How to Recover Your Computer from a Virus Infection
Have you even been a victim of a computer virus or another piece of malware? If yes, then you know that removing the virus is only the first step. When the virus is gone, you will need to recover your computer from a virus infection and make sure you’re protected from further damage. That can be difficult especially if you don’t know where to start. But don’t worry, our tips will help.
Prevent Your Files from Being Locked by Ransomware
Ransomware like the WannaCry virus is the bane of today’s digital world. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals lost their files and got locked out of their computers when the first attack happened. While it may be very difficult to avoid getting infected (make sure you follow all the best practices), you can do something that will make sure you don’t lose all your files. The answer is simple – make regular backups to an external drive and keep your files in a secure cloud storage. There are lots of options to choose from, so make sure you pay attention to the security the service provides.
Remember to back up your files when your computer is healthy because otherwise you’d be backing up the virus too.
Now that you know how to keep your files safe, let’s go over some malware removal tips.
1. Make Sure Malware Is Removed
The first thing you should do after letting your antivirus delete the malware is make sure that it’s actually gone. Sometimes pieces of malware get left behind and they prevent you from fully recovering your computer from a virus. To do that, give your PC a scan with Malwarebytes, a free anti-malware program that has great detection rates. If it finds anything, let it delete the remaining malware. If not, you still need to make sure that no traces of malware got left in the Windows registry.
Very often viruses and malware leave traces in the registry even after they are deleted with your security software. This prevents you from recovering your PC and can result in Windows errors and security problems. That’s why you should use a good quality registry cleaner right after you remove any pieces of malware from your computer. Our recommended tool is a great option that we’ve used countless of times.
2. Change Your Passwords
This is the first thing you should do after you know your PC is virus-free. Most likely you’ve used your computer to log into your email, social media accounts, and online banking websites. This means that there is a risk that the developer of the virus got hold of your passwords. The worst bit is that with just knowing your email address password, anyone could reset all your passwords and lock you out of your online banking and other accounts. That’s why it’s really important that you change your passwords after you recover your computer from a virus.
When changing your passwords, use a clean computer that hasn’t been infected, don’t use public WiFi, and make the new passwords strong and unique. You should also consider using a password manager like LastPass and using two-factor authentication.
3. Protect Your Computer from Future Infections
And last but not least, you need to figure out how your computer got infected in the first place and do everything you can to prevent this from happening ever again. Make sure you don’t visit malicious websites, don’t download unknown programs, and don’t click on weird pop-up messages.
If you want to learn more about protecting your computer and getting rid of malware, check out “Shields Up! Complete Guide to Windows Security and Mac Privacy”. It’s a really good book that will help you stay protected. You can get it from Amazon and it’s available for Kindle or as a paperback.