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Virus: How To Avoid This Kind Of Malware?

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By: Shimon Brathwaite

January 11, 2022

Computer viruses are one of the most popular terms for online security. Fortunately, almost everyone knows that computer viruses are something that you don't want on your computer. Unfortunately, once your computer becomes infected, it's not easy to remove it. They are often designed to be challenging to get rid of, and if you're not tech-savvy, it becomes even more complicated. Also, viruses have become more complex as time has gone on, and there are now several different types of computer viruses and thousands of different strains within each class. Suppose you're someone who browsers the internet (which almost everyone is nowadays), you run the risk of coming across a few different viruses as part of your daily browsing. In that case, you must understand how viruses are usually spread, how to identify if your computer has become infected and how to eliminate them.

How do people usually get computer viruses?

First, let's go over the technical definition of a computer virus. A computer virus is a type of malware that spreads by infecting other computer programs. Viruses are not self-propagating, meaning that they need another program to spread. They can do anything that different types of malware can, including stealing data, spying on users of the system, crypto mining, displaying ads to generate revenue, and many other malicious actions. The majority of users get them for a few simple reasons:

1) Download suspicious applications

A common way is to download a web application from the wrong source without knowing. For example, if you're going to download a web app, mobile app, or an online game, it's essential to select the company's main website. If you choose it from third-party websites, you don't know if that application is the original, and you are at risk of getting infected.

2) Click on weird links

Another option is clicking on links to websites that they aren't familiar with that may host malware. For example, when people look for online streams, they click on websites they have never heard of; some people sign up and give them their personal information. Knowing the demand, Hackers, and scammers will often host websites and use that as an opportunity to infect people's computers. Another common example is when people send emails or SMS messages with links. If you click on a link without ensuring it's linking to what you expect, you may unintentionally download a virus to your computer or mobile device.

3) Downloading email attachments

This is commonly done through phishing attacks where people will create legitimate emails to get people to trust the message and download an attachment that will infect the machine. It is especially effective in corporate environments where people constantly get emails from people they don't know, and it can be hard to tell real emails from fake ones.

How to get rid of computer viruses once infected

Antivirus: The simplest and easiest way to get rid of a virus is to get commercial antivirus. It is designed to detect, quarantine, and delete them from your machine with little to no work on your part. In addition, most good antiviruses are constantly being updated with new virus signatures, which means they will detect new viruses as they are found in the wild.

Firewalls: If you haven't already, going into your computer's settings and configuring it to be moderate to strict will help you prevent infections. If viruses are already on your machine, they can usually prevent them from communicating with anyone on the internet. This will prevent the virus from spying on you or exfiltration data off your device. Most operating systems have a default firewall, but they aren't set to the most secure settings by default.

Factory Reset: If you're desperate to get rid of a virus and antivirus doesn't seem to help, you can do what's called a factory reset. By doing this, you get rid of all applications that weren't there when you originally bought the machine. This will get rid of any viruses on your computer most of the time.

Look for suspicious behavior in processes: If you suspect, one way to find it and stop it is to look at the running processes on your machine. For example, if you see an application that you downloaded running even though you didn't start it, there's a chance that it may be some virus. You can also search what normal processes are for your operating system, and if you find any unknown processes running, that could be a sign of a virus running in the background. Another dead giveaway of a computer virus is if you notice your machine running slower than usual, you start getting pop-ups at random times, or applications on your computer suddenly start crashing.

Manually deleting the file: If you know the name of what you think is the computer virus, you can always go to the location of the application on your computer and manually uninstall it. It's effortless, but some people mistake deleting the desktop icon with deleting a file. So instead, you need to go to the file's location and uninstall it if you want it to disappear for good.

Recap

Computer viruses are programs that are designed to harm a system. They can only spread by infecting other software and will usually be packaged as part of another application. The good news means that once you are careful about where you download your applications from and have an antivirus that scans applications as you download them, you can avoid most computer viruses pretty quickly. If you download a virus, the antivirus can still help you identify the infected files and delete them or manually delete any application you think is suspicious. If all else fails, you can perform a factory reset and restore your computer to what it was when you first purchased it.

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