This is not meant to be the full story, but contains useful hints and tips for a safer life on the Internet.
Computer virus checkers are many and varied.
You don’t need to pay for a virus checker many of them can be downloaded free but make sure you get a well-known one!
e.g. AVG, Kaspersky, McAfee to name a few of the better-known ones.
This website lists 10 popular ones and if they are free or not
Some new computers come with anti-virus software pre-installed. Most of these are Norton anti-virus. You need to know that if Norton is installed it will only be free for the trial period, which is usually 30 days. After that you are prompted to pay for a year’s cover and prices vary!
Windows 10 comes with its own protection system called Windows Defender – this is regularly updated by Microsoft. You should use anti-virus software as well as Windows Defender though.
If you pay for anti-virus software you will normally get additional applications such as a password keeper and backup and restore facilities.
A Password Keeper is a piece of software that can securely remember passwords that you use when logging onto various websites that need a password. These can be very helpful, in so far as they can generate secure passwords that can be hard to break. However, I would not like to store the passwords for my Bank Accounts or PayPal account in one, but I have no problem is using them to remember passwords for other sites such as a shopping sites.
If you think your computer has a virus
Power down the computer to stop the virus from accessing the Internet and spreading.
Disconnect the computer from the Internet. This can be done several ways depending upon where you are, and how you are connected.
If your PC/Pad is connecting using Wi-Fi – switch of the wireless connection.
If your PC is connected by a cable – unplug the cable, also check that the Wi-Fi is switched off. Sometimes the PC/Pad has alternative ways of connecting.
To check that your PC is not on the internet open your browser, you should receive an error message telling you that there is no network connection available. – Job Done!
How do you protect yourself from virus infections?
Use anti-virus software and keep it updated, let it do its job, by having it switched on all the time.
About once a month run a full virus scan of your computer using your anti-virus software – this process can take a very long time. If necessary, run it overnight and look at the results the next day. If you can’t make the time for a full scan, at least do a scan of the “core”, that is where most viruses install and your ant-virus software usually has a quick-scan or similar option that does a scan of the computers’ core.
Don’t click on links to websites that you are unsure about, or have you have been advised to go to by an exciting looking email.
Especially, don’t open any emails with a .zip file attached, these are a lot of these about just now.
Don’t open emails with files attached that you are not expecting!
Don’t open and download pictures that are in an email especially if you don’t know who the email is from. Pictures are a source of virus infections.
How do you know if your computer has a virus?
A lot of the time you won’t know, that’s the whole point of a virus. It wants to take charge of parts of your computer without you knowing.
Indicators can be that your friends and relatives start receiving emails supposedly from you, usually containing or with virus attachments. You didn’t send them, your computer did without your knowledge!
Your computer seems slow to respond, but this can be down to other factors as well, so not always an indicator.
You receive a message on your screen advising you that you have been infected and all your files are locked, this is the so-called Ransom virus and is probably one of the worst ones to get! Go to an expert to get this one sorted!
Now how to get rid of a virus.
If you feel confident use your anti-virus checker to scan the whole computer and let it quarantine or delete any virus it finds.
If you are not confident doing this, consult someone who is, a friend, or take it to a reputable shop.