fake link, etc. The malicious program then encrypts all or part of the data and then offers to purchase a decryption key, often for several hundred euros. It is estimated that 80% of viruses in circulation today are ransomware.

Also Read: 5 Signs Your Computer Might Be Infected With A Virus

What are the symptoms of a computer virus?

Today, there are almost no more computer viruses sent by robots as during the years 2000 to 2010. Recent operating systems (Windows 7, 8, 10, 11 and MacOS) are natively protected against these automated cyberattacks. However, if most computers kept up to date are “immune” against this type of virus, too many PC users take risks in their daily use of computers and the Internet. They therefore make their PC vulnerable to infections by malicious applications.

Indeed, the current strategy for getting a virus into a computer most often relies on a clickable link (on a site, in an email or instant messaging), banking on the curiosity and/or lack of vigilance of the user. user behind his screen.

Prevention is better than cure ! The best defense is caution . So be wary of messages whose origin is not certain, check the syntax of the links before clicking on them and do not systematically say “yes” to all authorization requests. Also be careful with external storage devices (USB keys, hard drives, burned CD-ROMs, etc.) which may contain viruses programmed to automatically infect your computer.

The slightest change that you are not at the origin of should alert you. So anything that attracts attention to get you to click is suspicious. These are signs that malware is trying to trick you into having your hands free. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Applications for opening files are no longer the same ,
  • An unsolicited page opens when the browser is launched,
  • The default search engine has changed ,
  • New icons appear in the desktop or start menu,
  • Unsolicited notifications appear in the taskbar,
  • Pop-up windows open in all directions,
  • Many security-related messages appear.

Expert opinion: Alert! My computer is constantly cooling

“Depending on the type of infection, the computer’s ventilation can start to blow a lot. On a laptop, battery life will also drop dramatically. The reason is that the computer is working in the background, which puts strain on the battery and the cooling system. If, when you examine the processor performance in the task manager, it is working at 100% even when you are doing nothing, it is because an app is working: something is happening in your computer, and it is not. You’re not the one in charge. A PC affected by a virus can also “slow”, that is to say, experience slowdowns. However, as computers become more and more powerful, this is less often the case than before.”

Remove a virus from PC

All operating systems have vulnerabilities… including those of Apple brand computers. But Windows Microsoft being the most popular operating system in the world, it is more targeted by virus creators. Objective: to build volume.

To get rid of a computer virus, the first thing to do, if you are a Windows user, is to make sure that you have activated Microsoft’s built-in antivirus , Windows Defender. In fact, some viruses manage to deactivate it. Windows Defender is quite efficient.

Update your computer. Yes, even if it’s long and you have to restart three times! Then do a full scan of the computer and follow the instructions when virus(es) are detected.

Then go to the “add/remove programs” menu. Sweep everything that is there. Some problems may come from a program with intrusive functions. Any applications that seem questionable to you should be uninstalled .

Then clean your computer using a real, well-established antivirus. And in a paid version, because unfortunately there are no magical free tools! All antivirus publishers today offer complete solutions. You will be really well protected.

Remove a virus on Mac

The Android OS, which equips many smartphones and tablets, is closely monitored. It is little affected by viruses. Be careful though, malicious applications manage to slip into the stores . Be careful once again about the permissions you grant when you install them. In fact, these applications, under various pretexts, discreetly install small spy programs. Sometimes completely legally, when the user checks the authorizations or the general conditions of sale, often without having read them…

Who to turn to if nothing works?

Sometimes all efforts are in vain. Even more so when you are not an expert in cybersecurity, or even just IT. If necessary, do not hesitate to call a professional . For a subscription, you can also subscribe to the services of a specialized service provider capable of responding quickly and remotely.

Finally, let us remember that the number one protection remains vigilance! Do not click on any attached files or suspicious hyperlinks. Also pay particular attention to your passwords: never use “ abcd ” or “ 1234 ”, and do not always use the same one! Strong passwords are often the most effective defense against computer viruses.

Also Read: Antivirus Software: What Do You Need?

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