A computer virus is a malicious code or program written to modify the way your computer works normally. It is designed so that it keeps spreading from one computer to another without the user’s knowledge.
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How to Keep Computer Virus-Free And Responsive?
A virus usually operates by inserting itself into genuine programs that look normal but can root the Virus when executed. A virus causes damage to your data & can even harm your system software.
Difference between Virus and Malware
Though they may seem similar, Malware & Viruses are two different terms. Malware is a generalized term used to define any type of Malicious code written for a wide variety of applications. A virus is a subset of Malware.
A virus specifically spreads by attaching itself to legitimate files and programs. They are distributed through infected websites, pen drives, or email links. It operates to delete or encrypt system files, modify applications or even disable certain system functions.
Malware, on the other hand, can have a variety of objectives. They are generally used to trick a victim into providing personal or sensitive information, stealing bank details, taking control of networks, or infect computers and use them to mine crypto-currencies.
How to know if your computer is infected with a Virus/Malware?
1. System slowdown and takes longer to start-up
It is perhaps the most common visible symptom that your system is affected by a virus or Malware. You will experience a slow & unresponsive system. Your system will feel sluggish, and even routine processes like system start-up will be painfully slow.
Malware is well known to slow down your system as it starts eating your system resources. You should always look for the possibility of an infection if your computer suddenly starts running slowly.
2. Sudden system freezes & crashes
If your system suddenly keeps on freezing or crashing with no clear reasons, most probably your system is infected by Malware. Further confirmation is if you keep seeing the common ‘blue screen of death’ after your system crashes.
Most Malware can damage important operating system files and stop them from loading leading to the blue death screen.
3. Sudden increase in random Pop-ups
Pop-ups are a sure way of telling that your system is infected with Malware. If you keep seeing annoying pop-ups that mostly lead you to an advertisement banner or website, your system is infected.
Another way Malware payloads are delivered can be through sudden security pop-up messages that warn you of a malware infection on your system. It prompts you to click on a link to download antivirus software or run a system scan. If a victim is unfortunate to click on the link, Malware is instantly downloaded on the system.
4. You aren’t able to access your system’s vital settings
A sure-fire way of knowing if your system is under a Malware attack is if you cannot change some of the vital system settings. These may include restricted access to your control panel, can’t re-enable your disabled antivirus, change your browser’s homepage, and some similar settings.
5. Your internet traffic has suddenly increased, and your friends complain of foul messages or requests from you
Some Malware will take over your internet connection and use it to further spread itself across your network.
It may send out phishing emails or messages from your accounts, clicking on which it will spread onto their computers. Some Malware can use your system resources to mine cryptocurrencies without your knowledge.
How do you get rid of a computer virus?
a. Install an Antivirus
The most important tool to fight virus attacks on your system is installing a good antivirus. When choosing an antivirus, ensure that it comes from a reputed & a trusted brand.
Also, make sure that the antivirus goes beyond only protecting against viruses and also protects you against Malware & spyware.
b. Keep Your Antivirus Software Up to Date.
Many users usually ignore this most significant step after installing an antivirus. Only installing antivirus will not ensure complete protection, as Malware is constantly upgrading and finding new ways to enter your system.
Keeping this in mind, antivirus companies push out continuous database updates with these new threats included so that you are always a step ahead with your system security.
c. Run System Scan Regularly
Even though most of the good antivirus engines today feature a real-time scan option, it is always good to manually run system scans at regular intervals for complete protection. It makes sure that you are aware of all the scan settings and everything is in place.
d. Backing up your data
Regularly backing up your data is always a good habit. If you ever had to go through the worst-case scenario of corrupted drive data due to a Malware attack or ransomware holding up your data against money, a data backup always saves you all the time & money.
e. Regular PC Maintenance
Apart from installing antivirus, you must make sure that your PC is well maintained in all other fronts. Regular PC maintenance plays a crucial role in your PC’s security & responsiveness.
Routine tasks such as regularly updating your drivers, cleaning junk files, clearing browser cache & optimizing your registry are vital to your PC security. Other than that, uninstalling unused old programs, regularly updating your Windows & other apps is also important.
Hackers are known to explore security vulnerabilities in outdated drivers or stealing data from your browser files. Moreover, a registry full of redundant files can significantly slow down your overall system responsiveness.
However, manually maintaining your PC’s health can be time-consuming and cumbersome. You will find many third-party apps that can get this work done for you; for instance, Advanced SystemCare from IObit helps clean the registry, performs disk cleanup, and improves your PC’s speed and performance.
Driver Booster will help in keeping your device drivers updated. Similarly, other applications are available to keep your device drivers updated, remove unwanted programs, keep your software up-to-date, and much more.
Apart from Advanced SystemCare, IObit provides different programs like Driver Booster, Uninstaller, and Software Updater to keep your PC healthy and responsive.
I am almost certain that you might be already using one or some of the programs mentioned above. If you are using a trial and wish to upgrade, you can check for the best discounts on IObit products. With IObit coupon codes, you can save a lot of money on the application of your choice.
With so much increase in cyber attacks, it is important that each of us takes cybersecurity seriously and leave no stone unturned in the process.
By following all of these steps, you can ensure your system is always safe, secure & highly responsive.