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What to do when you think your PC may have a virus?

I’m always a little surprised when I chat to friends and find out they have no anti virus protection on their computers. It’s usually people who have never had the experience of dealing with a virus. I recently got an email from one of our readers in a bit of a state – she’d been writing a blog post when her computer froze and she was faced with my favourite “white screen of death”.

So what you you do when you think your PC may have a virus?

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I decided to chat to the folks at Kaspersky Lab and ask them for some tips on what you can do if you believe that your computer has been infected with a virus, to make sure you can get back on track.

First thing to remember is that viruses can come from anywhere and in any form – and most of the time you don’t even know if your computer has been affected. It is essential to have an antivirus or Internet Security solution installed on your PC, laptop or Mac. Here’s what to do when you think your PC may have a virus:

1)    Back up your files – if you suspect that a virus has infected your computer, start backing up your files and data to ensure that all your important documents are not lost when the virus fully hits. It’s advisable to make backup copies regularly.

2)   Do not access online banking and shopping services or enter your credentials – avoid referring to any personal or confidential data unless you’re sure to have reliable protection on your PC; do not use any web-based services that require your screen name and password.

3)   Scan your computer system – once you have done all the above, scan your computer with a reliable security solution which can identify and catch the virus. To avoid any future infections you need to do scanning regularly.

4)   Change your password – finally, once your computer is fixed; you should change your passwords as soon as possible to ensure that no information that was potentially obtained while your computer was infected can be used without your knowledge.

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According to Kaspersky Lab, if you follow the above steps you may be able to minimise the effects that may happen should a virus encrypt your computer. It is also ESSENTIAL that a proper antivirus solution is installed on your computer to safeguard your computer and personal details from threats that are growing at a rapid pace.  

 

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